LG Gram 17 Ultrabook – is it any good?

The LG Gram 17 released in 2019 is a beautiful piece of hardware and is one of the lightest laptops with a 17-inch screen, as well as one of the best Ultrabooks you can get in the market with long-lasting battery life. But its low-class design material and minimal performance hinder it from being in the elite class of Ultrabooks.

The Gram 17 laptop is almost the same as its predecessor, the 15.6-inch Gram 15, with the Gram 17 having a larger display and a new Core i7 processor.  Although LG has released an updated 15 version with the same eighth-gen Core i7 processor on the 17, making both almost on par.

In this review, we’ll be discussing the latest LG Gram 17, taking a deep look at its design, display, software, performance, its battery and let you know if the Gram 17 is worth its price and if it’s the right Ultrabook for you.

Design

The first thing you’ll notice when handling the Gram 17 is its ultralight weight which is about 2.9 pounds and its thin and sleek frame. The design does have its letdowns also, with its carbon and magnesium chassis while sturdier than plastic, feels cheap when touched, especially around the lid side, coupled with a dull gray color scheme screams low-quality design materials.

Also, it’s magnesium chassis works well in spreading the Gram’s weight evenly across a greater area of its body. But despite being created from metal and built to pass the industry-standard tests to prove its military-grade durability, the Gram 17 nano carbon magnesium body isn’t quite as tough as LG claims.

Display

The LG Gram 17 Ultrabook comes with a unique WQXGA screen, with a gorgeous display of 2,560 by 1,600 pixel resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The colors on the Gram 17 screen are brilliant, the text is sharp, and it can reach maximum brightness levels higher than notebooks in its category.

This screen display is made with in-plane switching (IPS) technology to make it viewable from extreme viewing angles, although the resolution is not quite 4k like other Ultrabooks, the display is crisp and of high quality.

Keyboard and Track Pad

One of the LG Gram 17’s biggest weak point is its keyboard design layout. Although it is not extremely poor, it lacks the convenience of use like other premium Ultrabooks, as the keys are quite rigid and require pressure to press them.

Also, another issue here is LG’s insistence on including a numerical pad without stretching the keyboard closer to the edges of the frame resulting in a very small space bar and backspace keys.

The trackpad with its smooth and wide touch surface compensates for the poor keyboard layout. It is quite clicky, although it can be stiff at times and comes pre-bundled with Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad drivers with features like palm rejection to deter your palm from dragging the mouse as you type.

Performance and Specifications

The Gram 17 sports a newer eighth-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM,  512GB SSD storage, and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. These specs might look appealing on paper, but in real-time use, the Gram 17 is only capable of handling average home, office and school tasks like word editing, web browsing, and email.

The Gram 17 is not quite capable of handling intensive graphical work and demanding games as it is not a gaming laptop. In 3d Mark’s Sky Diver Graphics benchmark, the Gram 17 lags well behind laptops with discrete graphics cards such as Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 Black Edition and the new Dell XPS 13.

Specs

Display17-inch 2,560 by 1,600 IPS display
CPU  1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
Memory16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz
Storage512 GB SSD (Solid State Drive)
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0  
SoftwareWindows 10

Software and Features

The laptop comes preinstalled with Microsoft Windows 10 and some minor LG bloatware such as a “Reader Mode” feature that turns the screen reddish, to aid reading, which is more like the Microsoft’s Night mode feature.

On the laptop’s left side are; a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, charging port and the classic HDMI port. The right side includes a headphone jack,  two additional USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a MicroSD card slot.

A fingerprint reader is placed right on top of the power button on the top-right corner of the keyboard for fast unlocking of the laptop.

Battery Life

A massive 72Wh battery powers the LG Gram 17, giving it a swell of a stellar runtime. In daily use, the Gram 17 clocked on average of 12 hours and lasted about 9 hours if mostly used on watching movies. Unlike most 17-inch, Core-i7 laptops, which are built for high performance and lack good battery life.

The LG Gram 17 does a good job of maintaining good battery life.

ProsCons
Astonishingly light for a 17-inch UltrabookBoring, cheap and plain-looking design
Stunning visual display which can be viewed at extreme anglesAbsence of touchscreen
Excellent battery lifeKeyboard feels cramped
Numerous ports and a MicroSD card slotA little bit pricey

Comparison to the Competition

The LG Gram 17  main rival is the Huawei MateBook X Pro offering quite different upgrades from the Gram 17. If you want to get more for your money, and spend less on an Ultrabook with a better graphics card, faster SSD and 4k resolution display, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is your choice, coming at a starting price of $1,500 to the Gram 17 $1,700 price. But if you prefer a thin laptop, with minimum performance and long-lasting battery life in an even lighter design, the LG Gram is worth considering.

Verdict

The LG’s Gram 17, a surprisingly light for a 17-inch laptop packs moderate specs coupled with a vibrant display and an excellent battery life. But its exorbitant price tag, plain design, and the poor keyboard design keep it from the top tier of best Ultrabooks in the market right now.