The trend of ‘smaller, thinner, faster’ continues as LG brings us the Gram 17 fresh off the stand at CES 2019. This laptop is so light it’s almost hard to get your head around, but it doesn’t sacrifice power, speed or build quality for that lack of weight either.
LG are striking a noticeable difference from competitors in the 17-inch display space with the Gram 17. Most of the devices you’ll find with 17-inch displays are focusing on the power rather than portability which is understandable considering the sheer size amount of space a 17-inch laptop takes up.
However, there will certainly be people who will appreciate a laptop this portable, sturdy and slick with a screen of this size and quality too.
Price and availability
The Core-i7 version of the Gram 17 will retail for $1,699, with the i5 and i3 versions being a few steps down from there. UK pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but expect it to be in the same region.
We’re not sure when exactly the Gram 17 will be available, but it’s going to be reasonably soon judging from pricing information and the sample we saw at CES.
Design and build
The Gram 17 is light. Very light.
Weighing in at 2.95 lbs (1.34kg) this is the lightest 17-inch laptop currently on the market. The award we gave to this laptop actually weighed more than the laptop itself, so if weight really is a sticking issue for you when purchasing your next 17in notebook then you’ll have to look no further.
The design is business as usual for the most part. It’s very slick and modern looking, with a nicely sized keyboard and track pad thanks to the size of the screen. The whole thing is nicely engineered and pleasing to look at and use, but they’re not really breaking any records when it comes to innovative aesthetic design – but to be fair, they’re not really trying to.
The build quality is excellent here, which is reinforced by the Military Standard 810G durability testing that the laptop has passed – which is a nice indication of confidence that this thing can stand a few knocks and drops.
They keyboard is pleasant to type on although nothing particularly outstanding, most laptop keyboards don’t have enough treat or weight for my personal taste – but I am one of those mechanical keyboard fans. The track pad is large and responsive, allowing you to zip around the sizeable display with ease.
Speaking of the display, what a display it is. The 2560 x 1600 LCD is a joy to look at with the colours popping pleasantly, although the darker tones could be a little richer for my taste.
Specs and features
The Gram 17 will come with your choice of 8th generation Core-i3, i5 or i7. We usually wouldn’t recommend anything lower than an i5 unless you’re really going to be doing nothing other than word processing and watching films.
Due to the size, you won’t be getting a discrete graphics card here, but integrated HD 620 graphics on the processor. This isn’t shooting to be a gaming laptop, so do keep that in mind.
The version we looked at had 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD – which is going to be enough for most people who use this thing on the go.
The battery life is suggested to be 19.5 hours which is an impressive claim, and one that should be taken with a pinch of salt until you can find someone who has actually tested it. The battery is a 72Whr however, which LG could fit into the device thanks to the larger frame, so the battery life should certainly be decent.
What we really do like here is the solid array of ports. No one likes dongles and adapters, so you’ll be pleased to see 3x USB-A, 2x USB-C, an HDMI port, a microSD reader and a headphone jack here.
The Gram 17 is an impressive bit of kit, but it is serving more of a niche audience than it perhaps appears.
A laptop with a display any bigger than 15 is perhaps approaching a point where it struggles to be called ‘portable’ due to its raw size. However, if that isn’t something that bothers you, the 17-inch display is fantastic for both working and watching your favourite films or series on.
Everything else aside the Gram is a beautiful, extremely light choice of laptop that manages to pack a lot of power and utility into an incredibly slim, slick package.