We tested and compared the LG Gram 17 versus HP Envy 17 in terms of Performance, Price, Display Quality, Portability, Battery life & more.
Above you can see the ranking with the results and below you are going to find the in-depth reports of the two High performance Laptops.
Ranking First: LG Gram 17
- Better Performance than Envy 17
- Sharp, high-quality WQXGA display
- No performance throttling on battery
- Below average audio quality, poor bass
Uncompromisingly mobile. The LG gram 17 combines in a single device features that were previously considered incompatible: lightweight housing, 17-inch display, extensive interfaces and long battery life.
While 17-inch notebooks “have been increasingly removed from manufacturers’ product portfolios in recent years, a small renaissance of this form factor seems to be emerging. Optimized case designs, narrow screen edges, lightweight materials and permanently installed components make it possible to construct laptops ever more compact.
This also benefits the formerly rather bulky and heavy 17 incher. These have been a good desktop replacement in the past, but for most users on the road these devices turned out too bulky and heavy.
Meanwhile, it is possible to build 17-inch screens into the case of a 15-inch laptop, and also in terms of weight, regions are being penetrated that are not a matter of course even for 15-inch laptops.
The LG gram 17 has taken a particularly uncompromising approach in this respect. With a magnesium alloy housing, LG manages to push the weight down to an outstandingly light 2.98 lbs. Thus, the test device almost joins the ranks of light subnotebooks and thus fulfills a particularly important mobility criterion.
The prices for LG’s gram 17 start with Intel Core i5-1035G7, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD at $1400. For $150 more, interested parties can get an Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB solid-state drive.
Always included in the package are a high-capacity 80 Wh battery, a WQXGA display in 16:10 format (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) and a comprehensive interface equipment including Thunderbolt 3 and memory card reader.
Design & Ports / Interfaces
The extremely impressive core component of the LG gram 17 is the case, which weighs just 2.91 lbs (test weight). The material used here is a combination of plastic and magnesium alloy, which, in addition to a reasonable degree of torsional rigidity, impresses with its record-breaking lightness.
However, the low weight is also achieved by relatively thin material thicknesses. This becomes clear when pressing the display lid or the bottom panel. Nevertheless, the 17 incher has passed various test procedures of the MIL-STD-810G according to LG 7 and should thus be well equipped for mobile use.
Otherwise, the roughened and darker grey surface conveys a very pleasant haptic and is also able to hide fingerprints and dust deposits well.
The large, centrally positioned display hinge packs a neat punch and allows a finely dosed adjustment of the display’s tilt. However, it can’t prevent a teetering during movement. The maximum opening angle of the display is 145 degrees. That should be well enough for most applications.
In return, the keyboard unit’s stability provides room for improvement. A disadvantage of the lightweight construction comes to light here, which again demands some willingness to compromise on the pressure resistance.
The keyboard unit can be visibly pressed in with little force. In practice, however, this effect has less impact than one might expect. When writing, the hands placed on the wrist-rest obviously provide a certain counterweight, a kind of surface tension, and thus noticeably reduce the keyboard rocking.
There are no separate maintenance flaps on the LG gram 17’s bottom. You have to remove the entire cover in order to access the components installed inside.
All screws are hidden under rubber covers. LG does not provide any instructions for opening them in the manual. Before working on your own, you should inform yourself about the valid warranty conditions as usual.
The LG gram 17 leaves nothing to be desired in terms of features. Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen.2, HDMI 2.0 and a memory card reader cover a wide range of applications. Also on board are Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and a USB type C to Ethernet adapter (RJ45).
The position and spacing of the interfaces are successful and should not cause any restrictions in practical use. A separate mains connection is available for the power supply.
In the test, the Viewsonic VP2780-4k monitor (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) could be operated at 60 Hz on HDMI 2.0 without any problems. Via Thunderbolt 3, the test device transfers data at up to 2,816 MB/s, to the USB 3.1 Gen. 2 at up to 950 MB/s and via the memory card reader at almost 90 MB/s.
