Review: LG Gram 17

The World’s Lightest 17-Inch Laptop Is a Wonderful Contradiction


May 23, 2019 Reviews By Photo by Chandler Bondurant
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The LG Gram 17 ($1,700) is caught between worlds. With a 17-inch screen, it has an enormous footprint, but at the same time it’s uncannily thin and weighs less than three pounds. That lightweight design lends itself to portability, but the 17-inch frame, no matter how light, is far from convenient to travel with. Similarly, the LG Gram 17 is packed with premium guts — a beautiful display, Intel’s latest Whiskey Lake processor, 16GB of RAM, a full compliment of various ports — but it’s missing a dedicated GPU, making it all but useless for high-end gaming, which is one of the few good excuses for splurging on a screen so large. So, who exactly is this thing for?

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The Good: The Gram 17 has a lot going for it on paper and on your desk. It’s huge, bright, colorful display has lots of real-estate for spreadsheets at the office, or Netflix on the road. It has a tremendous battery life, up to 15 hours between charges depending on how hard you’re pushing it. It’s 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor has a good amount of horsepower, not that you’ll need a whole ton of it in day-to-day life. Its good variety of ports means you can live life dongle-free, which makes up for some of its bulk if you’re going to take it on a trip. And if you’re looking to game, and external GPU is always an option.

Who It’s For: Anybody looking for ultrabook laptop with a huge screen, great battery life and a lightweight design. Travelers who are more concerned about weight than volume. Folks who wish they could throw two full screens in a suitcase. But the lack of a GPU means it’s probably not a good pick for gamers or video editors who might be enticed by the rest of the package.

Watch Out For: The Gram 17 is exceptionally lightweight, but its metal alloy body (technically it’s a nanocarbon and magnesium mix) feels a little like plastic. That said, it’s pretty durable; LG says its military tested and it’s not going to dent through everyday use or anything. The 17-inch design, which could almost fit into the footprint of some 15-inch laptops thanks to its thin bezels, might not fit into a lot of backpack sleeves. There’s no dedicated GPU and the stock graphics (Intel UHD 620) aren’t great. The speakers aren’t the best either.

Alternatives: There are other lightweight ultrabooks. Many of them by LG. The LG Gram 13 and Gram 15, for example, share a similar featherlight design just with 13-inch and 15-inch displays, respectively. If you’re looking for a 17-inch laptop with a beautiful display, the HP Envy 17 is a pretty safe bet. The Alienware Area-51m is one of the best 17-inch gaming laptops you can buy.

Verdict: The LG Gram 17 has shock value. It’s so darn light yet so darn big that it’s a little distracting. Yes, it’s the lightest 17-inch laptop that you can buy, with a beautiful display and a battery that can keep up with it, but how much is that worth to you? Yes, the lack of a dedicated GPU will scare serious gamers away, but it could make a good travel companion so long as you have a bag with a 17-inch laptop sleeve.

What Others Are Saying:

• “LG’s first couple of Gram laptops impressed with their lightweight designs, but they fell short in other areas, whether it was battery life, performance or build quality. The Gram 17 is a big step forward for the brand, offering a bright and colorful 17-inch display in a design so light you’ll do a double take. ” — Mark Spoonauer, Laptop Mag

• “There’s nothing quite like the LG gram 17. LG took its 13-inch gram and blew it up to a 17-inch laptop, but at less than three pounds, this giant is as light as a feather. The incredible battery life, excellent ports, and standard Core i7 processor make it perfect for productivity, but not great for heavy-lifting due to the lack of a discrete GPU.” — Daniel Rubino, Windows Central

• “If you love the idea of a 17-inch screen, the LG Gram 17 might be a good choice. For most, though, $1,700 is too much to pay for a 17-inch laptop without a dedicated GPU, fast storage, and robust build quality.” — Arif Bacchus, Digital Trends

Key Specs
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7
Display: 17-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Ports: USB-A 3.0 (3x), USB-C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, microSD card reader, headphone jack
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 2.95 pounds
OS: Windows 10 Home

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LG provided this product for review.

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