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LG Gram 17 Review: Probably The Ultimate 17″ Ultrabook

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

The LG Gram 17 is quite possibly the lightest 17-inch laptop ever. To be honest, there are so many great things about this laptop, but let’s talk about its most major selling point first: its weight.

Despite being a 17-inch laptop, it weighs only 1.35kg – lightweight enough for you to feel the lack of weight when you first pick it up. You wouldn’t expect a laptop of its size to be this light. LG achieved this due to the extensive use of magnesium alloy for pretty much the entire laptop’s construction. The alloy not only helps with weight, but it also makes the laptop look and feel professional to the touch, topped off with a very minimalistic Gram logo design on the lid. The laptop also received MIL-STD-810G certification, which is honestly quite the feat for something as thin and light as the LG Gram 17.

In terms of performance, the laptop comes with the latest 11th-Gen Intel core processors, and the SKU could vary depending on where you’re from. However, we’d say that there would mainly be two different options: either the laptop comes with the Intel Core i5-1135G7 or the Intel Core i7-1165G7. The model we reviewed sports the latter, with 16GB of RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD storage and a price tag of S$2,699 or US$1,799.99.

Like most of the other laptops we’ve tested running with the same CPU, the LG Gram 17 comes configured in the 15W TDP variant. Do note, however, that the laptop only runs in 15W if you go into the LG Control Panel and set the cooling mode into performance. If on the default optimal setting, the CPU will cap at around 8W or 9W instead. For all of our tests, we ran the laptop on performance mode.

In Cinebench R20, you can expect roughly 1300 on the multi-core score and about 420 for the single-core. If you’re into editing videos in DaVinci Resolve, a 10-minute 1080p video will render in 30 mins. As for gaming, you can run CSGO at around 80 fps and Genshin Impact at approximately 35 fps – quite playable frame rates at 1080p medium settings.

But this laptop isn’t without its flaws.

On performance mode, a bit of gaming or rendering will set the CPU’s temperature to around 90-degrees Celsius all the time – not ideal for a laptop, but not unexpected since you barely hear the laptop’s fan at all. Despite LG’s control profile saying that there is an increase in fan noise, there really isn’t any at all. The fan profile on this laptop is really conservative, thus the high temperatures. Switching to optimal does bring the temperature down quite a bit, hovering at the mid-70-degrees during load. However, using the optimal settings does limit the CPU’s power draw, as mentioned earlier.

If we’re to look at the laptop itself and its intended use case, it would be actually fine; in fact, the LG Gram 17 excels in it because, in optimal settings, the laptop will do great for your everyday computing tasks from media consumption to web browsing.

If you’re going to ask us what word we’d use to describe the LG Gram 17’s display, then that word will be: great. The laptop has a 17-inch IPS display, a 16:10 aspect ratio, a resolution of 2560×1600, 99% DCI-P3 coverage and has a maximum brightness of around 350 nits. Be it YouTube videos, editing photos and videos or even gaming, the colours really pop. Furthermore, the resolution makes great use of the 17-inch display while taking Windows Scaling into account.

Using the laptop was a really enjoyable time for us because what we saw on its display just looks great. However, we do have to mention that the display is glossy and it doesn’t support touch, which is a bit of a shame.

We also have to mention that the overall video consumption and movie-watching experience on this laptop is a little lacking, and that has something to do with the laptop’s stereo speakers’ placement. Unlike most other laptops, which have speakers on their sides, the LG Gram 17 has its speakers placed on the bottom panel. The audio coming from the speakers still gets pretty loud, but it also gets a bit muffled. We’re no experts, but we’re pretty sure speakers could fit on the deck, especially for a 17-inch form factor.

The laptop’s webcam delivers a satisfactory video output, just like other laptops out there. The same can also be said about the laptop’s microphones, so if you need a webcam with a properly functioning microphone, then the LG Gram 17 has got you covered. It’s there, it works, and it is in the right position.

Honestly, the keyboard and trackpad are both pretty great to use. The power button even includes a fingerprint reader, and LG was nice enough to include a numpad. However, while we don’t prefer laptop keyboards with a numpad, there are still people out there who do need one.

Ports-wise, the LG Gram 17 has us covered. It has an HDMI 2.0 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm combo jack, two standard USB 3.2 Gen-2 ports and a microSD card reader. That’s plenty to go around and a refreshing sight to see, considering that you don’t see laptops with this many ports in this day and age.

Finally, let’s talk about arguably the best attribute of LG’s gram series – battery life. LG does claim up to 19 hours of usage, but don’t expect the laptop’s battery to go near that. The LG Gram 17’s battery life is more around 11 to 13 hours of actual real-world use. Even so, while it’s about 7 hours of a difference between the real-world battery usage and LG’s claim, 11 to 13 hours is still plenty great – far better than the competition.

To summarise, the LG Gram 17 is basically just a great laptop that can handle pretty much your everyday computing needs. However, there is one major thing to take into consideration if you’re looking to get this laptop.

Yes, a 17-inch display might be something that you really want, and this is arguably one of (if not) the lightest 17-inch laptop out there. But, it is still a 17-inch laptop. So, if you’re looking to get this laptop, then make sure you have a bag that can fit it or carry it in a sleeve, which is very doable given the laptop’s weight.


Content by Soon Kai Hong

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