App & Software Gaming Review

LG Gram Pro 17 review: a Gram with more gusto

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The best way LG has been treating its Gram line lately takes the phrase “enlargement” to a brand new degree. On one finish of the spectrum, we’ve the LG Gram Type, an ultrathin and ultralight product that places portability above all else. On the opposite, we’ve 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 completely different than the common LG Gram 17 that I’ve reviewed roughly 7,000 instances. It’s barely (barely) heavier than final 12 months’s 2.98-pound mannequin, however it affords the identical black and unobtrusive chassis, the identical clicky keyboard with a numpad, and the identical huge touchpad. The large distinction is that the LG Gram Professional comes with a discrete Nvidia GPU — in our check mannequin, a last-generation RTX 3050.

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Does this make the Gram Professional a gaming laptop computer? Completely the heck not. Nevertheless, it affords (in alternate for a number of the battery life and effectivity advantages that you’d often anticipate from the Gram line) probably the most uncooked graphic energy that you will see in a laptop computer of this dimension and weight.

How huge is the marketplace for one thing like that? Truthfully, I don’t know. The pitch for the common Gram 17 (or for one thing just like the Type) tends to be: “It lasts ceaselessly and weighs nothing, so you’ll be able to deliver it in every single place you go.” The pitch for the Gram Professional is, as a substitute: “That, however with a discrete GPU, so you’ll be able to nonetheless deliver it locations however not for fairly as lengthy.” I’m pleased that LG has made one thing like this to point out off what will be carried out, 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 group, nevertheless, has persistently referred to the machine 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 equivalent to that of the common Gram 17.)

HDMI, two USB-C, and a headphone jack on the left. That little mild is a charging indicator.

Two USB-A, one lock slot, one microSD on the correct.

Efficiency

It’s a bit troublesome to contextualize any numbers we would 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 are able to 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 unique league on worth. A comparable XPS 17 could be a couple of hundred bucks greater than this $2,299 check unit; a MacBook Pro 16 specced equally could be nicely over $3,000.

Given how absurdly mild the Gram Professional is (3.02 kilos is lighter than nearly all RTX gadgets 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 here are the outcomes I noticed. My check unit (at the moment discounted ; Finest Purchase has RTX fashions marked right down to as low 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 quicker on our export check (and Premiere Professional, as a program, has gotten quicker at doing it since we examined the XPS) and managed a 70 p.c greater 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 for example how way 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 chances are 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 have been persistently audible throughout this time as nicely, although you’ll be able to bump them right down to low mode in LG’s Sensible Assistant software program to mitigate this.

On this 12 months 2023, large plastic bezels like these really feel like a relic of one other age.

On this keyboard, just like the Type’s, I want two fingers Fn and the amount keys on the identical time, which I hate. (Don’t fear: I acknowledge that it is a Me drawback.)

Lastly, on the battery life, I averaged simply over eight hours. Now, in as we speak’s Intel panorama, that is really an important 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 received this identical outcome from the smaller OLED LG Gram Type, 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 than its 16-inch sibling. Battery life has been the LG Gram 17’s factor for the previous few years, and I persistently noticed over 12 hours out of final 12 months’s non-Professional mannequin. These are simply illustrations of how a lot effectivity the Gram Professional offers up in favor of a power-hungry RTX GPU.

The chassis

In case you’re conversant in the LG Gram 17 line, you’ll be able to skim this part as a result of rather a lot is identical. For others, right here are some things to name out:

  • Weight. If it hasn’t been apparent all through this overview, the three.2-pound weight is the important thing to this machine. The Gram Professional just isn’t fairly the lightest 17-inch laptop computer you should purchase, however it’s actually shut (and something lighter is prone to be one other LG Gram). With the ability to pack this as my private laptop in my backpack for the previous few weeks has been an actual deal with. It nonetheless takes up a good quantity of area, 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 side 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 Type, however it has one other characteristic that the Type and different Grams lack: variable refresh price. The display helps as much as 144Hz, and for those who flip VRR on, it should leap between 72Hz and 144Hz relying on the applying you’re utilizing. Such a excessive refresh price is probably 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 potential 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 Kind-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 facility brick can also be fairly compact and is a bit shorter than you would possibly anticipate from this class as a consequence. Some reviewers have run into huge issues with this, although it was by no means a difficulty for me.
  • Construct. This was the primary criticism I had about final 12 months’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 may be nonetheless important flex within the keyboard and display, and the bezels across the display are obtrusive. My check unit’s keyboard, touchpad, and lid gathered fingerprints very simply, although the palm rests have been comparatively unaffected. Oh, and there’s a small quantity of display wobble — not sufficient to trouble me however most likely sufficient to trouble a few of you.

The Gram Professional 17 stays an unbelievably light-weight machine with a large display.

The outlook

If LG had managed to cram, say, an RTX 3070 into this Gram Professional, the target market could be apparent: the cellular 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 more durable to pinpoint. Somebody who actually desires to play League of Legends on a large display however probably not any fashionable 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 an everyday non-GPU LG Gram (or a Type, if LG ever manages to repair the touchpad) as a greater buy. You’ll get a cheaper price, higher battery life, and a good lighter machine.

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