LG Gram 17 Hands-On: An Impossibly Thin 17-inch Ultrabook

Editor's Note: Updated by Phillip Tracy with hands-on impressions at CES 2019.

It doesn't get lighter than this.

LG unveiled two new laptops in its Gram lineup in advance of CES in Las Vegas, and we got to spend some hands-on time with the laptops at the event. The Gram 17 has a large footprint but rather incredibly weighs just 3 pounds, which is crazy light for a notebook with a 17-inch display. That's the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

LG Gram 17

Even though I knew the Gram would be much lighter than its size suggests, I was still amazed when I picked it up with one hand. The Gram 17 didn't feel any heavier than even some of smallest 15-inch laptops I've seen. I was also impressed by how thin the chassis is. In fact, the Gram 17 might be the only 17-inch laptop that I wouldn't hesitate to take on a long trip. A typical 17-inch laptop weighs 6 to 6.5 pounds, so getting such a big screen in such a lightweight package is definitely no small feat.

Does that mean the specs skimpy? Nope. LG says the 15 x 10.5 x 0.7-inch Gram 17 packs an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8565U, up to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. (There's also a slot for an additional SSD).

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The Gram 17's 72W battery is rated for up to 19.5 hours of usage, which we will obviously put to the test once we get our hands on the laptop.

Other highlights include a sharp 2560 x 1600 pixel display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, which looks bright and vivid on the CES show floor.  The laptop also comes with a fingerprint reader and the silver metal chassis is rated at MIL-STD-810G for durability, which means it should be able to handle everything from shock and dust to extreme temps.

The Gram 17 offers Thunderbolt 3 for connecting high-speed peripherals, a precision glass touchpad and backlit keyboard. The keys felt springy although their travel didn't seemed somewhat shallow. The headphone jack supports DTS Headphone X for simulating 11.1-channel sound.

LG's website lists a suggested price of $1,699.99 for the LG Gram 17, which will launch in early 2019.

LG Gram 2-in-1

The LG Gram 2-in-1 features a 14-inch touchscreen you can use in tablet or laptop mode, and it also meets the MIL-STD-810G spec for durability. The 1080p panel uses durable Gorilla Glass 5, and, like the Gram 17, it looked gorgeous during our brief time with the laptop.

Inside, you'll find an 8th Gen Core i7-8565U processor supported by up to 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. The 12.8 x 8.3 x 0.7-inch 2-and-1 weighs 2.53 pounds.

LG includes a Wacom AES 2.0 pen with 4,096 pressure levels and tilt detection and a 72-watt battery that's rated for 21 hours of use.

The LG Gram 2-in-1 is available today at Best Buy. For $1,499, you get the laptop configured with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. 

Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptopmag.com, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.