I’ve always been biased towards laptops with bigger screens, so it was no surprise I got to try and test the LG Gram 17. It’s not that I have something against smaller screens, but why squint more than you already do at your smartphone?
Getting back on track, the first impression from holding and turning the LG Gram around in my hand was well, impressive. It’s a big boy, but it weighs only a little more than a kilo. Usually getting a bigger screen means, you want to use it for gaming or as a content creator, but this gives everybody else a chance to use it as well.
The Gram has a short list of ‘Unique Selling Points’, the main ones being its lightness, its screen and battery life. The previous generation of this model was touted as the best 17-inch laptop for non-gamers and this generation improves on that quite a bit more.
Design and Build
As I said earlier, the lightness of this really gets you. Even though its got such prime screen estate, it still feels no heavier than a glass of water. As light as it is, it makes up for its deceptive build in sturdiness as well. It comes with a full metal body that is reasonably resistant to drops, dust and other common enemies of a laptop in this generation.
Ports wise, it comes with 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports for charging and what not, an HDMI port and an audio jack on one side. On the other side, you get 2 USB 3.2 ports and a microSD slot expanding storage options. And in case you wanted to expand on what’s already a large screen the HDMI offers you the capability to do so. Sadly there isn’t an ethernet port but the laptop comes with WiFi 6 support which should help maintain those speedy connections we all desire.
Coming to the main event – the screen measures 17-inches as advertised and comes in a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1600. This improved display means you get more productivity returns in terms of displayed content on web pages, social media and other programs. The LCD used as well gives us beautiful colour arrays and sharper displays than before.
The Grams keyboard is another highlight as well, giving us a full size keyboard with nice sturdy and punchy keys and enough room to get that good flow. The touchpad is a little less functional in the sense that many users will miss the dedicated left and right buttons if not using an external mouse. Its still there, just not as prominent. The LG Gram 17 also features a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button adding an extra layer of security to those who need it.
The big upgrade over the 2020 model is the jump to the new 11th Generation Intel Core processor. Whether I was browsing the web, watching cat videos or even basic coding or entry level Photoshop, the LG Gram 17 blew through these tasks with ease.
Also included are Intel’s Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM and a hefty 1TB SSD. These really help boost the laptops speeds generously. Despite full day use, the LG Gram would still run at a mere whisper with slight rises in humming during certain times of use. This quietness is thanks to the new ‘LG Up-Down Air’ which is a type of thermal solution to help cool down the laptop. It allows the device to cool two times faster with thermal circulation than conventional products by discharging heat in two directions.
The last main USP I mentioned, was this delights battery life. It easily registered more than 12 hours during the review and this was because of its 80 Wh lithium-ion battery. LG claims that we can get up to 19 and a half hours but with screen brightness set at 50% I just about touched 13 hours with regular use.
Is the LG Gram 17 for you?
The market for ultra light and ultra thin laptops is all the rage right now so you’re bound to be spoilt for choice. However, the LG Gram 17 is definitely one of the top contenders for your spot in its price of Dh6,999 (price may vary depending on the retailer). It also vies for your attention with its screen size, build quality and impressive battery life.
This is not for everybody though. It has no touchscreen, its not a Mac or a Chromebook and its definitely not for hardcore gaming. While it can handle casual gaming, that’s about the limit. But beyond these nitpicky conditions, this ultrabook is leading the charge in its peer group and is definitely one other brands will want to watch out for if they want to stay in the same game.