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Refreshed LG Gram laptops head to North America in January for CES 2018

LG Gram
Image used with permission by copyright holder
LG Electronics said on Wednesday, December 13, that it plans to inject its super thin and light LG Gram laptops with eighth-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors in 2018. The new units will make their initial appearance during the CES technology show in early January, packing 72WHr batteries promising up to 22.5 hours on a single charge. That is the same battery ballpark Microsoft and Qualcomm boast about the upcoming Always Connected PCs using ARM-based Snapdragon 835 processors.

Unfortunately, LG Electronics wasn’t exactly brimming with details in its pre-CES announcement. There will be three sizes throughout the refresh delivering 40 percent better work efficiency than the previous generation, and boot times under 10 seconds. That timing partly stems from the use of a solid-state drive (SSD), which will be accompanied by a second SSD drive slot in the updated laptops.

As for the eighth-generation processors, LG didn’t provide any specifics, but here is what they may include:

Core i7-8650U Core i7-8550U Core i5-8350U Core i5-8250U
Cores / Threads: 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 8
Base speed: 1.90GHz 1.80GHz 1.70GHz 1.60GHz
Max speed: 4.20GHz 4.00GHz 3.60GHz 3.40GHz
Graphics: UHD Graphics 620 UHD Graphics 620 UHD Graphics 620 UHD Graphics 620
Graphics base speed: 300MHz 300MHz 300MHz 300MHz
Graphics max speed: 1,150MHz 1,150MHz 1,100MHz 1,100MHz
Power use: 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts

According to the company, the LG Gram laptops will have a 20 percent increased durability over the standard laptop due to their Nano Carbon Magnesium full-metal alloy body. They passed seven U.S. military MIL-STD 810G durability tests, meaning they should withstand “extreme environments” and the torturous actions of kids. Despite the chassis, they will still remain thin and light for easy mobility.

Here are the weights and maximum battery times we pulled from the announcement:

Screen Size Weight Battery Life
13Z980 13.3 inches 2.13 pounds 22.5 hours
14Z980 14 inches 2.19 pounds 21.5 hours
15Z950 15.6 inches 2.41 pounds 19 hours

“We’re very proud to introduce the new Gram PCs, which have been designed in direct response to those wishing to get an all-around, high-performance laptop with maximum portability,” Chang Ik-hwan, head of LG’s IT business division, said in a statement. “The 2018 gram series can tick all the boxes for users who want versatile and lightweight laptops with faster processing capabilities.”

Other tidbits coughed up by LG include what it calls IPS In-cell touch technology, which means the display will not only have wide viewing angles and rich colors but touch input support as well. The takeaway from this detail is that touchscreens can be thicker than standard screens due to the touch-capable layer, but that is not the case with the panel used in LG’s Gram-branded laptops.

A few other hints about the upcoming LG Gram refresh include backlit keyboards, DTS Headphone X support providing multi-channel sound up to 11.1 channels, 1.5-watt speakers, fingerprint scanners, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. That connection can provide data transfers of up to 40Gbps, depending on how it’s hard-wired.

The new LG Gram laptops will be made available to purchase within North America in January either during the CES 2018 show in Las Vegas or shortly thereafter. Other markets will see the LG Gram refresh shortly after the North American rollout.

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Kevin Parrish
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