LG Gram 17 review: lighter than it looks
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LG Gram 17 review: lighter than it looks

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Seventeen! This laptop has a 17-inch display hide. It also weighs 2.98 kilos.

It’s very unusual to gape a 17-inch laptop beneath four kilos — let alone beneath three. Couple that with a $1,499 starting brand (our mannequin at the second goes for $1,699), and you’re looking at a fairly area of interest target demographic. For that area of interest, although, this laptop tracks.

LG hasn’t reinvented the wheel; the 2020 Gram 17 is largely an iterative update to the 2019 mannequin. The company has made some key enhancements: the chassis and keyboard layout have received minor tweaks, the battery is greater, and there’s a modern 10th Gen Core i7-1065G7 beneath the hood. However the massive display hide remains the singular reason to recall this laptop, so you may aloof easiest utilize $1,699 on this in case you’re obvious that’s what you want.

It’s hard to put into words accurate how broad a 17-inch display hide is. The panel has a 2560 x 1600 resolution with a 16: 10 aspect ratio — so no longer easiest is it wide, but you get an extra bit of vertical space compared to many popular laptops. Using the LG Gram 17 feels more similar to using a desktop than it does a 13-inch 16:9 display hide. It’s atonof space. I fairly much always had two (or even three) things launch at as soon as and never had to zoom out.

It’s also a nice-looking panel. There’s a bit of glare, but I had no danger working in shiny environments with the display hide around medium brightness. Colors looked great (the Gram covers 99 percent of the sRGB gamut and 74 percent of AdobeRGB), and details have been crisp. Videos are, for positive, massive. I watched half an episode ofDarkon the Gram, and the characters looked miniature after I finished on a 13-inch instrument.

It’s no longer a ultimate display, for positive. There was some ghosting in action scenes, and it was visible adequate that I may possibly probably no longer want to play games on the Gram 17. (Clearly, it doesn’t have the horsepower to be a gaming rig anyway. Extra on that later.) It’s also no longer the brightest display hide obtainable; it reached 369 nits at max brightness. That’s adequate for indoor browsing, but you’ll seemingly want something brighter in case you plan on doing any creative work launch air or near a shiny window. The MacBook Professional 16 and the Dell XPS 17 each get up to 500 nits. And there’s no touch give a increase to — an omission that’s understandable (touchscreens reach with a critical weight penalty) but aloof disappointing at a $1,699 brand point.

I sometimes conception the Gram’s panel was too broad. After I worked in a full-display hide Google Doc, there was so much emptiness on each aspect that I felt love I was wasting space. That’s, again, a reason to strongly bear in mind whether or no longer you want this sort of machine. In the occasion you’re no longer normally working in reduce up-display hide mode, you’ll seemingly be leaving some of the panel unused — and at that point, you can get any preference of 15- and 16-inch units for a decrease brand.

The LG Gram 17’s keyboard from above.

LG has updated the keyboard and numpad.

You aren’t sacrificing portability for that display hide space, although — no longer even shut. At 2.98 kilos, the Gram 17 is astonishingly gentle for its measurement. It’s a feather compared to the MacBook Professional 16 (4.3 kilos), the Dell XPS 17 (4.65 kilos), and the HP Envy 17 (6.02 kilos). However it certainly’s also lighter than many smaller computers, including the Dell XPS 15 (4 kilos), the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 (3.4 kilos), and the HP Spectre x360 15 (4.64 kilos). I think the massive chassis (14.98 x 10.34 x 0.69 inches) makes the Gram feel lighter than it is far because you seek information from it to weigh more. Carrying it feels love carrying nothing.

A laptop so gentle usually comes with major caveats. Refreshingly, although, there’s nothing that the Gram 17 doesterribly.

Battery existence is exceptional. The 2020 Gram comes with an 80Wh battery (last year’s was 72Wh), and I acquired 10 hours out of it. (I ran the machine thru my workload of around a dozen Chrome tabs, Slack, some Zoom calls, and occasional YouTube or Spotify streaming, at 200 nits of brightness on the Better Battery profile.) That’s greater than I’ve gotten from the MacBook Professional, the XPS 15, and accurate about any diversified laptop of this measurement. (The included 48W charger takes a whereas to juice the Gram up, although. In an hour, it easiest charged the battery 37 percent.)

The lid of the LG Gram 17.

The silver lid is awfully nice.

The keyboard is great; it’s backlit, and you can flick between “low” and “excessive” brightness stages with one in every of the goal keys (although I didn’t gape a broad contrast between them). The wide chassis leaves loads of room for a numpad, another feature we don’t gape on ultrabooks each day.

LG has made some tweaks to the keyboard since last year: some keys (including Backspace, Enter, Shift, and the numpad’s 0) acquired greater, and a fourth column has been added to the numpad that includes large enter and plus keys. I think Backspace is aloof a bit small — I accidentally hit the adjacent Numlock each so normally — but otherwise, the typing trip was great, and I maintained my typical speeds.

The touchpad is gentle and a comfortable click on. Love last year’s Gram, although, it’s placed in the heart of the chassis rather than without delay beneath the spacebar. That meant my correct hand was normally resting on the trackpad whereas I typed, and I had occasional points with palm rejection. It’s no longer a deal-breaker, but it certainly takes some getting mature to.

The LG Gram 17 on a table, half open.

Regardless of its lightness, the Gram 17 isn’t the thinnest laptop around.

There are two areas, although, the place the Gram 17 doesn’t measure up to its brand point. The primary is the design: it’s accurate no longer a looker. LG has eliminated a large, visible hinge that made last year’s mannequin seek a bit full. However it certainly’s aloof a thick laptop, and the chassis is made of a dark silver magnesium alloy that feels love cheap plastic. The Gram isn’t necessarily gruesome, but it certainly would seek love a toy subsequent to an XPS.

The second is performance.

The Gram 17 will get the job performed for most these that are accurate browsing. I loaded up dozens of Chrome tabs and not using a subject and easiest saw slowdown if there have been multiple downloads running or information being copied in the background. The chassis stayed a comfortable temperature during my daily exercise, and I easiest heard the fans or felt critical heat beneath very heavy loads. I looped Cinebench R20 5 instances, and the CPU stayed constantly in the mid-80s, never passing 90 levels Celsius.

The LG Gram 17’s webcam.

There’s an HD webcam, but no facial recognition.

In the occasion you have been planning to play games, although, the Gram is out. I attempted to stoopShadow of the Tomb Raiderat 1920 x 1080 resolution on its lowest that you can imagine settings, and the laptop managed a measly average of 12fps. (It was a gradual and stuttery trip.) It also took 30 minutes to full a complicated export in Adobe Premiere Professional — a significantly worse result than we’ve considered from diversified units with integrated graphics love the XPS 13 and the Surface Laptop 3 (no longer to mention the MacBook Professional or anything with a GPU). Even basic photo editing in the Photos app was a slog.

These results aren’t sudden, and they don’t make the Gram 17 a bad laptop. It’s accurate important to know what you’re paying for. The intent of the Gram line isn’t to create workhorses; it’s to make the lightest laptop that you can imagine. In that category, the Gram 17 has succeeded in rising to the top of its class.

That means there’s a very explicit user for whom this laptop is a great purchase: you have to require a 17-inch display hide, you have to care about lightness above all else, and you have to no longer plan on doing anything that taxes the integrated graphics. In the occasion you examine these three boxes, the LG Gram 17 is the glaring preference for you.

If that’s no longer you, there are greater alternate choices.

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge