The way in which LG has been treating its Gram line not too long ago takes the phrase “enlargement” to a brand new degree. On one finish of the spectrum, now we have the LG Gram Fashion, an ultrathin and ultralight product that places portability above all else. On the opposite, now we have the LG Gram Professional, which is extra targeted on energy and efficiency than LG has provided in a great whereas.
The 17-inch 3.2-pound $1,799.99-and-up (retail, although typically discounted) Gram Professional doesn’t essentially look or really feel a lot totally different than the common LG Gram 17 that I’ve reviewed roughly 7,000 instances. It’s barely (barely) heavier than final yr’s 2.98-pound mannequin, however it affords the identical black and unobtrusive chassis, the identical clicky keyboard with a numpad, and the identical monumental touchpad. The massive distinction is that the LG Gram Professional comes with a discrete Nvidia GPU — in our check mannequin, a last-generation RTX 3050.
Does this make the Gram Professional a gaming laptop computer? Completely the heck not. Nevertheless, it affords (in change for a number of the battery life and effectivity advantages that you’d often anticipate from the Gram line) essentially the most uncooked graphic energy that you will discover in a laptop computer of this dimension and weight.
How massive is the marketplace for one thing like that? Actually, I don’t know. The pitch for the common Gram 17 (or for one thing just like the Fashion) tends to be: “It lasts perpetually and weighs nothing, so you possibly can carry it all over the place you go.” The pitch for the Gram Professional is, as an alternative: “That, however with a discrete GPU, so you possibly can nonetheless carry it locations however not for fairly as lengthy.” I’m blissful that LG has made one thing like this to point out off what could be achieved, however I’m extra enthusiastic about it as an idea than as one thing I feel you need to exit and purchase.
(Fast apart: this laptop computer, so far as I’ve been capable of finding, is definitely simply referred to as the LG Gram 17 in all of its on-line listings. LG’s advertising and marketing crew, nonetheless, has constantly referred to the gadget because the “LG Gram Professional,” presumably to assist differentiate it from 17-inch fashions that lack an RTX GPU. I’m calling it the Gram Professional right here, however its exterior is functionally similar to that of the common Gram 17.)
It’s a bit tough to contextualize any numbers we’d get out of the Gram Professional as a result of it doesn’t have a ton of competitors. There are only a few non-gaming 17-inchers on the market with discrete GPUs and none which can be this mild; we will look to fashions just like the Dell XPS 17 and the MacBook Air 16, however they’re much additional into the workstation class and in a special league on worth. A comparable XPS 17 can be just a few hundred bucks greater than this $2,299 check unit; a MacBook Professional 16 specced equally can be nicely over $3,000.
Given how absurdly mild the Gram Professional is (3.02 kilos is lighter than nearly all RTX units on the market of any dimension — not to mention 17-inch friends), my bar for giving its efficiency a passing grade is, in very scientific phrases: is it not a potato?
Of us, it isn’t a potato. It’s not a standout graphic performer (particularly in comparison with the 16-inch MacBook Professional or, like, a gaming laptop computer), however it has some chops. Listed below are the outcomes I noticed. My check unit (at present discounted to $2,099; Finest Purchase has RTX fashions marked right down to as little as $1,599.99) has a Core i7-1360P, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of storage along with the RTX 3050 with 4GB of VRAM.
There’s a transparent delta in graphic efficiency between this and the Dell XPS 17 with an RTX 3060 that I beforehand reviewed. That system was shut to 2 minutes sooner on our export check (and Premiere Professional, as a program, has gotten sooner at doing it since we examined the XPS) and managed a 70 p.c increased 75fps on Tomb Raider. That’s not even to speak of the 16-inch MacBook Professional with M2 Max, which is even additional forward on the graphics entrance. Once more, these aren’t strictly comparable merchandise — that is all simply as an instance how rather more energy is on the market from going a step up on Nvidia’s ladder.
