LG Gram 17 (2020) Review

June 11, 2020 at 2:12am
By Jason Stettner

This is the latest laptop offering from LG, the Gram 17 2020 model. Well, more specifically the 17Z90N option. This is an iterative line from the company, which is why I’m going out of my way to note that this is the most recent product within that always upgrading series.

The seventeen aspect is in regards to the screen size which is 17”. It’s quite impressive, and very large. What makes this particularly interesting is just how light it is. It weighs only 1350 grams (2.98lbs) which means it’s very easy to transport or hold at any point in your day.

You can easily lift this with just one hand and it’s not too awkward to hold in that way either. The entire dimensions are only 15 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches. That’s fairly good considering the components and size of this laptop option. You have to keep in mind that this screen is definitely on the higher scaling side of things. It’s rather impressive size wise, and a comfy way to view work content or casually view other forms of visual entertainment.

Going back to the screen it features a resolution of 2560x1600 for a 16:10 aspect ratio. This is an IPS LCD display, with Intel Iris Plus Graphics powering it. It looks absolutely fantastic in terms of visual performance. It has truly smooth 4k HDR video playback which I tested through a number of options. That mostly being Youtube, and while screening an upcoming Disney+ Original Film that I can’t mention by name at the time of writing.
LG Gram 17 (2020) Review
I was impressed by the quality of the picture, as well as the battery life that’s present. This is an 80Wh battery (2 cell lithium ion type) which notes up to seventeen hours of battery life. If you’re using this in a regular browsing or content usage situation it does achieve around that number.

You should easily be able to rely on this for extended work trips, or even work days to put in the time and keep on going. Just keep in mind that some tasks will be more extensive on the battery’s usage, which is expected for any portable device. You can also plug it in for power while using it which is again, a fairly standard sort of option.

I did notice that it does get fairly warm underneath while doing so, but for the most part it is rather cool when not plugged in and being pushed performance wise. This does feature Thunderbolt 3 which provides support up to a 5k display and data transfer with a speed up to 40Gb/s when it comes to bandwidth.

This is a really good feature to have included. Other methods of connectivity include WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and LAN 10/100 Mbit support. Ports include a HDMI option; three USB 3.1 slots, a USB 3.1 Type-C slot, a headphone 3.5mm out, DC-In, a MicroSD spot and RJ45 Ethernet. It basically has everything I would expect in that regard, and goes a little past it.

Another component piece is that it comes with a built-in webcam, this thing really wasn’t that great at 720p 30fps and just being screen facing in terms of integration. It works, but you’re not getting anything good out of it. I know this won’t be a big thing for many, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Some other little features that fit into this little bunch are that it has Fingerprint ID and a cool back-lit keyboard. I was impressed by the keyboard, it’s smooth to the touch and very responsive. It has good spacing for the keys allowing for a great typing experience.

It is also aesthetically pleasing in that regard when it comes to how it’s lit. I enjoyed typing with it, something I generally spend a ton of time doing with reviews or other articles. This features an Intel i7-1065G7 processor which gives you 1.30GHz with a turbo offering up to 3.90GHz. For general work, this will be more than fine for blistering response speeds. It also has a L3 Cache of 8MB.
LG Gram 17 (2020) photo test
Speaking of blistering speeds, the hard drive is a SSD (Solid State Drive) with a capacity of 512GB. It has a NVMe interface, so it’s smooth. I do wish that it was a bit larger as in general I wish hard drive space would grow more. For a laptop though, it’ll hold all your files and essential programs in that space. You can also fit a game or two if you’d like. Speaking of gaming, I wasn’t too thrilled by the performance in that area of the device.

I used Gears Tactics as my benchmarking for this since it’s a recent game that features a killer set of tweaking options and it works systems good. At medium settings I was hitting 35.6fps as an average at 1920x1080p resolution scaling. When I dropped to 1280x720p at again medium settings I was hitting 57fps. I mention these two benchmark wise since they’re both the top, and lowest option the game offered scaling wise for this device.

I wasn’t too thrilled by the visuals at that level of quality. Now, this is a very PC pushing title. I could see a number of older games running quite well and I think it could deliver decently for those titles. Just don’t expect high resolutions with high FPS targets. I mean, this isn’t necessarily a gaming focused laptop so I’m not really digging too deep into that aspect of this device. For the type of game Gears Tactics is, hitting close to 60fps is alright though at a visual level that wasn’t enough for me.

I will give a good mention that during the benchmark that the CPU was actually performing very well FPS wise and that games will give different types of benchmarks based on what it’s using most for rendering. Some are more CPU bound in comparison to purely be running off the GPU. This does feature really great memory, with 16GB DDR4 (15.7GB is usable) with two 8GB sticks.

Another key aspect to go over is the audio. This features DTS:X Ultra for an immersive 3D audio rendering atmosphere. It sounds fantastic whether you’re listening to it regularly from its speaker, or if you have headphones plugged in. There’s even a custom interface to further tweak things if you’d like to. It does pack a bunch whether you’re watching a movie, enjoying the beeps of the Windows 10 64bit OS or just listening to some musical tunes. I should also mention that they are stereo 1.5WX2 speakers.

For a final note prior to a summary the body model is magnesium alloy. It’s very comfortable to the touch, keeps cool and is quite aesthetically pleasing to view. It’s noted as being an item that has passed the MIL-STD-810G military standard of durability and reliability. These checkmarks include the following factors; shock, vibration, pressure, dust, high temperature, low temperature and salt fog.

The Conclusion

The LG Gram 17 (2020) model delivers a really great option for work usage, and visual entertainment. It’s remarkably light, responsive to the touch and provides excellent performance over extended hours of use. It’s not really an option for gaming, but I do find this to be more work oriented when it comes to what it’s trying to provide. It has a number of great features, and many ports for support across a large variety of devices that you might use with it.

I was impressed by the visual quality on a number of test videos I use, and the audio that’s present. It looked good, performed well for countless hours and this would be very handy for extended work trips if that’s something you do. I particularly liked the keyboard. It’s also a fantastic choice for those that want a very large screen for viewing content. Whether that’s lightly browsing, or just watching things such as movies.

It’s lightweight not only in terms of the weight, but also the pre-loaded content for which there’s not much. I appreciate that, it was quick to setup and get going with. I generally quite liked what I experienced with this, and if it fits the various niches you’re looking for then it’s a good choice.

I do suggest exploring the cost aspect of this, as it does come into a rather high range. I think for work, this is going to deliver on some essential features. For casual entertainment it’s good too. For gaming, it’s not going to really be an option, at least not for future titles.

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LG Gram 17 (2020) Review product loaned by LG tested with Windows 10.

Rating Overall: 8.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner