LG Gram 17 and 14″ Gram 2-in-1 look to ease your load

LG wants to take a load off your shoulders—quite literally, in fact. The company just announced the latest iterations in its Gram lineup of light laptops. There are two models: one is a standard-form-factor laptop with a 17" display, while the other is a 2-in-1 convertible with a 14" screen. Don't let the apparent size of the larger model discourage you, though—LG says that model fits a 17" display in a 15.6"-class body. We'll start with that one.

LG Gram 17

The 17" monitor in the new LG Gram 17 has a resolution of 2560×1600, which works out to a handy 16:10 aspect ratio and 178 PPI. LG says the IPS panel's color gamut should cover 96% of the sRGB space. The machine measures 15" by 10.5" and is 0.7" thick (38.1 x 26.7 x 1.8 cm) and weighs in at a featherweight 2.95 lbs (1.34 kg), a particularly light amount for a laptop with a screen this big. The backlit keyboard sits above a glass-covered Precision Touchpad.

The machine's innards contain eighth-gen Intel Core CPUs, up to 16 GB of RAM (with one user-accessible slot), and either a 256 GB or a 512 GB solid-state drive. In another nod toward upgradeability, there's an empty M.2 slot ready to take in another drive. The port cluster includes a Thunderbolt 3 port and three more USB connectors. The requisite microSD card slot, headphone jack, and fingerprint reader are all present. Those gaming with headphones on will appreciate the included support for DTS:Headphone X surround sound virtualization.

We saved one of the best characteristics for last. LG says the 72-Wh battery in the Gram 17 should be good for 19.5 hours of usage. The laptop will be available clad in white or dark silver finishes.

LG Gram 2-in-1

The 14" LG Gram 2-in-1 is similar in most specs to its bigger brother but predictably includes a 360° hinge. The 14" display has a standard-issue resolution of 1920×1080, but this time around it has a slab of Gorilla Glass 5 sitting atop it.

The smaller machine's shell measures 12.8" by 8.3", and like its sibling, it's 0.7" thick (32.5 x 21.1 x 0.18 cm). Interestingly enough, the Gram 2-in-1 also has a 72-Wh battery which should let it run for 20 hours between charges. The 14" Gram doesn't have a Precision Touchpad or Thunderbolt 3 ports, but it apparently comes with an active stylus. The only available finish is dark silver. LG didn't mention price tags for these machines, but did say that it'll be showing them off during CES 2019. Stay tuned.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 10 months ago

    The Gram 17 is interesting because it’s as light as many 13.3″ models, and I can’t really work all day on a 13.3″ laptop.

    At the same time, that screen is pretty dumb – It’s not really High-DPI for laptop viewing distances, but it’s also going to be too squinty to use at native res. Go 4K and 200% scaling, or save power and costs with a 1080p. Putting a 2560-wide display in this thing adds all the disadvantages of non-native display scaling with almost none of the benefits 🙁

      • morphine
      • 10 months ago

      For what it’s worth, 2560×1600 @ 17 has only slightly smaller pixels than 1920×1080 @ 14 (178 PPI vs 157 PPI), and I personally find the latter a fine choice for 100% scaling (my girlfriend has a laptop with such a panel). I can’t speak for everyone’s eyes, though.

        • cygnus1
        • 10 months ago

        You ninja’d me, but 100% agree. The resolution and PPI on this thing is nearly perfectly scaled up from 1080 on my 13.3″ laptop.

        • Chrispy_
        • 10 months ago

        Fair enough. I know for a fact that 1080p on a 13.3″ display causes eyestrain for me and this Gram 17 will result in things being 10% smaller than that.

        The two solutions are to hunch over all day (bad for back) or pull the laptop even closer (more wrist bend).

        In my mind, a laptop display is usually 66-75% the viewing distance of a desktop monitor which has an ideal native PPI of 96 (This is what most desktop content is designed for, and what Microsoft/Adobe/Google treat as the “default, 100%” DPI). That means that a laptop needs to be between 128 and 144 PPI to match that, and 178PPI is quite a long way off even the upper limit there.

        So yes, younger people than me with sharper eyes than me can probably get by just fine, but from a web/print standards perspective, 178 PPI is too high. It’s 31% higher than the defined standard, even when ajusting for reduced viewing distance. and you can bet the farm on Microsoft making 125% or 150% the default scaling factor in Windows 10 based on those standards.

          • morphine
          • 10 months ago

          Well, although there’s no argument about what you personally find too small, I also think that the “standard” 96-ish PPI was too big to begin with. No, I’m not one of those crazies who likes everything tiny, I just prefer somewhat of a happy balance.

            • Voldenuit
            • 10 months ago

            I think it also depends on how you use a given machine. For instance, I use my Yoga Pro 3 convertible (3200×1800 @ 13.3″) a lot closer to my face than my gaming laptop (1920×1080 @ 15.6″). I appreciate the higher DPI of the Yoga up close*, so I think the LG Gram 2-in-1 is a bit underspecc’ed at 1080p for a 14″ touch device.