LG has thus piled up a good deal in the data sheet, especially in terms of the HDMI and USB ports’ capabilities in type-A format.
The two 1.5 watt speakers are placed on the side of the underbody and deliver a relatively balanced sound. Midrange and bass are well represented. The trebles, however, seem a bit tinny, especially at high volumes, and thus come somewhat to the fore here and there.
The maximum volume produces a sound pressure level of 74.6 dB(A) and should thus also be sufficient for smaller presentations. External solutions can be connected as usual via Bluetooth, USB or 3.5 mm jack.
The test device is obviously sufficiently well equipped for use in combination with real-time audio tasks. After 30 minutes of test runtime, the Latency Mon tool shows maximum latencies of 944 µs.
Thus, the critical limit of 1,000 µs is just undercut. Thus, quality losses like synchronization errors, dropouts or sound crackling shouldn’t occur.
Keyboard & Touchpad
LG makes very good use of the available case surface for the keyboard. Besides the usual main keypad, LG also integrates a full-sized number pad. The keys are mostly designed in a 19 mm grid, have a decent pressure point and a quiet stroke noise.
In the area of the number pad and the F-key row, the keys turn out a bit smaller, but in comparison to many competing models, users still benefit from a comparatively comfortable size. The keyboard mat yields with a bit of pressure, with hands off, but this effect hardly ever appears.
LG has given the keyboard labeling a sufficiently high contrast and the alternative functions in the F-key bar a clearly visible orange color. The standard integrated keyboard illumination has 2 brightness levels.
Not only the Goodix fingerprint reader is integrated in the start button, but also a wake-up function of the keyboard illumination. Helpful when in the dark the keyboard labels are no longer visible, because the exposed position of the power button is always found.
Despite the large keyboard with separate number pad, LG positions the touchpad centrally in front of the screen. In the past it was rather common to align the position with the space key on such models and thus move the touchpad to the left part of the case. Users have often found this solution uncomfortable and restrictive. Here: No problem!
Otherwise, the 119 x 78 mm sized clickpad with very good gliding characteristics and smooth-running mouse keys pleases. No limitations were found in the test.
LG only offers its gram 17 with a WQXGA display option (2,560 x 1,600 pixels). But that’s not too bad, because the LG Philips panel installed here does a lot of things right.
This certainly includes the 16:10 format that many a user has been longing for. The plus of pixels in the vertical direction is for example useful for image editors, scribblers, graphic artists or web designers.
Thus, it fits the target group. Moreover, the fine dot density of 177 ppi in combination with the smooth screen surface provides for an extremely pleasantly sharp display.
In return, the smooth display surface also represents the Achilles’ heel of the overall very good display. Due to the lack of effective anti-reflection coating, one has to reckon with limitations caused by superimposed mirror images in especially brightly lit interiors, but especially when used outdoors. The brighter the ambient light situation and the darker the image content, the more disturbing the effects become.
This mirror effect cannot always be outshone by the good display brightness. In the test, the WQXGA display delivers a maximum brightness of 415 cd/m² in the middle of the screen in both mains and battery operation.
Towards the edges, however, the luminance drops to up to 349 cd/m² in the upper right corner of the screen. Thus, the illumination only reaches an average of 84%. In practice, this brightness decrease is only rudimentarily noticeable in monochrome image content.
In the black image, brighter areas in the corners become apparent. Otherwise, no halos or cloud formations can be seen.
The brightness can be regulated as usual over 11 pre-defined brightness levels or exactly in percent over the Windows display settings. Brightness level 6 delivered 202 cd/m² and brightness level 5 142 cd/m².
LG uses PWM (pulse width modulation) with a frequency of 50 Hz for brightness control up to brightness level 6. Sensitive users might find this disturbing.
The black value is 0.219 cd/m² and provides a very good contrast ratio of 1.894:1. After profiling, this drops to 1.657:1.
