LG may refresh its Gram notebooks with seventh-gen Intel processors

LG 22CV241 Chromebase review macro logo
Looks like we have another laptop leak ahead of CES 2017, which kicks off on January 5. This time it’s device manufacturer LG refreshing its Gram family of laptops with new processors, better batteries, Thunderbolt 3, and built-in fingerprint sensors. The leak arrives by way of German-based WinFuture, which posted some specs and images of the unannounced laptops.

The refreshed LG Gram notebooks will be served up in three models sometime during 2017: the 13Z970 with a 13-inch display, the 14Z970 with a 14-inch display, and the 15Z970 with a 15.6-inch display. The screen size will be the biggest difference between the three units, packing IPS displays with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. The company will offer models with touchscreens as well, a first for the LG Gram series.

The refreshed laptops will reportedly sport Intel’s seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” Core processors. The leak specifically names the Core i5-7200U and the Core i7-7500U processors.

Core i5-7200U Core i7-7500U
Launch date: Q3 of 2016 Q3 of 2016
Process node: 14nm 14nm
Number of cores: 2 2
Number of threads: 4 4
Base clock speed: 2.50GHz 2.70GHz
Boost clock speed: 3.10GHz 3.50GHz
Cache: 3MB 4MB
Maximum power draw: 15 watts 15 watts
Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel HD Graphics 620
Graphics base clock speed: 300MHz 300MHz
Graphics boost clock speed: 1.00GHz 1.05GHz

In addition to these two processors, all three models will include at least 8GB of system memory, and up to 512GB of storage on a SATA-based solid state drive. Other options and features will include a USB Type-C port supporting Thunderbolt 3, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wireless AC connectivity, gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI output supporting 4K displays.

On the battery front, LG’s current crop of Gram laptops relies on 34.61 watt-hours (up to 7 hours) and 52.06 watt-hours (up to 13 hours) batteries, depending on the configuration. For the upcoming refreshed laptops, LG is reportedly keeping the 34.61-watt-hour battery, but switching out the 52.06-watt-hour version for a slightly beefier 60-watt-hour model. As the table shows below, the bigger battery is needed to support a touchscreen, indicating that the refreshed batch will ship with models sporting touchscreens as well.

Here is what LG is selling now:

Model Size CPU Memory Touch Battery Price
gram-13Z950-A.AA3WU1 13” Core i5-5200U 8GB No 34.61 Wh $800
gram-14Z950-A.AA3GU1 14” Core i5-5200U 8GB No 34.61 Wh $850
gram-15Z960-A.AA52U1 15” Core i5-6200U 8GB No 34.61 Wh $1100
gram-14Z950-A.AA4GU1 14” Core i7-5500U 8GB No 34.61 Wh $1200
gram-15Z960-T.AA52U1 15” Core i5-6200U 8GB Yes 52.06 Wh $1300
gram-15Z960-A.AA75U1 15” Core i7-6500U 8GB No 34.61 Wh $1500
gram-15Z960-T.AA75U1 15” Core i7-6500U 8GB Yes 52.06 Wh $1700

The leak also notes that the battery size and number of ports will depend on the size of the laptop. However, all three models will be lighter than the previous generation, reportedly dropping around 1.41 ounces to weigh in at just over 2 pounds.

What’s notable about the LG Gram refresh is that LG will offer models with a fingerprint reader built into the upper-left corner of the trackpad. This is likely Synaptics’ SecurePad solution that combines its TouchPad technology and its Natural ID fingerprint sensor. This can be used to unlock Windows 10 without the need for login credentials, to make online purchases, open programs and apps, and more.

Unfortunately, that’s all we have for now. The refreshed LG Gram notebooks are expected to arrive in 2017, but an exact release window is unknown for the moment. LG will likely announce the next-generation laptops during CES 2017, so stay tuned.

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