LG Gram 17 review (2022 Gram 17 17Z90Q model- 12th gen Core i7-1260P)

14 Comments

  1. Many

    October 19, 2022 at 11:44 am

    Out of 16 GB RAM how much is permanently taken by the integrated graphics card?

    LG claims that touchpad is not glass.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2022 at 12:55 pm

      The clickpad feels like glass to me. The iGPU takes about 2 GB from what I remember

  2. AlexS

    October 21, 2022 at 3:49 am

    I have always felt curious about this laptop. Pity is so expensive.

  3. AlexS

    October 21, 2022 at 4:01 am

    Another point i think a 1240P and a bit less $$$ would work well since appears that 1260P goes over the chassis cooling capacities.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 21, 2022 at 10:08 am

      1240p and 1260p are nearly the same. the difference is mostly on the GPU side

  4. Michael

    October 21, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Andrei, thank you very much for this review.

    I'm currently undecided whether I should buy the 16" 17-1260P 16GB 512GB version that is currently on sale with discount on my country.

    The big screen on a small weight is very appealing for a laptop, however I can't help but feel the battery runtimes are underwhelming, considering LG promises to deliver up to 20,5h of video playback,

    I would have expected the 15 W (~5-6 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Normal + Balanced Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON to provide at least 7/8 hours of battery runtime, in other words last a full work day.

    I'm tempted to buy it because there's nothing quite as lightweight in the competition and there is a discount, but at fair price I don't think it's still very worth it.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 21, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      That was a bit high, but within expectations for a 1260p with a 17-inch display.

      Our Browsing test is rather heavy, as it keeps a youtube clip running in the background and then loads a new page every 10-15 seconds, so the laptop will probably last a little longer with regular use. Somewhere in between the light text-editing and browsing scenarios is realistic. But then, if you'll have 30 tabs open and perhaps some other sowftare running in the background as well (excell, spotify, word, etc), 5-6 hours of life is realistic.

      If you can wait, I'll also have the Gram 16 1260p review next week, it should allow to double check these results on the Gram 17.

      • Michael

        October 21, 2022 at 1:07 pm

        Yeah, I guess my disappointment comes from the fact that even some Ryzen gaming laptops (such as my Ryzen 7 5800H HP Victus) can get close or similar battery runtimes for these medium workloads when running on integrated graphics, so when you pay extra for the underpowered lightweight factor and big battery you kind of expect a big leap in power efficiency.

        I'll be eagerly awaiting the review of the 16" model, luckily for me the discounts will last until the end of november.

  5. NikoB

    October 25, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Thank for detailed review.

    Andrei Girbea wrote at October 21, 2022 at 10:08 am:
    /*1240p and 1260p are nearly the same.*/
    Just look at the notebookcheck review from August for the same model with i5. It loses significantly to i7 by performance (about -30-35%), according to your review with a long load in CBR15.

    In general, I think that a model with 16GB is practically meaningless to buy (11-12GB is free after loading the OS, this is very small for productive work). A model with a 32GB+2TB SSD price around 1800-1900 euros in Europe without promotions and discounts. This is the only adequate option for buying today with the prospect of using it for 3 years+. There is no option with 64GB at all, however, it is not really needed here – the performance is too low to interest someone with a lot of background professional software..

    Noise characteristics in general in your review correspond to the data on notebookcheck for the model with i5, i.e. from my point of view, the laptop is noisy in normal office/home use, you need to achieve no more than 29-31dBA under at least 30-35% (on average) load on all cores (and 30-40% on the built-in video block – for example, when decoding [email protected] in H265/AV1).

    All these negative aspects generally result from the fanatical struggle of marketers (and therefore engineers) with the weight of a laptop (this is a Gram series). A sturdy case with a magnesium alloy frame to support the motherboard and case strength (like the Thinkpad T+ series) will drastically add weight. A better cooling system (+1-2 massive heatpipes, bigger cooler and heatsinks) will drastically increase the weight. You complain about small speakers – big ones will add weight. Large battery (with no real fundamental progress in batteries) – will increase the weight drastically. Even +2 memory slots and a second M.2 (which might be placed near battery) will add weight. That is, all the shortcomings of this series stem from a key advantage – low weight.

    Those who are not ready to put up with this can take a bunch of other laptops (for example, the new Legion 7 with Zen3+, which is much quieter and faster according review), but Gram cannot be improved in any way without significant fundamental and technological improvements in all industries (about how not to improve the iPhone so that Apple does not tried to do). Even the noise, as you can clearly see, is gradually increasing in level compared to the old models in all laptops, with rare successful exceptions like the Legion 7 2022 with AMD. Because the TDP and CPU consumption of both Intel and AMD continues to rise (and this is pure madness) . And this is not progress, but regression in IT. Consumption should not grow with grow of performance, it should either stay the same or get smaller – this is real progress, which I write about often and everywhere.

    Here it is important to understand very subtly the target audience for each model from the point of view of marketers and its size. If they are stupid or just sawing the company's budgets, there will be no sense – sales will be minimal. For example, why does LG make the Gram 16 series with a mutilated numpad, when there is a 17 series with a full-fledged one? Who would agree to carry a 16" (which is uncomfortable in itself) instead of a full-fledged by keyboard 17? From my point of view, the 16" series is pointless to buy.

    And what is the target audience on the planet for the Gram 17 series – from your point of view, as an expert?

