Yes, sad, isn’t it?
About a year ago, I bought an LG Gram 17 laptop. As you’ll see elsewhere in this blog, I was very pleased with it at the time, describing it after three months’ use as “the first laptop I’ve bought and used in at least 10 years that I’m entirely happy with.” So what’s it like after a year of use?
It had the latest CPU at the time of its launch, together with a 17-inch display, a 1TB solid state storage device and 16GB of memory. This specification seemed like enough at the time and – spoiler alert – it still does. The most stress it gets is some light gaming, when the fans will emit a noticeable but not overwhelming amount of white noise. And it can get a little bit hot. Again, not so much that it becomes difficult to handle. The rest of the time, it handles my demands easily.
It’s generally silent, cool and sips at the battery. The LG utility (hello bloatware!) keeps the battery from charging to 100 percent to avoid excessive wear and it still lasts for hours: I’ve not exhausted it, ever. It’s been a couple of hours since the last charge to 80 percent and, as I type this review, 60 percent and a reported four hours’ of life remain. Never thought I’d say nice things about bloatware…
I still welcome the way that the machine is utterly reliable, with no need to go poking around in the innards of Windows to keep it that way. It sleeps and hibernates as and when expected and returns from those states quickly and reliably. Reliable: there’s that word again. The in-built camera recognises my face and logs me in automatically and, again, quickly, except in conditions of low light when it struggles a bit.
Though it took me a little while, I’m now accustomed to the keyboard: the main keys are offset to the left of the large trackpad to make room for the number pad which felt a bit weird at first. But the space that the large format of the machine gives the keyboard means that I don’t have to use the Fn key to access keys such as Home, PgUp, PgDn and Del, each of which are separate. The keys themselves are a reasonable size with space between them. There’s a clicky feel to each keypress.
I’m a huge fan of the 17-inch display which means it almost – but not quite – becomes as good to use as my widescreen desktop displays. This was one of the main reasons I bought this machine. In bright sunshine, it does though struggle to compete.
One issue that it seems no laptop maker has resolved is physical wear and tear. Not that the LG has had a hard life: it travels rarely. But daily handling means the edges of the case where I pick it up have started to look a little worn. A wipe with some isopropyl alcohol tidies up most but not all of it. The keyboard and display in contrast still look brand new.
Other than that, there’s nothing to complain about so I stand by my original conclusion: this is the best laptop I’ve ever bought and, though LG won’t want to hear this, I plan to keep it until it gives up the ghost. And that’s something I’ve never said about any laptop.