Hands-on with LG's absurdly light 17-inch gram laptop with a 16:10 display
The LG gram 17 is a 3lb 17-inch Ultrabook that checks all the right boxes
LG gets credit for finding a niche in the hyper-competitive Windows laptop world by going for crazy light "gram" designs. The new LG gram 17 is the latest to join the rest of the lineup that is getting bigger this year.
This LG gram fits a 17-inch productivity-based laptop into the body of a 15-inch one thanks to micro bezels – a common theme at CES this year. But numerous other features make the gram 17 one of my favorite laptops so far in 2019.
The LG gram 17 weighs just 2.95 pounds (1.3kg) - it's hard to describe how light it feels to hold, but even knowing the weight and what to expect it surprises you. There's no other 17-inch laptop in the world that hits those numbers, which would be good even for a 14-inch laptop in 2019.
But it's all the small things that LG seems to get right with the LG gram 17 that has me excited. For instance, it has a 16:10 aspect ratio bucking the 16:9 tradition. While it's not as tall as 3:2 – used by Microsoft and Huawei – it's still miles better than widescreen in this form factor.
Display resolution is ideal too. While 4K is nice, most people should be OK with the 2560 x 1600 "2K" screen found in the LG gram 17. Being an LG-supplied panel, it reaches a reported 96 percent sRGB color rating. Granted, it's non-touch, but the matte, color-accurate panel should be great for content creators looking for even more room for work.
The rest of the specifications are run of the mill: Intel "Whiskey Lake" Core i7-8565U, 16GB DDR4 dual-channel RAM, Thunderbolt 3, micro SD reader, fingerprint reader, etc. But the LG gram 17 differs from other laptops by having two slots for PCIe NVMe SSDs opening lots of possibilities for those who want more or even faster storage.
There's also a massive 72 WHr battery – which is not as big as what Dell uses in the XPS 15, but when you factor in the weight difference that's a remarkable feat.
I'll be getting my hands on the LG gram 17 for a proper review in the coming weeks, but I'm already sold on the concept. For too long we've seen PC makers ignore the 17-inch range and focus on making everything else more compact. It's about time 17-inch laptops make a comeback, and the idea of one weighing less than most 14-inch laptops is super intriguing.
The LG gram 17 starts at $1,700 and will be sold through LG, Amazon, and Best Buy beginning in early 2019.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.