The total of displayable colors covers 94.4% of the sRGB color space. Only small areas in the peripheral areas are missing. This is not only sufficient for the representation of fine color gradations, but also provides a very good basis for a correct color reproduction.
Here, LG certainly plays out its many years of experience as a display manufacturer and already delivers a panel with correct white point and very accurate color reproduction in the delivery state. With a maximum DeltaE 2000 of 4.3 (deviation from the ideal, the lower the better, limit at 5), the user is offered a true-color display without having to put his hands on it, out of the box.
LG’s gram 17 thus moves in an elite group of notebook models and should quickly make a name for itself, especially among designers, photographers or graphic designers.
Perfectionists can squeeze one or two optimizations out of the display by profiling it. With the X-Rite i1 Basic Pro 2 spectrophotometer, the maximum DeltaE 2000 could still be pushed to 2.7 and the average DeltaE 2000 to 1.1.
The LG gram 17 thus has one of the best displays tested in notebooks & mobiles and is the only 17-inch model that has made it into the top list so far. However, PWM and the reflective surface could be a knockout criterion for some users.
LG currently offers its gram 17 in two different configurations. Either the Intel Core i7-1065G7 or the Intel Core i5-1035G7 is used as CPU. In both cases, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 940 with 64 execution units is thus available for graphics output.
The i5, however, has to make do with 8 GB RAM in single channel mode in the delivery state. The i7, on the other hand, is equipped with 16 GB in dual channel mode.
The present test device is equipped with the quite frequently encountered Intel Core i5-1035G7. This belongs to the Intel Ice Lake family, has 4 computing cores, can process 8 threads simultaneously and can achieve a maximum turbo clock rate of up to 3.7 GHz.
While many manufacturers, especially with the current Intel CPUs, increasingly try to exploit the maximum performance by increasing the power dissipation, LG takes a much more reserved path. The LG gram 17 allows the processor only very short phases in which up to 29.4 watts may be consumed (CPU Package HWinfo).
After that the power consumption gradually drops relatively quickly (within 1-2 minutes) to 15 watts. After about 5 minutes of computing load, the consumption settles down at about 12 watts.
In view of the notebook concept with the best possible mobility and long battery life, this CPU tuning is only logical. On the other hand, this could be too much of a good thing for many users, because the processor performance turns out borderline low.
Cinebench R15 only achieves 145 points in the regular test in the single thread test and 474 points in the multi-thread test. Thus, the test configuration almost reaches the Toshiba Tecra A50-E-110’s performance with Intel Core i5-8250U.
Under optimal conditions in a cold state and with enough break between the single tests, the LG gram 17 also achieves 162 points in the single thread test and 536 points in the multi-thread test.
In LG’s Control Center you will find the possibility to activate a silent mode. If you use this option, the already low operating volume with a sound pressure level of 28.6 dB(A) is reduced to 26.8 dB(A).
In terms of power, one must then expect an even more drastic loss of performance. Only 130 points remain in the Cinebench R15 single thread test and 314 points in the multi-thread test.
The LG gram 17 is not designed for long load phases. The processor reduces its clock rates relatively quickly in the Geekbench CPU stress test and only works with 1.7 GHz to 2.0 GHz after the 3rd run (≈12 watts). The results drop from an initial 10.925 points to under 9.000 points and settle at around 8.900 points in the further course.
Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 940 is always responsible for the graphics output in the LG gram 17. The potentially most powerful variant is used here with 64 execution units. As usual for integrated graphics solutions, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 940 also has to manage without its own graphics memory.
This is instead borrowed from the RAM. However, the 8 GB DDR4-3200 soldered in the test device works in single channel mode and therefore noticeably slows down the actually good performance.
Therefore, only 6,287 points are achieved in 3D Mark Night Raid and just 29 fps in Unigine Heaven Basic. Thanks to a free RAM slot, this “problem” could be solved with a suitable RAM bar. In Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, for example, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 940 with dual-channel RAM achieves 9,482 points (Night Raid) and 47 fps (Heaven Basic).
