For the previous couple of years LG has been quietly making first rate laptops and refining them with every mannequin. Final yr the gram sequence actually began to hit its stride and we’re much more impressed with the 2021 fashions together with the brand new gram 17.
Granted, there’s not as a lot competitors within the 17in laptop computer market however LG has even launched a 16in mannequin which my colleague Lewis discovered to be top-notch in his evaluate going so far as saying it might be the laptop computer he would purchase proper now.
There’s wasn’t actually a lot LG might make higher in regards to the 2020 gram 17 with my essential complaints being poor audio system and a wobbly trackpad. Nicely, these are definitely higher and there are upgrades elsewhere to issues just like the display, efficiency and battery life.
Design & Construct
The gram line hasn’t actually modified a lot through the years on the subject of feel and appear however this 2021 mannequin (the 17Z90P) has a brand new design.
Whereas, it’s nonetheless recognisable as a gram laptop computer, LG has form of smartened issues up as if it’s given the laptop computer a tailor-made swimsuit somewhat than one from off the rail from a division retailer.
I actually like this new matte Obsidian Black color (there’s additionally a Quartz Silver) and even the marginally extra sq. form of the general design. You gained’t see it a lot however even the again has a tweaked design with a form of butterfly form when closed.
The principle function right here remains to be merely how mild this laptop computer is. At simply 1.35kg, it’s lighter than quite a lot of 16- and even 15in laptops. For comparability, the most recent Dell XPS 17 is available in at a hefty 2.5kg which isn’t far off being double the load.
To attain this, you continue to get a fairly versatile chassis (nonetheless constructed from a magnesium-alloy) so the gram 17 isn’t the only option for those who want your laptop computer to take a number of knocks. It has handed the MIL-STD-810 navy grade sturdiness check but it surely nonetheless feels extra flimsy than rivals.
Bezels across the display stay small, however not as spectacular as some laptops you may get. Nonetheless, they aren’t very noticeable, and the HD webcam stays above the display which is much better than having it beneath or within the keyboard.
The ports have has a little bit of a reshuffle and principally for the nice. There are actually two USB-C ports (Thunderbolt Four as well – for as much as 8K shows and 40Gbps speeds) and LG is utilizing this for charging now as an alternative of a standard barrel charger. Nevertheless, they’re each on the left so it might be helpful to have one on all sides.
In any other case, there’s nonetheless an honest choice with full-size HDMI, two USB-A ports, a microSD card reader and headphone jack.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Issues haven’t modified a lot on this space with an nearly equivalent keyboard to the 2020 gram 17. The principle distinction this yr is that the keys are barely extra sq. to match the laptop computer body and the choice fuctions to keys usually are not in a special color.
That makes issues look cleaner and classier however does imply your eye can’t spot the icons as simply.
At this measurement, you get a full numpad to the aspect of the primary keyboard and a full row of operate buttons on the high. As soon as once more, the ability button has a fingerprint scanner embedded to make use of with Home windows Whats up and I’ve discovered it very dependable.
Essential keys are usually a great measurement with LG making them larger final yr. It’s actually simply the arrow keys which are just a little too small however that’s hardly unusual on laptops.
When you’re used to the place every part is the typing expertise is nice. There’s an honest quantity of journey – now 1.6mm somewhat than 1.5mm – however the motion remains to be just a little spongy and gentle so some customers might choose one thing stiffer and crisper just like the XPS 17.
The trackpad is far improved and is now not wobbly which was an enormous downside earlier than. Now it’s stable and responsive with a pleasant easy floor and has a satisfying click on. It additionally has good palm rejection which is required contemplating the barely bigger measurement and placement.
A pleasant aesthetic change is that its facet ratio matches the display.
Display screen & Audio system
It’s maybe the success of the gram 17 that has led LG to alter your entire vary to 16:10 as an alternative of some smaller fashions having 16:9.
It won’t sound like an enormous distinction however having a barely taller, squarer display creates extra room for paperwork, internet shopping and numerous different duties. And doesn’t dramatically make issues worse for streaming TV reveals or movies.
The display is identical IPS LCD panel right here with a WQXGA (2560 x 1600) decision and whereas it’s not contact delicate, the efficiency is superb certainly past crispness and viewing angles.
I measured numerous features with a SpyderX colorimeter and the gram 17 has a stable most brightness of 406 nit (marginally increased than its predecessor). It additionally affords glorious color copy with 100% of each sRBG and P3, then an spectacular 89% of the Adobe RBG color area.
This makes it appropriate for design work corresponding to picture and video enhancing.
Audio system are sometimes a weak space of laptops however the LG gram 17 has at all times had significantly weedy ones and final yr’s chassis vibrated for those who pushed the quantity excessive. Now there are 33% extra highly effective drivers at 2W every and LG affords a “Max 5W Good Amp for practical audio and sound results. Plus, DTS:X Extremely supplies extra immersive 3D Audio Rendering with or with out headphones.”
One thing has labored right here as they sound loads higher, particularly for music which has extra energy and readability than earlier than. It’s nonetheless nothing wonderful and I nonetheless needed to have the gram 17 at 100% for a Zoom name with associates however it’s definitely a step up.
Specs & Efficiency
At 16GB of RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage, the LG gram 17 matches final yr’s mannequin – on the top-end which I’ve examined right here. Though, the reminiscence is just a little sooner at 4266MHz.
