The LG Gram 17Z990 weighs as little as a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and both the 17-inch and smaller 14-inch models have been through our tough laptops test lab.
17-inch laptops aren’t typically what you’d call portable. They are not only heavy – weighing on average 2.62kg – but also bulky, and are typically more than 40cm wide, making them a challenge to fit into many bags.
So surely any laptop that can break that mould is something to be celebrated? We put the new Grams through our test lab to find out.
LG Gram 17Z990: impossibly light?
LG made its re-entry into the UK laptop market in 2018, and it was enough of a success to warrant releasing a second generation of devices this year. The 17-inch model is the largest, but it weighs an impressively light 1.279kg. For comparison, here are the three next lightest 17-inch laptops on the Which? website:
The LG Gram 17Z990 is nigh-on half the weight of the Asus, which is now our fourth-lightest 17-inch laptop.
LG says it’s because the chassis is made from a ‘nano-carbon’ magnesium alloy, which is lighter than your standard machined aluminium or plastic with metal supports.
Another contributing factor is that its screen is actually 17 inches diagonally rather than 17.3, which is a more typical screen size for larger laptops. This helps shave some weight off, although it’s clearly only a minor factor in this laptop’s impressive figures.
LG has played it safe with a setup that’s more akin to an Ultrabook than a large 17-inch multimedia or gaming machine. Make no mistake, the Intel Core i7-8565U is no slouch and will happily power through your everyday office and even photo-editing tasks, but it isn’t best-suited to very intensive tasks such as editing videos, and it certainly isn’t up for gaming.
There’s 8GB of Ram, and a 512GB SSD to keep everything running smoothly. It’s a fine specification, but keep in mind that at the time of writing this laptop costs in excess of £1,500, when a smaller laptop with this specification could set you back less than £1,000. You really are paying for the combination of size and portability here, with performance a second-tier priority.
A flexible friend
The Gram may be light but it is also functional, with an array of connectivity options. You’ll find an HDMI-out, three USB 3.1 ports, a single USB-C port, a Thunderbolt 3 port (which is similar to a USB-C, but with even faster data transfer and has the ability to connect directly to high-specification monitors) and a micro-SD slot and headphone jack. You can also connect a network cable by using the USB-C to Ethernet dongle that LG provides with the laptop.
There’s also a pin-sharp screen with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. This is far higher than the typical 1,920 x 1,080 ‘Full HD panels’ you’ll find on most 17-inch laptops.
LG has also crammed a massive 72-watt-hour battery into this laptop (fun fact: this is the largest battery you’re allowed to take on a flight in the USA). LG reckons it’ll last nearly 20 hours, although our tests often find manufacturer claims are generous at best.
Should you buy it? Find out in our full LG Gram 17Z990 review.
Also on test: the 14-inch LG Gram 14Z990
If you’re after something a bit smaller, the 14-inch LG Gram is another impressive lightweight contender, tipping the scales at just 976g.
Unlike its 17-inch sibling, this model isn’t the absolute lightest 14-inch laptop we’ve tested – that honour goes to the Acer Swift 5 SF514-53T at 948g.
For your £1,199 you get a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of Ram and 256GB of SSD storage along with a Full HD screen.
Get plenty more buying advice in our guide on how to buy the best laptop.