Think ‘ultraportable laptop computer’ and what springs to thoughts? Probably one thing skinny and lightweight, with a compact format and equally tiny display screen. That’s actually the development – however not the rule.
The LG Gram 17 does issues slightly otherwise. Here’s a machine that weighs about as a lot as a MacBook Air, however comes with an enormous 17in show. So whereas it takes up a bit extra room inside your bag, you will not have to squint when it is time to really get some work performed.
It’s a fairly distinctive strategy – however possibly there is a purpose so few different laptop computer makers have tried it. Time to search out out if the Gram is greater than a one trick pony.
DESIGN & FEATURES: SLIMMER THAN YOUR AVERAGE
Go purchasing for a 17in laptop computer and you will find most of them wish to substitute your desktop PC, or try to be a go-anywhere video games machine. Not the Gram 17: it weighs little over 1.3kg and is barely 2cm at its thickest level.
LG reckons it is bodily on par with most 15.6in laptops, which could have been true a 12 months or two in the past, however now rivals have slimmed out their display screen bezels, it nonetheless appears like a sizeable machine – nonetheless simple it could be to hold round.
The complete factor is comprised of a light-weight steel alloy, nevertheless it would not really feel as premium because the MacBook Air or a Dell XPS. It’s hardly ever cool to the contact, and could possibly be mistaken for plastic. Hardly a plus level in a £1300 machine. At least the styling is on level, with minimal branding – the one LG emblem sits beneath the show, with “gram” embossed into the lid.
LG hasn’t been stingy on connectivity, discovering room for 3 USB3 ports and a single USB-C, full-size HDMI, a 3.5mm audio out and a microSD card reader. That final inclusion appears like a misstep in a laptop computer this huge, as you’d suppose there’s certainly sufficient room for a full-size SD card reader.
DISPLAY & SOUND: EASY ON THE EYE
Given it is the star of the present, it will not come as a shock that the Gram 17’s display screen is a little bit of a stunner.
An IPS LCD panel with a 2560×1600 decision, it is about as sharp and detailed as you could possibly hope for with out stepping as much as a 4K panel – which might be lots costlier and have a big effect on battery life. The 16:10 side ratio additionally matches extra onscreen than your typical 17.3in gaming laptop computer, which are likely to go for 16:9.
There’s no HDR help, however the panel nonetheless will get lots vibrant sufficient for out of doors working – though the shiny end could make reflections a little bit of a ache. On the plus aspect, viewing angles are glorious.
Colour accuracy is excellent for a non-professional show, with photographs showing vibrant and distinction very excessive given it makes use of IPS tech. You’d should pay much more to search out something of this dimension with a greater display screen, and that is largely as a result of they’re all excessive refresh fee gaming laptops.
Sound high quality is not practically as spectacular. The downward-firing audio system may get loud sufficient, however they’re muffled and lack element, or any semblance of bass.
KEYBOARD & TOUCHPAD: NOT SO TAP HAPPY
Typing on the Gram is hardly a chore, nevertheless it takes some getting used to. It has a US keyboard format, with small enter and backspace keys, and whereas it is good to get a numerical keypad, none of its keys are full-size.
It’s not as if LG has needed to squeeze the keyboard in between a set of audio system like Apple’s MacBook Pro 16in, so there’s not likely an excuse for issues feeling cramped right here.
The keys themselves have a agency keypress and a good quantity of journey, so as soon as you’ve got tailored to the format you could be typing at full velocity very quickly. The whole keyboard is backlit, and the ability button doubles as a fingerprint reader to shortly skip the Windows login display screen.
Windows laptops hardly ever have killer touchpads, however the Gram 17’s is about pretty much as good as they get. It’s big, pinpoint correct and ultra-smooth for pain-free scrolling. It by no means picks up your palms whilst you’re typing, and though it may be stiff once you bodily click on, tap-clicks are at all times on level.
PERFORMANCE: ULTRAPORTABLE, NOT ULTRA POWERFUL
With an Eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, the Gram 17 is now slightly behind the curve when it comes to silicon – nevertheless it’s nonetheless completely potent for an ultraportable.
The i7-8565U ticks alongside at 1.8GHz, however can turbo increase all the way in which as much as 4.6GHz when temperatures enable. Paired with 16GB of RAM, it has no hassle multitasking between an online browser stuffed with tabs, a number of work paperwork and the like.
Push tougher with picture and video enhancing software program, although, and you may shortly uncover the Gram 17’s limits. The low-voltage CPU is not designed for heavy workloads, with thermal throttling kicking in because the laptop computer heats up. Rival laptops have far beefier processors which are higher suited to those sorts of job, and quicker storage, too. It might need a 512GB SSD, nevertheless it’s a SATA3 disk moderately than fast PCIe.
There are only some bits of built-in LG software program, and none are notably helpful, so it is easy sufficient to strip the Gram 17 again to the naked Windows necessities earlier than you get going.
With no devoted graphics card, that is hardly a gaming machine. The Intel UHD 620 built-in GPU can deal with fundamental titles like Minecraft, however attempt something extra demanding and you’ll count on slideshow-like body charges until you dial each setting again and reduce down on the decision as nicely.
BATTERY LIFE: ALL DAY (AND SOME OF THE NIGHT)
Don’t go pondering an enormous display screen means compromising on battery life. The Gram 17 is among the longest-lasting laptops round at this dimension, so you will haven’t any hassle lasting a whole work day away from the mains.
Its sizeable 72wH battery delivered virtually twelve hours of looping video with the show set to half brightness, and when you persist with easy duties like net shopping and writing emails, it isn’t unattainable to stretch that slightly additional.
This is mainly on par with the 13in ultraportable machines LG is attempting to compete with, so there’s little draw back to going for a much bigger display screen if battery life is your greatest concern.
The charging adaptor is not the large brick you usually get with 17in machines, so it will slip into your bag with none hassle, and you may also high up utilizing the USB-C port when you’ve got a suitable plug.
LG GRAM 17 VERDICT
Ignore the display screen for a minute and the Gram 17 seems like a reasonably generic ultraportable. Great battery life, positive, however merely common efficiency. It’s solely once you store round that you just see simply how distinctive it truly is.
Most rivals at this value make do with 13in shows, so that you’re getting considerably extra display screen actual property on your cash, which matches a protracted method to make up for its common keyboard, sub-par audio system and composite construct which does not precisely really feel premium.
The huge difficulty is whether or not there’s actually an viewers for one thing like this. Most individuals needing an enormous display screen need to edit movies on the transfer, and the Gram 17 simply would not have the ability for that.
As lengthy as you settle for there’s little to be gained right here over a similarly-priced 13in ultraportable apart from display screen house, then possibly the Gram is price your time.