Extra importantly, LG has fitted Intel’s newest 11th-gen Tiger Lake chips. The gram 17 comes with a Core i7-1165G7, a 2.8GHz chip providing Turbo as much as 4.7GHz together with a 12MB L3 Cache.
It’s one other nice mixture of specs that you just’ll typically pay much more for elsewhere. There’s no devoted graphics card right here however there’s Intel Iris Xe Graphics and the gram 17 for 2021 has the Intel Evo stamp of approval.
Gaining this badge means the laptop computer has to ship on numerous components corresponding to efficiency, battery life and connectivity. It’s primarily a contemporary model of the Ultrabook however you’ll be able to learn extra in our What’s Intel Evo? explainer.
Decrease down the pecking order, you’ll nonetheless get a Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, or again to the i7 with the 512GB storage however 16GB of RAM.
The LG gram 17 can’t sustain with the XPS 17 in benchmarks with it’s H-series 10th-gen chip and Nividia RTX 2060 graphics, or the MacBook Air’s M1 chip both however the XPS is a much bigger beast and much more costly. The Apple is a special sort of laptop computer I’m together with for efficiency context.
Again within the Home windows market and LG performs extraordinarily properly and I’ve discovered that to be the case within the real-world, too. The gram 17 is a superb workhorse for a spread of workplace duties and it is possible for you to to make use of it for a little bit of gaming for those who’re not taking part in something overly demanding.
Different specs embody Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6 and I discovered the laptop computer very quiet and funky in testing and through benchmarks.
Learn the way we check laptops.
That is an space the place LG has been sturdy within the previous however issues are even higher with the gram 17 for 2021. The battery remains to be 80Wh however the improve to extra environment friendly 11th-gen Intel chips supplies an honest increase in battery.
In our battery check – looping an HD video at 120 nits – the LG gram 17 (2021) lasted a whopping 20 hours and 38 minutes. That’s up from 16 hours final yr and the LG gram 16 managed a powerful 18 hours and 14 minutes.
Utilizing it for a days work is extra demanding, after all, however in my expertise, the laptop computer can comfortably final eight hours with a mixture of duties. For me, that’s writing, internet shopping, a 30-minute video name and picture enhancing – whereas listening to music. All with the display set to 80% brightness.
Utilizing the equipped USB-C charger, the laptop computer can attain 34% in our traditional 30-minute window.
We don’t usually speak about software program in laptop computer opinions since you realize what you’re getting with Home windows. Nevertheless, LG has added some issues try to be conscious of.
A window promoting the inclusion of Alexa will seem (in addition to a sticker by the keyboard), which could appear odd contemplating Microsoft has Cortana as its digital assistant. Regardless of the motive for Alexa, will probably be a welcome sight for normal customers.
On the not so optimistic aspect are common pop-ups from McAffee LiveSafe attempting to get you to spend cash. Fortunately, for those who’re not eager you’ll be able to go into the setting and rapidly uninstall this system.
The LG Management Heart is extra helpful offering a spread of various settings you might be typically unable to regulate corresponding to USB-C charging for different gadgets whereas the laptop computer is off and the color temperature of the show.
You may also alter the cooling mode for those who like in addition to limiting the battery to 80% when it prices to increase the lifetime of the battery.
Value & Availability
The LG gram 17 for 2021 begins at £1,399 and there are two extra extremely specced fashions out there at £1,549 and £1,599. Right here’s how they differ on core elements:
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
You may get chosen fashions from Currys PC World, Ebuyer, Argos and AO however you’re really higher off shopping for immediately from LG or Amazon. These shops have the entry-level and center fashions diminished to £1,149 and £1,299 respectively.
Within the US, there solely seems to be the top-end mannequin I examined at $1,799 out there from Amazon or the LG website.
Take a look at our round-up of the finest laptops to see what different choices you have got.
With its new design and upgraded elements, LG has actually perfected the 17in laptop computer within the 2021 gram 17.
The one actual points I had final yr had been the wobbly trackpad and weedy audio system and each of these are a lot improved this time round. The keyboard could also be just a little spongy for some and the webcam is HD however that is a nitpick adopted by one thing that is completely regular within the business.
The Dell XPS 17 is a key rival and would possibly attraction to some with its RTX 2060 graphics card and 4K display, but it surely’s loads heavier and costlier.
Nevertheless, the LG gram 17 supplies a significantly better steadiness of worth, design, efficiency and specs.
This factor remains to be simply 1.35kg and the bump to 11th-gen Intel processors not solely means easy efficiency however elevated battery life, now at over 20 hours for video playback.
There are extra issues to love with two Thunderbolt Four ports and nonetheless two USB-A ports together with HDMI and microSD. That is a terrific vary of ports and the laptop computer has Wi-Fi 6, too.
All of this and costs are cheap, too, making the LG gram 17 one other winner.
LG gram 17 (2021): Specs
Home windows 10 Dwelling
17in (2560×1600) IPS LCD panel
Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz, Turbo as much as 4.7 GHz, L3 Cache 12MB)
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
As much as 16GB DDR4 Twin Channel RAM (4266MHz)
As much as 1TB SSD (M.2 NVMe)
2x USB Four Gen3 Kind-C (Thunderbolt 4)
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen2
MicroSD card reader
3.5mm headphone jack
2x 1.5W stereo audio system
Fingerprint scanner (energy button)
Twin-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
80Wh lithium-ion battery
380 x 260 x 17.8mm
1 yr components and labour guarantee