There are a pair different issues to know right here. First, that is one thing it’s possible you’ll not wish to use in your lap on a regular basis; the underside was toasty as I used to be going about my common (15 to 20ish tabs) Chrome workload on energy. Followers had been constantly audible throughout this time as nicely, although you possibly can bump them right down to low mode in LG’s Good Assistant software program to mitigate this.
Lastly, on the battery life, I averaged simply over eight hours. Now, in right this moment’s Intel panorama, that is really an awesome rating. I’m so accustomed to testing large machines that die after lower than half a day that this lifespan felt like a luxurious. I bought this similar end result from the smaller OLED LG Gram Fashion, and I praised it as a win.
Nonetheless, the Gram Professional has each a a lot bigger battery and a a lot lower-resolution display screen than its 16-inch sibling. Battery life has been the LG Gram 17’s factor for the previous few years, and I constantly noticed over 12 hours out of final yr’s non-Professional mannequin. These are simply illustrations of how a lot effectivity the Gram Professional provides up in favor of a power-hungry RTX GPU.
In the event you’re conversant in the LG Gram 17 line, you possibly can skim this part as a result of rather a lot is similar. For others, right here are some things to name out:
- Weight. If it hasn’t been apparent all through this evaluation, the three.2-pound weight is the important thing to this gadget. The Gram Professional will not be fairly the lightest 17-inch laptop computer you should buy, however it’s definitely shut (and something lighter is prone to be one other LG Gram). With the ability to pack this as my private pc in my backpack for the previous few weeks has been an actual deal with. It nonetheless takes up a good quantity of house, being a 17-incher and all, however carrying it does really feel such as you’re carrying nothing.
- Show. If there’s one other standout facet of the LG Gram Professional, it’s the 2560 x 1600 (16:10) panel. It’s not an OLED such as you’ll discover on the Gram Fashion, however it has one other function that the Fashion and different Grams lack: variable refresh charge. The display screen helps as much as 144Hz, and in case you flip VRR on, it should bounce between 72Hz and 144Hz relying on the appliance you’re utilizing. Such a excessive refresh charge is maybe a little bit of an oddity on this non-gaming machine, however it’s there for of us however. I personally most popular to remain on 144Hz as typically as attainable only for that candy, candy scroll. (Don’t fear: I didn’t do that throughout my battery runs.)
- Ports. You get two Thunderbolt, one audio jack, one HDMI, two USB 3.2 Sort-A, one microSD, and one safety lock. Exterior shows as much as 5K are supported, as are Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. No complaints. The ability brick can be fairly compact and is a bit shorter than you would possibly anticipate from this class as a consequence. Some reviewers have run into massive issues with this, although it was by no means a difficulty for me.
- Construct. This was the primary criticism I had about final yr’s LG Gram 17, and it stays right here. The chassis simply has a little bit of a plasticky really feel, which I don’t like to see when a laptop computer prices $2,000. There’s nonetheless important flex within the keyboard and display screen, and the bezels across the display screen are obvious. My check unit’s keyboard, touchpad, and lid collected fingerprints very simply, although the palm rests had been comparatively unaffected. Oh, and there’s a small quantity of display screen wobble — not sufficient to trouble me however in all probability sufficient to trouble a few of you.
If LG had managed to cram, say, an RTX 3070 into this Gram Professional, the audience can be apparent: the cell creator. The individuals who wish to render on planes or edit in espresso outlets and don’t wish to lug round a four-pound MacBook Professional 16 (or shell out the cash for one). This can be a substantial crowd — I hear from them on a regular basis.
With an RTX 3050, which is basically only a step above Intel’s present built-in graphics choices, the proper purchaser is tougher to pinpoint. Somebody who actually needs to play League of Legends on an enormous display screen however probably not any trendy video games? Of us with some form of GPU load at work (however not a heavy one) who want to hold their laptop computer to and from the workplace and don’t have entry to an exterior monitor? I don’t know, perhaps these are the 2 teams.
However for just about everybody else, I see a daily non-GPU LG Gram (or a Fashion, if LG ever manages to repair the touchpad) as a greater buy. You’ll get a lower cost, higher battery life, and a good lighter gadget.
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