While reviewing the LG Gram 17, one thought persisted: Why aren’t people freaking out over this laptop?

Here we have a notebook with a gorgeous 17-inch display and monster battery life, yet at 2.95 pounds, it’s almost as light as a 13-inch MacBook Air. Factor in a cool and quiet chassis, a silky-smooth trackpad, ample storage, and plenty of ports, and you have a big-screen laptop with none of the usual big-screen trade-offs—well, aside from its steep $1,699 list price (though we’ve noticed a lower price on Amazon).

To be sure, the LG Gram 17 isn’t perfect, because no laptop is. It doesn’t have the best keyboard, its design feels a bit bland, and speaker quality is downright terrible. But when you’re working in luxurious comfort on an almost desktop-sized display and getting well over a full day’s battery life to boot, the LG Gram 17’s handful of issues have a way of receding into the background.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

Tech specs

As the name suggests, the LG Gram 17 has a 17-inch, 2560-by-1600 resolution display, and it comes in one configuration, with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB of DDR-2400 RAM, and a 512GB solid state drive. A fingerprint reader is built into the power button on the top-right corner of the keyboard, but there’s no face recognition to go with the 720p webcam. Keep in mind also that this is a traditional clamshell laptop, with no touchscreen.

lggram17left Jared Newman / IDG

The LG Gram 17 has a proprietary charger, but you can use USB-C in a pinch.

On the laptop’s left side, you’ll find Thunderbolt 3, a USB 3.0 Type A, HDMI, and a DC input for the Gram’s proprietary charging brick. (The laptop can also take a charge through the USB-C port.) The right side includes two more USB 3.0 Type A ports, a headphone jack, and—in what increasingly seems like a rarity on consumer laptops these days—a MicroSD card slot. One might nitpick the lack of USB-C on both edges, but this is a solid arrangement of ports overall.

Design and display

The vast majority of 17-inch laptops aspire to be desktop PC replacements, with spinning hard drives, discrete graphics cards, and sometimes even old-school optical disc drives. By contrast, the LG Gram 17 aims to hang with smaller thin-and-lights, making it one of the most unique laptops available today.

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Just looking at it, you’d expect something much heavier, so when you pick it up, its lack of density is wow-inducing. (I know this, having foisted the laptop upon various friends and family members during my time reviewing it.) The laptop is fairly slim as well, measuring 0.7 inches at its thickest point.

lggram17right Jared Newman / IDG

The LG Gram 17 cuts a slim figure for such a large laptop.

The display itself is no slouch either. I’m a fan of the 16:10 aspect ratio for laptops in general, and on a 17-inch screen that amounts to a half-inch of extra vertical screen space compared to typical 17.3-inch laptops with 16:9 aspect ratios. Meanwhile, the 2560-by-1600 resolution display makes everything look sharp, and we measured a peak brightness of 362 nits, which is on the high end for any laptop.



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