The LG Gram 17, just like the other super-light Gram laptops of the company, mess with your mind. It has a 17-inch screen, but weighs less than many 15-inch laptops and almost the same as some 13-inch models. Having recently looked at the light-hearted Acer Swift 5, I find the efficiency of the Gram even more impressive, but it is also much more expensive. The only configuration that LG offers is $ 1,699.99, which gives you an 8th Gen Core i7 chip, 512 GB of storage space and 16 GB of RAM. Instead of offering multiple SKU & # 39; s, LG apparently opted for one format that should be most suitable (who can pay for it). The laptop is currently discounted up to $ 1,549.99.
The most important question that you must answer yourself is whether you are satisfied with a smaller laptop screen. If you can, there are better options for the same money. But if not, there is nothing more like the Gram 17 on the market.
As with LG & # 39; s other Gram machines, the 17-inch version has a nanocarbon-magnesium exterior that, just like anyone holding it, can be just as well made of plastic. This is due to the texture, but also to the amount of flex that you feel when you wipe the keyboard deck. Even the upper display housing bends easily when you put pressure on it. But if you believe LG, you don't have to worry about how pliable the Gram 17 feels: it has a MIL-STD 810G durability rating and is designed to take a dip here and there. So yes, a laptop can be heavy even if it is not sturdy and does not inspire confidence.
But what the Gram lacks in rigidity, it makes up for it in enormity. There is no competition with you in the coffee shop or at office meetings. And the Gram 17 power usable even on some trains and flights, since the 17-inch screen is housed in a laptop that is not much larger than most 15-inch laptops. The only consideration in the ultra-thin edges of the Gram is that there is no Windows Hello face recognition because LG only had room for a small camera above the screen. Instead, the on / off button also acts as a fingerprint reader, and the accuracy is on point. I only had a few failed scans in a few weeks after using the Gram 17. A very small thing that I love is how easy it is to open with one hand; it stays firmly when you pull on the lid, which I did not expect because of its hardly any weight.
LG also has a wide range of ports, including a Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C, two USB 3.0 Type-A, a full-size HDMI output, a microSD card slot and the usual headphone jack, Kensington lock and ton-charger options . The Gram 17 can charge via USB-C, but you'll have to be careful if you only do that and have dumped the stock 48-watt charger. At one point the battery on my review unit was so empty that it would not respond to power from USB-C, and I actually thought that the laptop had somehow completely died. I opened the floor (good news: the RAM and SSD can be upgraded by the user) and looked for loose cables. No. I finally connected the LG charger and the charging LED came back to life. Crisis averted.
Combine a screen so large with multiple Windows 10 desktops, and you will quickly become a productivity master. You are able to see that much in a split screen and can focus on two things without having to stare or persuade you to get work done. Hopping between your desktops – I have several for general use, work and entertainment – with a four-finger swipe is easy. The Gram 17 will not compete with top-tier laptops from Dell or Razer in terms of overall performance, but the U-series processor and the generous amount of RAM pack contain all the power you need for everyday tasks. I have piled up the browser tabs, documents and video streams and the laptop was not delayed.
The lack of a dedicated GPU of the Gram 17, however, inherently means that you will not perform any serious video editing (more than 1080p) or extensive photo editing, so LG does not really use this expanded screen completely. Gaming will be excluded unless you run an external GPU in that Thunderbolt 3 port, but you can do it in Lightroom without any photo editing. The Gram 17 is a mainstream lifestyle PC and that's why I said there are better options if you give priority to screen real estate power. Similarly, Gram's SATA SSD is slower than the NVMe flash drives in other machines – another thing that many people will not notice that powerful users could.
The IPS display of the Gram is beautiful and very sharp due to its WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolution. And the slightly larger-than-average 16:10 aspect ratio gives you a little extra space to work with in Word documents or when editing photos. This screen cannot display as wide of a color range as pro-tier laptops, but everything is lively and looks nice regardless. The screen is incredibly reflective, enough that you will certainly notice it and want to avoid bright lights if they are behind you and will bounce against the screen. Yet there is something very fascinating about the image on this screen. I think it's because of the excellent contrast and black levels; 1440p YouTube video & # 39; s look very lifelike and animated content Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse jumps off the screen. However, it is not a touchscreen and I notice that Windows 10 feels a bit inaccurate and less refined if you don't have the ability to work with it. On the positive side, the added software from LG is not as annoying as what other PC makers give you and can be easily removed.
But back to the benefits of the screen. Even if you only watch YouTube in a normal Chrome window – forget the full screen mode – the video looks huge. You can shrink Chrome to fill only half the screen and you can still fit an entire iPhone XS Max (or another large device of your choice) into the resulting YouTube video player.
I feel really spoiled when using this laptop for media consumption – well, for video anyway. The speakers of the Gram 17 are a miserable disappointment. They sound lifeless, have no bass and have the worst possible placement at the bottom of the laptop. It's a real shame because you can comfortably rest the Gram 17 on your lap for hours of watching TV or a movie, but the sound doesn't quite match what you see.
The keyboard of the Gram 17 has a number block on the far right, which I appreciate, but the main keys are not in the middle and are pushed to the left as a result. As someone who is not used to this, there was certainly a learning curve to type comfortably and quickly. The trackpad deserves the blame, because despite the layout of the keyboard it is still in the middle of the chassis. If it was a bit more to the left, I don't think I'm dealing with nearly as many typos. Alignment criticism aside, both the keyboard and trackpad (which uses Microsoft & # 39; s Windows Precision drivers) work wonderfully.
The battery life is sufficient for the screen size. The 72Wh capacity must be supplied with power for a whole working day. For me, it hovered between six to eight hours, depending on how hard you push it and how conservative you are on Windows & # 39; performance / battery slider. But you stagger almost empty if at some point you don't plug in the power cord.
The Gram 17 is completely unique on the laptop market, but that also means that it is for a very specific person. A giant screen – even if it cannot be used for super-intensive PC tasks – in this incredibly light package, the price of $ 1,700 will be justified for some. If you can get smaller, you won't have a shortage of more powerful (and less flexible) laptops from Microsoft, HP, Dell, Asus and others to choose from. But the 17-inch Gram is the kind of computer that's hard to forget after you've used it for a while. If your brain doesn't remind you of what could have been, your back will do it.
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