In last year's review we loved the LG Gram 17 because we were impressed by its incredible lightness in such a large body and with a large display to work. In January we previewed the new model with tenth generation Intel processors at CES 2020 but we had to wait until May before the official arrival also on the Italian market. In this review I am talking about the larger version, from 17 inches, and let's see what has changed and especially if it is worth switching to the new model.
- CONSTRUCTION AND DISPLAY
- TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS LG GRAM 17 2020
- KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD
- AUDIO, BATTERY AND PORTS
The structure is identical to the previous version with a body made entirely of magnesium alloy to make it light but at the same time resistant to scratches and dents. LG has created this laptop thinking of a product that can offer a large display to work on comfortably combined with an extremely low weight, excellent for transporting it with serenity.
Gram 17 2020 weighs only 1 kilo and 300 grams which, being distributed over such a large surface, almost makes an impression when you pick it up for the first time. We have always been used to seeing such large screens on gaming PCs, often characterized by a weight greater than 3/4 kg. LG's computer is instead a "vitaminized" ultrabook with a weight comparable to a 13-inch laptop.
The screen is the same as last year with a diagonal of 17 inches and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The 16:10 aspect ratio makes it functional to handle documents and multiple windows at the same time. The panel used is a classic IPS LCD with a fairly good color reproduction accuracy: it is not suitable for professional color correction work but it can be used safely at an amateur level.
Although the viewing of multimedia content is very pleasant, the only flaw I encountered lies in the treatment of the surface because, being totally glossy, it often creates annoying reflections if you work in environments with many light sources. I would have liked a matte display more also because we don't have any touch functionality that forces us to have a glossy display.
Compared to aluminum, magnesium is much more flexible, but I noticed that this year the lid is slightly more robust than the Gram 17 of 2019. Although the deformation of the screen is still conspicuous it is not a detail that affects the overall quality of the product. It is simply the result of the material used and above all of the wide diagonal of the screen.
If you have the opportunity to try this laptop do not be fooled by the touch, the first sensation could deceive you and make you think that it is a plastic material. The magnesium alloy, on the other hand, is much more resistant than one might expect. Gram 17 has in fact successfully passed the rigorous military test for the MIL-STD-810G standard which ascertains its resistance to 7 risk factors such as:
- High temperatures
- Saline fog
- Low pressure
- Low temperatures
The thing that has changed the most from the old edition is the hardware platform. We have moved on to the tenth generation of Intel processors. We tested the more balanced configuration, equipped with a Core i5 1035G7 processor accompanied by 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, but a more powerful model with i7 1065G7 and 16 GB of RAM is also available.
The past few months we have had the opportunity to test other notebooks with these chips, perhaps even with better performance, but the Gram 17 has been designed to perform light operations, without sacrificing speed in daily tasks but always aiming for a very long battery life. high. For this reason, the implementation of the processors is very conservative: you never consume more than 15 watts, only for a few moments, and this obviously negatively affects performance but positively on autonomy.
This does not mean that we are talking about a poor product, on the contrary, working with this LG notebook is always pleasant and the system is responsive in all occasions. However, if you need a product that allows you to edit 4K videos or manage 3D rendering and modeling then this is not the solution for you.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS LG GRAM 17 2020
- 17 ", 16:10, WQXGA (2560 x 1600), IPS, sRGB color space coverage> 96%
- 1.35 kilograms
- 380.6 x 262.6 x 17.4mm
- Battery: 80Wh
- CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core
- GPU: Iris Plus Graphics
- Memory: up to 24GB (DDR4 3200MHz, 1 on board + 1slot)
- Storage: M.2 Dual SSD (NVMe) slot
- Colors: White, Dark Silver
- Backlit keyboard
- 1 Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)
- 3 USB 3.1
- microSD / UFS
- HP / Mic out (combo)
- Other: fingerprint reader, 810G military standard compliant, DTS X Ultra audio, WiFi 6
We also have a new Intel Iris Plus video card which on paper is more powerful than Intel UHD but as this is not a laptop designed for gaming, it can only be used with some dated or very light titles such as Overwatch, Fortnite or Rocket League. Obviously you can't keep the maximum resolution or the details high but you can still enjoy a decent experience for a few minutes of occasional entertainment.
Despite the obvious energy limitations, it is possible to appreciate an improvement in the system speed in daily operations, those most suitable for Gram 17 2020 where it manages to give its best. The higher power of the tenth generation Intel is also reflected in synthetic benchmarks such as Cinebench or 3D Mark. I liked the presence of a new SSD that is no longer a Sata3 but NVMe therefore capable of reaching much higher speeds.
The keyboard has also been renewed which now on the 17-inch model is slightly wider and with more widely spaced keys. The writing and layout are very comfortable but there are two aspects that are still a little hard to digest:
- the stroke of the keys is long enough but they sink too easily, offering a not very decisive feedback to the pressure, far from the Lenovo notebooks that today have the best keyboards for writing on laptops;
- the enter key has an unusual shape and is smaller than normal. It does not occupy two lines as usual but is slightly elongated horizontally and above it we find the key of the accented ù. In the first days of use I was often wrong when typing but already after a week I was starting to adapt to the different shape.
After all, it is a promoted and comfortable keyboard with which you will have no problems but you have to take into account an adaptation period of a few days before you can make the most of it. I liked the fingerprint reader on the power button: it works via Windows Hello and is always very accurate and fast.
I have no complaints about the trackpad that I liked from the first second I used it. It takes advantage of the Microsoft Precision drivers so there is full support for multi-finger gestures, pointing is very accurate and the finger glides well. If I had to find a flaw, or at least something that could still be improved on, then I would have liked it to be slightly wider. The palm rest is definitely spacious and a larger touchpad could have been integrated, especially in the 17-inch model.
Unfortunately, the speakers also remain the same, which are very small and undersized compared to the notebook chassis. The volume is quite low and above all there is an almost total absence of low frequencies. In an upcoming edition this is certainly an aspect that we would like to see improved.
The battery also changes, which goes from 72 Wh of Gram 2019 to 80 Wh of 2020. There is a slight improvement in autonomy but also last year the results were excellent and you could get up to 10 hours of continuous use with screen at 50% brightness. The new edition replicates these results and takes around 2.5 hours to fully recharge.
The ports remain unchanged with 3 USB 3.1 Type A, a Type C with Thunderbolt 3 support, a 3.5 mm Audio Jack to connect headphones or microphone, a Micro-SD card reader, a full-size HDMI and unfortunately still the proprietary connector for the recharge. You can still use type c to charge the notebook but I am sorry that a factory type C power supply is not yet included in mid 2020.
We have come to the conclusions and you will have understood by now that it is not a cheap device, even if, compared to last year, we start with a price that positively surprised me. We are well over a thousand euros but, also considering the approximately 1700 euros of the previous model, I thought worse. The variant that we tested with i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 512 of storage is currently on Amazon at 1399 euros while it rises to 1599 for the model with i7, 16 GB of RAM but still 512 GB of storage space. I would certainly have appreciated the use of a 1 TB memory in the top model, but I could also be satisfied with only 512 because there is still a second slot for expansion.
Ultimately we liked the Gram 2020 because it is not distorted in the concept and manages to keep intact its philosophy of ultrabook to work. I understand that it can be frightening to see the lid flex so visibly or not to have so much power available, but we must think that it is a unique device of its kind and designed for a specific audience that certainly considers the fact that it is so light and with a large display, even at the expense of performance.
LightnessLarge displayExcellent battery lifePrecise and fluid trackpadGood port supply with Thunderbolt 3 Proprietary connectorPoor speakersExcessive display deflection