Apart from that, you will of course find all the capabilities you are used to from this graphics chip series: External displays can be operated with up to 5,120 x 3,200 pixels at 60 Hz, Intel Quick Sync Video accelerates video conversions, UHD videos run smoothly and it can cope with up to 3 displays simultaneously.
Samsung’s M.2 PCIe SSD PM981 with a gross capacity of 512 GB in the test configuration provides sufficient memory. This is sufficient for many purposes and is a practical solution. Thanks to the second M.2 slot, the LG gram 17 offers the possibility of using an additional drive.
Samsung’s solution certainly belongs to the current top models in terms of performance. With up to 3,468 MB/s in reading and 1,966 MB/s in writing, no bottlenecks should occur in use.
Noise & temperature levels
A not unimportant effect of the rather weakly configured CPU can be seen in the emissions. Even under sustained full load, the operating noise never generates a sound pressure level higher than 28.6 dB(A).
In low-noise mode this drops even further to just 26.8 dB(A). No high-frequency or other disturbing background noise occurred during the test period.
The keyboard area heats up to a maximum of 45.7 °C after more than an hour of computing load despite the restrained fan activity. The temperature of 46.9 °C on the bottom turns out only slightly higher. Limitations are not to be expected in either case.
Besides the reserved consumption rates, the relatively amply dimensioned 80 Wh battery makes another important contribution to the longest possible battery life. In the test, the LG gram 17 with practical settings lasts between 5 hours and 12 hours depending on the load scenario. This should be sufficient for many work situations.
The WiFi module, however, is quite power-hungry. As soon as it is permanently needed, the runtime is reduced by about 40 %.
The performance hardly decreases in battery mode. With 5 % – 10 % less power, you can work almost as fast here as in mains operation.
Once the 80 Wh battery is drained, a charging time of 2:51 hours must be planned. After 1:45 hours, almost 70 % is available again. The LG gram 17 does not have an activatable quick charge function.
LG deliberately deviates from the well-worn rating badge notebook paths with its gram 17. Contrary to the usual competition for particularly high computing or graphics performance, LG sets a clear exclamation mark in terms of features, mobility and emissions.
The interface equipment shows itself to be practical and neatly equipped. LG even surprises with more powerful interface versions than the data sheet actually promises thanks to HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen.2. Thunderbolt 3, a memory card reader and the fingerprint reader finally lift the level of equipment into the premium range.
Otherwise, the 17 incher scores with its extremely light case, a great WQXGA display and a barely audible operating noise.
However, you have to accept a very reserved computing and graphic performance with all these positive characteristics. In comparison to similarly equipped competitors, the test configuration lags about 20% to 30% behind, depending on the scenario.
Aside from low emissions, users receive long battery runtimes in line with practical experience as compensation. These fit the mobile orientation very well and underline the extraordinary notebook concept.
LG’s total package is finally rounded off with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty in combination with an extremely fair pricing, which is why the LG Gram 17 is ranking first vs HP Envy 17.
Ranking Second: HP Envy 17
- Good Battery life
- Better price than LG Gram 17
- Does not overheat
- No Thunderbolt 3 ports
Successful all-rounder. Hewlett Packard’s multimedia all-rounder scores with good equipment, a chic case and long battery life.
HP has a 17.3 inch multimedia notebook in its range with the Envy 17. The computer is powered by a ULV quad-core processor.
A dedicated GeForce graphics core enables the use of computer games. Competitors include devices like the Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G and the Asus VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76.
HP relies on a silver aluminum case in the Envy 17. Merely the display bezel is kept in black. The notebook doesn’t reveal any weaknesses on the manufacturing side.
The gap dimensions are correct and there are no material protrusions to be found. The base unit’s stability deserves criticism, though. The latter should have a higher stiffness. The battery is firmly installed. The computer doesn’t have a maintenance flap.
The case has to be opened to get to the insides. To do this, the DVD burner’s drawer is opened first. When the drawer is open, a screw appears which must be removed.