    The strong side of this model is a high-quality by contrast screen. But compromising by ppi and poor response speed – 30-50ms is awful vs AMOLED with 2-3 ms, but AMOLED is all – not flicker free (or not have super contrast), all is glare (no matte panels), not have true RGB resolution (pentile and etc.) for most panels and has low resource in work time – real is 1/2 by working hours vs IPS.. Of course, if such an excellent contrast of 1500:1 will be achievable in practice in almost all retail copies, which there is no certainty, looking at the monstrous spread of real contrast even in Lenovo models, where the minimum contrast is CLEARLY indicated in psref datasheets, but it is worse in practice when measured with a calibrator (i.e. this is a clear defect from the factory in maby batches, even in terms of manufacturer's specifications). How can you then trust reviews of single copies and not a dense sample in retail lots with a frequency of for example, one quarter for check it again?

    A real test of surfing usually involves 2-3 open browsers (often including Tor, especially in totalitarian countries). And a lot of active tabs in each. Plus, a fairly high frequency of news updates, etc. The real load on the cores can easily reach 25-35% on average (especially if you do not use ad blockers and analytical scripts). And this is not counting some open background, most often professional software – for example, heavy development studios, trading platforms who trade on the market (and monitor everything that is possible on the planet), some other specific software that collects some data in the background and processes them regularly (I'm not talking about instant messengers, etc.). In a real use case, if this is not a typical "housewife", even your 5-6 hours, which are much closer to reality than the obviously inflated results from other sites, turn into a real 3-4 hours at most, which is unacceptably short when running on battery power. Do you agree? But in this case, the best use case is only from the psu, where you don’t care about the battery and where the maximum performance and where it makes no sense to refuse to install a 165Hz 2.5k or [email protected] panel in a laptop that consumes much more. But if you constantly use a laptop from a psu – what is the point of its autonomy and lightness if you are constantly tied to a power outlet anyway? In this case, its weight no longer plays any role in comparison with much more advanced "gaming" heavy models like the Legion 5 pro/7 series, which also has a full-fledged keyboard (and it is even better in some ways).

    This is the main trouble of modern marketers – they frantically rush about in search of the target audience without understanding the true demands of the market. Otherwise, there would not be hundreds of crazy models on the market in different market niches, completely inadequate in terms of ergonomics and quality/price ratio. Superfluous people in large corporations simply cut budgets – they don’t care about the result, it’s important for them to get a stable salary and successfully jump out of the company with RSU packages. That's all they care about in practice. The progress of civilization (with a real active contribution to this with all one's strength and hardships because of this), as such, is of interest only to a narrow stratum of the population less than 2-3%.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 25, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks for the feedback.

      1. the 1240p and 1260p should perform similarly with the same software. Not sure what caused the NBC unit to perform poorly, perhaps a more immature BIOS version at that time.
      2. you're not wrong in your comments about battery life, but that's what current software is capable of. LG did well here to include a big battery and the overall software is optimized well. But if you'll push this through serious multitasking, 3-5 hours of battery life is realistic. The alternative is perhaps a Ryzen U platform, but even that won't be much more efficienct with serious multitasking. Plus, you'd be loosing on IPC/single-core performance with the current Ryzen 6000 gen.

      Overall, the Gram 17 is a good product if a lightweight notebook with a big-screen is what you're after. Some corners had to be cut to get it here, but this generation is a good upgrade over the previous Grams and competitive within its class, even with its quirks.

    • Michael

      October 25, 2022 at 3:56 pm

      I agree. It's kind of unacceptable that 1000€+ mobile (non-gaming) laptops still only come with soldered RAM, even sometimes only 8GB, still mediocre screens with only 300-400 nits of brightness and less than 120Hz refresh rate and the battery runtime is less than 8 hours even in ultra-thin, ultra-light models.

      They always fall short for their price tag, still with underwhelming specs that truly matter on a portable-first device, still sacrifice too much performance and heat dissipation and require 2000€ or more for the bare minimum RAM (32GB) and SSD (1TB) required for productive work.

      Gaming laptops have been evolving very well to enable the same level of productivity to replace desktop PCs when plugged in on a desk, but when it comes to laptops meant for mobility, the vast majority of them just fall short of their price tag.

      Though I will say that a 17" screen and full keyboard on a low weight is a good proposal if you are going to use your laptop for productive work, as the added screen width will allow you to open more windows side by side without everything getting tiny (in situations where you can't connect an external monitor).

    • AlexS

      October 28, 2022 at 5:48 am

      Note everyone does not necessarely has your needs NikoB, 16Gb RAM work very well for a lot of office work.

  6. maxim

    November 6, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    hi,
    i am a little confused on how to read your brightness minimum data.
    "Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 30.14 cd/m2"
    and in the screen uniformity diagram its:
    25% : 18.64 cd/m2 in the middle
    so at the 25% brightness level its lower than the min brightness mentioned above??
    would be nice to clearly say how dark the screen really gets on lowest possible level.

    i find it idiotic of the manufactorers to regulate the displays at around 20 cd/m, which seems normal nowadays.
    lenovo for example with its thinkpads clearly shows, that ips screens also go down to 3 cd/m if not regulated.
    i am often watching movies in bed and everything over 8-10 cd/m is too bright in a pitch black room..

    thanks for the reviews!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 6, 2022 at 3:39 pm

      What I do is set the screen on min-brightness and then run a report – that got the 30.14 cd/m2 result, which is rather high. This method yields different results than the uniformity test, for some reason – not sure why, but it's something I should look into. I use DisplayCal for the measurements.

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