            *(even though I have to use 150% text scaling, and even though being a RGBW panel, it isn’t quite full native resolution.)

      • cygnus1
      • 10 months ago

      I would need to see it to be really sure, but I think I’d have to disagree on the resolution. My 1080p 13.3″ screen has a DPI around 165. That resolution and DPI is fantastic for me. So a 17″ at 178 DPI probably wouldn’t be that much different in normal use, for me at least. The pixels aren’t even 10% smaller than what I’m already used to. I like this a lot except I’d like to see it with a touchscreen and preferably as a convertable like the 14″ 2-in-1.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 10 months ago

      Agree. The 1080p on a 15.6″ is perfect for me at 100% with lots of text/numbers for normal working distance on a lap or conference table. Any smaller would not be usable.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 months ago

    It’s tempting to say “if they could just add this…” and issue further demands, but honestly, that 17″ device in particular looks like quite the design achievement given its weight.

    It’s useless for me without a dGPU but that would fundamentally compromise its singular purpose. So, bravo LG.

    • DataMeister
    • 10 months ago

    See, those thin bezels are perfectly fine. No need to do something stupid like mounting the camera down on the keyboard just to make it equal all the way around.

      • Ultracer
      • 10 months ago

      I see, you are the design eXPSrt here xD…

      I personally prefer the Dell more elegant look and I don’t use the webcam at all…

        • Spunjji
        • 10 months ago

        I’d definitely argue with the Dell looking “more elegant” – I find it weirdly unbalanced with all that wasted space at the bottom of the display. I’d argue this is more elegant simply because they clearly filled all of the available space with the screen.

        Your not using the webcam on the XPS doesn’t make its position any less sub-optimal for the rest of us. 🙂 I owned the original XPS 13 for about 6 months; the webcam location isn’t why I got rid of it but it was a serious annoyance nonetheless.

      • DavidC1
      • 10 months ago

      I don’t know why a company as big as Dell couldn’t do it when Huawei was able to do it with Matebook X. Same with LG. They sell fraction of laptops Dell does.

      Also, Smartphones had a far less space to work with. XPS laptops aren’t bezel-free, it had quite a bit of room to put a camera. Smartphones are not only able to put a front facing camera in that space, but put in a much higher quality one as well.

      Matebook X Pro has the weird pop-up cam, but phones are coming with a hole for a camera, so laptops can go in that direction in case they truly go bezel-free.

      • morphine
      • 10 months ago

      On second thought, I really missed an opportunity to mention that the LG Gram unfortunately doesn’t have NoseCam.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 10 months ago

      I’m waiting for a laptop screen that curves around the edges, [i<]and has a notch[/i<].

        • Voldenuit
        • 10 months ago

        Just to add insult to injury, the notch is at the bottom for peak nosecam.

    • DavidC1
    • 10 months ago

    Forgot to mention the weight again! Come on, for a 2-in-1 that’s critical.

    It’s 2.5lbs by the way. 2.5lbs, with a 72WHr battery in a 2-in-1 sounds quite exciting, unless they fell face flat on the design and isn’t efficient at all.

    • torquer
    • 10 months ago

    insert inappropriate comment about “ease your load” here

    • DPete27
    • 10 months ago

    $$$

      • Phr3dly
      • 10 months ago

      Rumor (or Best Buy’s mistaken pre-announcement) puts the 17″ starting at $1699. I think that’s quite reasonable. I’ll wait to see the reviews to find out about build quality, particularly keyboard and trackpad quality. But if that’s not a deal-breaker I could see this finally being the replacement for my 2013 15″ Retina MBP.

      • Pulsar_the_Spacenerd
      • 10 months ago

      I looked at LG Grams this spring, they’re really quite reasonable. Probably one of the cheaper lines of ultrabooks, especially if you are willing to get the plastic body.
      They do sacrifice some to get there, many of them have plastic screens, magnesium where other laptops use aluminum, they’re fairly flexible, etc.

        • DavidC1
        • 10 months ago

        Definitely not a cheaper ultrabook.

        Not sure why magnesium alloy is a negative. They’ve been used since the beginning with super light Japanese ultraportables. That’s one reason why they can get it so light.

        The lower weight will make it more durable in case you drop the thing, because the damage depends on the momentum. Not that you shouldn’t be careful with it anyway.

        I even read a review where they said its too light and makes it feel filmsy. Well, that’s not a scientific analysis at all. 2-in-1 needs to be light enough to take proper advantage of the convertible function.

          • Spunjji
          • 10 months ago

          People seem to dislike Magnesium because it “doesn’t feel premium”, where premium is defined as aluminium because it’s cold to the touch, doesn’t bend and is what Apple use.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This