Then remove all screws on the bottom of the unit. Attention: There are three more screws hidden under the rear rubber strip. Afterwards the bottom tray can be carefully removed with the help of a joint smoother.
Regarding the interfaces, HP’s 17.3 inch HP can’t surprise. HP supplies standard fare here. All four USB ports (3x type A, 1x type C) work according to the USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard.
Considering the price level of the computer, we would have expected a type C USB 3.1 Gen 2 slot or immediately a Thunderbolt 3 port. A monitor can be connected via HDMI.
The memory card reader belongs to the fast representatives of its kind. A maximum transfer rate of 82.9 MB/s is achieved when copying large data blocks. The transfer of 250 JPG image files (about 5 MB each) is completed at a speed of 72.2 MB/s. We test the memory card reader using a reference card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).
The Envy’s WiFi module accommodates a chip (Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265) from Intel. This chip supports the WiFi standards 802.11a/b/g/h/n as well as the fast ac standard.
The transmission speeds determined by us under optimal conditions (no other WiFi devices in the immediate vicinity, small distance between notebook and server PC) turn out well.
Keyboard & Touchpad
Hewlett Packard equips the Envy 17 with an illuminated chiclet keyboard. The flat, smooth keys have a short stroke and a clear pressure point. The key resistance is pleasing.
During typing, the keyboard yields minimally at best. This hasn’t proven to be annoying. All in all, HP supplies a very neat keyboard that is also suitable for frequent typists.
The multi-touch capable clickpad occupies an area of about 12 x 6 cm. Thus, enough space is available for using the gesture control. The smooth surface makes it easy for fingers to glide. The pad has a short stroke and a clear pressure point.
The Envy’s glossy 17.3-inch display works with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Brightness (329.6 cd/m²) and contrast (1.135:1) turn out well. Positive: The screen shows no PWM flickering.
The color display in the delivery state is okay. With a Delta E 2000 color deviation of 4.34, the target range is not too far away. The display does not suffer from a blue cast.
HP equips the 17.3 incher with a viewing angle stable IPS panel. Thus, the screen can be read from any position. The display’s brightness and contrast would definitely allow outdoor use – but the maximum brightness drops a bit in battery mode. The glossy display surface makes the task more difficult, though.
The Envy 17 belongs to the multimedia all-rounders in the 17.3 inch format. It offers enough computing power for all common application areas. The dedicated graphics core allows the use of computer games. Our test device is available for about $1150. Other equipment variants are available. Prices start at $900.
On board the Envy, Intel’s current ULV CPU of the midrange can be found with the Core i5-8250U (Kaby Lake Refresh) quad-core processor. The CPU should completely satisfy the performance requirements of most users. The processor works with a base speed of 1.6 GHz. By means of Turbo an increase up to 3.4 GHz is possible.
The CPU tests carried out by us are processed by the processor with 3 to 3.3 GHz (multi-thread) or 3 to 3.4 GHz (single-thread). Occasionally a CPU core is slowed down to 2.4 to 2.7 GHz. There are no differences between mains and battery operation.
We’ll check if the turbo is also used permanently by running the Cinebench R15’s multi-thread test in a continuous loop for about 30 minutes. From the first to the third run, the results drop minimally and then remain at a constant level. Thus, the turbo is used.
There’s nothing to criticize on the system performance side. A solid state disk and a powerful Core i5 processor ensure a smooth and fluid running system. The very good PC Mark results attest the computer sufficient performance even for applications beyond office and internet.
The dedicated graphics core enables the use of computer games. An increase in overall performance is not possible. HP has already exhausted everything.
A SATA-III SSD from LiteOn serves as system drive. It is a model in M.2-2280 format, which offers a total capacity of 128 GB. Of that, about 84 GB are usable in the delivery state. The remaining storage space is divided between the Windows installation and the recovery partition.
The transfer rates turn out good. Alternatively, the Envy 17 can be equipped with a NVMe-SSD. These models work with significantly higher transfer rates because they are connected via PCI Express x4 3.0.
