#stickyunit { position:fixed; } -->

Sunday, April 4, 2021

LG's newest LG Gram 17 makes competition tough for other laptops

The Gram 17 has a grandiose 17-inch display, yet it’s only three pounds, which is light enough for me to carry around one-handed. Its keyboard is a joy to type on with a surprising amount of tactility and travel in the keys, and the battery life outlasts a whole day of work, even much of a second one, too. It’s a quiet laptop, and even under pressure, its fans weren’t loud enough for me to hear once.

LG Gram 17

The Gram communicates its biggest selling points — lightness and longevity — so effectively that it outshines some persisting minor problems. Those include a keyboard layout that can be difficult to adjust to. For instance, the num lock is too easy to press accidentally, being right next to backspace, and the only function key is located too far away from the most essential function row buttons, making it a stretch to adjust the volume one-handed. Lastly, the large trackpad isn’t always good at palm rejection. These are important things for any laptop to get right, let alone one that has a bunch of extra real estate that should be used to avoid flaws like these.

This new model for 2021 is mostly a spec update, not a design overhaul compared to the 2020 version. But it’s a good update, at that. Inside of LG’s sole $1,799 Gram 17 configuration (it’s been available for $1,699 since late March), there’s now an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 quad-core processor that promises — and actually delivers — better performance and longer battery life than the 2020 model my colleague Monica Chin reviewed. Additionally, this model’s faster 4,266MHz LPDDR4X RAM, of which it has 16GB, likely plays a role in that speed boost. It’s not a drastically different computer to use than before, but it can hold its own more reliably this time around.

Last year’s model took 30 minutes to do this, but this one gets it done in around 11 minutes. That doesn’t hold a candle to laptops that put more of an emphasis on power usually at the expense of heft, but it’s enough of an improvement to make the Gram 17’s price a little easier to justify. Razer’s Book 13 with the same processor fared just about a minute faster with this test, but the Gram is on par with the latest Dell XPS 13 and Asus ZenBook 14

The battery is also mystifyingly good — and better than before. With that same batch of apps I mentioned earlier, the Gram 17 lasted an entire workday and well into the next, around 12 or so hours later. If you’re looking for a laptop that can go a full day of work without its charger, whether you have video calls or not, this is one for your shortlist. It features the same 80Wh battery as last year’s model, which is still impressive considering the Gram 17’s lightweight profile.

Also similar to the 2020 version is its USB-C charging. LG now includes a 65W USB-C power adapter instead of the 48W charger that shipped with the previous model. It can more quickly recharge with the included brick (which is no bigger than a compact power bank), but it still takes a few hours to refill it completely.

That sums up the biggest changes to this year’s Gram 17. There are a few smaller tweaks I liked, too. The arrangement of ports has been shifted around in a more logical layout. On the left side, there’s a Thunderbolt 4 port (it can be used for charging, data, or connecting to a display), one USB-C 4.0 Gen 3 port, a headphone combo jack, and an HDMI port. Over on the right is where you’ll find two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports next to a microSD card slot and a Kensington lock.

If you’re shopping around for 17-inch laptops, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything lighter than the Gram. It’s 2.98 pounds, which is just a little heavier than the 13-inch MacBook Air. The Dell XPS 17 is one of LG’s main competitors in this space, yet its baseline model weighs over a pound and a half more. If you get an XPS 17 model like the one we reviewed in July 2020, it’ll weigh almost as much as two Gram 17s at 5.53 pounds. That added weight does bring more power and a dedicated GPU in the Dell, but if you just want a big, portable screen for productivity, the Gram is more than capable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

French lawmakers vote to ban a few domestic airlines to reduce carbon emissions

French lawmakers have voted to ban domestic flights on routes that could be taken in a train ride in less than two-and-a-half hours,   Reute...

Click here to revoke your choice.