LG Gram 17 (2021) : Lightweight and primed for productivity
PCWorld|December 2021
Big screen, light weight.
DOMINIC BAYLEY

The LG Gram 17’s purpose is obvious: to deliver lightweight productivity chops in a 17-inch laptop that’s lighter than some 13-inch laptops. It performs that task exceptionally well. LG’s notebook also has a stunning display, and while it won’t break any performance records, its 11th-generation Tiger Lake CPU runs multiple applications and office-bound tasks with ease.

The LG Gram 17 also offers Thunderbolt 4 functionality and a better than all-day battery life, further adding to its versatility as a portable productivity workhorse. Combined, these features make it a standout in the category.

SPECIFICATIONS

The LG Gram 17 comes with a 1TB SSD and an Intel Core i7 CPU for $1,650 in black, or in silver for $1,775. But if you want to scale down you can find 14-, 15-, and 16-inch versions as well, though those are named for their respective display sizes instead. Here are the specifications for our review unit (model 17Z90P):

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7

RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X/4266MHz

GPU: Intel Iris Xe (Shared)

Display: 17-inch IPS-grade WQXGA (2560×1600), 16:10 ratio

Storage: 1TB (M.2 2280) NVMe SSD

Right side ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (power delivery/display), UFS/MicroSD card slot

Left side ports: 2x USB-A (3.2 Gen 2), HDMI 2.0 (up to 60Hz), 3.5mm headphone jack

Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6AX201 (2.4Gbps),Bluetooth 5.1

Dimensions: 14.97x10.24x0.7 inches (380.2x260.1x17.8mm)

Weight: 2.98 lbs (1.35kg); 3.5 lbs (1.5kg) with AC adapter

Battery type: 80Whr battery

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

DESIGN AND BUILD

The LG Gram 17 sports a nanocarbon and magnesium chassis with silver Gram logos on the top cover and lower bezel. At 14.7x10.25 inches, its chassis is more compact than that of 17-inch laptops like the Dell Inspiron 17 (16.3x11 inches) and Gigabyte Aero 17 (15.6x10.6 inches), but it’s still a pretty sizable presence on your desk. Despite this, it weighs just 2.98 pounds, which is quite remarkable. In comparison, the Gigabyte Aero 17 weighs 5.5 pounds.

As a result, the LG Gram 17 is an exceptional option for work and study where frequent travel is required. Its presence was barely noticeable in my satchel. Carrying it, I couldn’t help but think it’s the kind of device you’d like to be hauling if you want to avoid repetitive strain injuries and postural problems.

A downside to being so light, though, is that the Gram 17 does occasionally break a cardinal rule for laptops: Thou shalt not flex. The top did slightly cave in when I applied some pressure, and the screen wobbled for a second each time I flipped it open. Did these things affect my experience? Not at all, since there are more sweeteners to compensate.

For example, there’s a neat hidden hinge that tucks underneath the lower bezel, allowing the display to sit higher up so you get a better view of it. Its fans are remarkably quiet. The Gram also has U.S. military grade MIL-STD 810G durability certification, reassuring me that while it might move somewhat, it’s not going to break easily.

KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD

In our review of the 2019 version of the LG Gram 17 (fave.co/3wSC2Ma), one criticism was its keyboard. A full-size number pad meant that some keys were reduced in size, affecting typing accuracy. Thankfully, this problem has been fixed in the 2021 Gram 17.

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