Besides the SSD, a conventional 2.5 inch hard disk is also in the computer. This has a storage capacity of 1 TB and operates at 7,200 revolutions per minute.
Hewlett Packard also relies on a midrange model for the graphic core. The GeForce MX150 GPU installed here supports DirectX 12 and reaches speeds of up to 1.532 MHz. The graphics core is supported by 2,048 MB GDDR5 memory. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are on a normal level for this GPU.
As a multimedia all-rounder, the Envy 17 brings almost all current games smoothly onto the screen. Most titles achieve sufficiently high refresh rates in HD resolution (1,366 x 768 pixels) and with medium quality settings.
Titles that don’t place too high demands on the hardware allow more. Very performance-hungry titles require a reduction in resolution or quality level. This would be the case for example with the game Final Fantasy XV.
Noise & Temperature levels
The Envy laptop’s fan often stops running when the laptop is idle. Silence is then mostly still, because the noise of the hard disk can be heard. Even when the fan is idle, it is not really audible.
This changes under load of course. During the stress test the sound pressure level rises to 39.7 dB(A). This value is okay for a notebook of this performance class.
In opposition to all other HP notebooks we tested, the Envy doesn’t have the BIOS option “Fan always on”.
The HP notebook passes our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least an hour) in the same way in both mains and battery mode. In the first minutes of the test, the processor runs at 2.3 to 2.7 GHz.
Afterwards the clock rate drops to 1.7 to 2.3 GHz. In the further course of the test the speed oscillates between 1.2 and 1.8 GHz. The graphics core operates at speeds around 1,500 MHz.
The Envy doesn’t heat up particularly strongly. During the stress test, the temperatures are clearly below 40°C at all test points.
Bang & Olufsen’s stereo speakers are located above the keyboard behind a perforated cover. They produce a surprisingly thin sound. The bass is largely missing.
We would have expected more from a multimedia all-rounder in this respect. For a better sound experience, headphones or external speakers have to be used.
Our practical WiFi test simulates the load when calling up web pages by means of a script. The “balanced” profile is active, the display brightness is about 150 cd/m² and the energy saving functions are switched off.
The Envy 17 reaches a runtime of 8:07 h.
All in all, the Envy 17-ae43ng made a good impression. The built-in Core i5 processor offers enough computing power for all common application scenarios. In combination with the GeForce-MX150 graphics core, it brings all current computer games to the Full-HD screen. The computer doesn’t get excessively loud or warm.
Positive: In contrast to many other notebooks, which have a ULV quad-core processor from Intel on board, the Envy can extend the CPU’s turbo over a long period of time at a fairly high level. Thus, the computing power of the Core-i7-7700HQ quad-core processor is almost reached, which however has a TDP of 45 watts.
Hewlett Packard supplies a well equipped multimedia all-rounder in the 17.3 inch format with the Envy 17-ae143ng.
A solid state disk ensures a fast running system. This could be replaced by a NVMe model if necessary. There’s no lack of storage space: Aside from the SSD, the Envy also comes with a 1TB capacity 2.5 inch hard disk. A drive exchange would be possible, but the notebook’s case would have to be opened for this.
HP installs a very neat, illuminated keyboard, which is also made for doing regular typing work. Good battery life is added to this. Brightness and contrast of the viewing angle stable IPS Full HD screen are very pleasing. Unfortunately, HP has installed a reflective display here.
The Envy doesn’t offer many criticism possibilities. Apart from the reflective display surface, the loudspeakers, which are not worthy of a multimedia notebook, also have to be mentioned here. Moreover, HP only equips the laptop with a type C USB 3.1 Gen 1 slot.
We expect a Thunderbolt 3 slot in relation to the price level of the computer, which is why the HP Envy 17 is ranking behind vs LG Gram 17.
Due to its’ lower price though the HP Envy 17 is still a good choice as all around performer in its’ price class.