We test the LG Ultra 17: a huge laptop with massive battery life for working wherever you want

Computers & Laptops | May 8, 2023

We test the LG Ultra 17: a huge laptop with massive battery life for working wherever you want

The largest laptops currently available have huge 17- and even 21-inch screens. Typically, these devices are designed for the most demanding gamers or content creators, and feature graphics cards and components that make them among the most expensive on the market. However, LG has been democratizing access to laptops of this size with its Gram and, above all, Ultra range, which last year reached its third generation with a model that we put to the test at EL ESPAÑOL-Omicrono.

The most demanding gamers may miss some raw power and a more ambitious graphics card than Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, but the latest Intel processor does wonders when you need more than just opening a web browser or an office program. That, combined with a balanced weight and great battery life, make it a very viable option if you’re looking to upgrade your equipment.

During the weeks I was able to test it, this latest version of the LG Ultra 17 proved to be an ideal device for multitasking, allowing you to take full advantage of the screen, with 11% more space thanks to its 16:10 aspect ratio. It also proved to be versatile for carrying out all kinds of tasks thanks to its solid performance. It is not exactly cheap, with a price of €1,699 currently on Amazon, but it is significantly less expensive than other 17-inch laptops, which usually cost over €2,000.

Lightweight for its size

The casing of this LG Ultra 17 follows the discreet trend of the previous versions, with an aluminum finish without any flashy elements. When you open it, the first feeling is that, for its large size, the touchpad is somewhat small, but you soon get used to it and do not miss the mouse. The backlit keyboard is very smooth and reliable, with a full-size design including a numeric keypad, something that is missing on smaller laptops.

All the attention is focused on the IPS panel with WQXGA resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, 96% sRGB color depth, and 350 nits brightness with anti-reflection, allowing you to use the laptop without any problem in high brightness situations. Although OLED technology is looming on the horizon, LG’s LCD panels still perform at a high level, with exquisite definition, vibrant and bright colors, and deep contrast.

LG Ultra 17 - 01

This LG laptop has dimensions of 381 x 274 x 19.9 mm, thin enough to not be uncomfortable, but impossible to fit in typical medium-sized laptop backpacks. It weighs 1.95 kg, which is understandable given its size. The feeling is that of a robust device that opens with one hand thanks to the weight of its base and smooth hinges.

The LG Ultra includes Thunderbolt 4 and WiFi 6, not to mention three USB-C 3.2 ports and the USB 4.0 Gen3x2, capable of providing fast charging of 15 W to your phone, so the connectivity department is more than covered. Everything is within reach and comfortable, including a slot for microSD cards and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The stereo speakers provide 3 W of power, and the audio has DTS: X Ultra equalization, for the most discerning cinephiles and audiophiles.

Powerful, but not overdoing it

The LG Ultra 17 combines a 12th generation Intel U-series CPU with a fairly discreet GPU, the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. It can easily handle several open programs without any jumps or slowdowns, but when tested with demanding games, it is noticeable that it is not designed for gaming and it is necessary to lower the graphics quality to maintain a decent refresh rate.

In any case, when the fan is demanded, it starts up without making too much noise and manages to cool the bottom area of the laptop to provide significantly superior performance.

LG Ultra 17 - 02

Accompanying the Intel chip, the laptop has 16 GB of DDR5 RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage, which is a bit tight but expandable thanks to a lower slot where another SSD can be inserted to reach up to 4 TB of storage. A memory scheme more than enough to handle heavy files and open Google Chrome tabs without fear.

If what you are looking for is mainly a device that allows you to work anywhere, the LG Ultra 17 fulfills this purpose, especially thanks to its battery life. The laptop has an 80 Wh battery, which according to the Korean brand translates into 18.5 hours of autonomy with a single charge cycle. In my case, it didn’t reach that much and decreased to 14 hours, but it’s still quite an achievement, especially considering that I used it for work, gaming, and movie-watching with a considerable brightness level.

LG Ultra 17 - 03

It’s an extra peace of mind to know that you can use it all day without having to reduce performance or worry about finding a power outlet. The power adapter is small and won’t take up much space in your backpack, which adds to its portability.

Unlike other laptops that prioritize power and fall short in terms of battery life, this laptop feels very balanced in terms of energy consumption, given its size and 2.5K resolution. The Intel processor could be the key, as the cooling system only activates at specific moments, resulting in energy savings.

Should I buy it?

The best option is not always the biggest, but for certain uses, having a 17-inch laptop with a 16:10 aspect ratio can make a big difference. This 3rd generation LG Ultra 17 performs smoothly as the main work tool for any user who doesn’t require excessive requirements, whether for work, gaming, or creating audiovisual content.

It’s also reasonably priced at 1,699 euros, given the screen size and versatility provided by having a 12th generation Intel i7 processor and a graphics card with 4 GB of dedicated memory to accompany the 16 GB of DDR5 RAM.

LG Ultra 17 - 04

Overall, the LG Ultra 17 positions itself as one of those football players who always perform well in any position. It may not be the one who scores the most goals or performs the most eye-catching dribbles, but all coaches want to have it on their team.

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