LG expanded its UltraGear PC gaming products with an ambitious new laptop series today that might soon vie for a spot on our list of best gaming laptops. The new gaming portable is described as "a powerful performer with a seriously sleek design," and it doesn't solely rely on self-praise at this early stage: The new machine has collected a CES 2022 Innovation Award. However, the gaming market is a tough one to crack, so let us look closer and see if it has a fighting chance.
LG's first gaming laptop will be dubbed the LG UltraGear 17G90Q. Putting on a codename decoding hat, you might easily and correctly guess this is a 17-inch laptop (17), aimed at gaming (G), but the 90 appears to be a nomenclature dead end, and the Q suffix doesn't mean it has a QHD screen - according to the specs the 17-inch IPS screen is FHD 1920 x 1080.
While we are on the topic of the screen, LG certainly seems to have fast-paced gaming covered with a quoted 1ms GtG response time and 300Hz refresh rate. Also, color gamut reproduction is a decent 99% of sRGB, good enough for casual content creators. Unfortunately, LG's specs don't reveal any other details about the screen, so we will probably have to wait for CES for more.
Before pondering over the internal specs, another key attraction of the new LG UltraGear laptop designs is that they "share DNA with LG's lightweight Gram laptops." That means these aluminum-cased gaming laptops are sleek and attractive, and offer good levels of portability for their screen sizes. For example, the LG UltraGear 17G90Q, being a 17-incher, is a competitive 21.4mm thick, and weighs under 2.7kg, even though it packs in a sizeable 93Wh battery.
Under the hood, LG has plumped for a tried and trusted combination of an 11th-Gen Intel Tiger Lake-H CPU (so there may be a range of processor choices from the family to pick) and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q GPU.
LG's current expertise lies in thin and light laptops, obviously represented by its Gram line. However, a gaming laptop is quite a different beast, and with LG trying to share Gram DNA here, some may worry about gaming performance parts throttling under duress.
According to the press release, LG has thermals taken care of, as a "vapor chamber keeps the laptop running cool, even when pushed to the limits." We have seen many laptops fall at this hurdle before, so it might be best to wait for third party reviews before feeling too assured about the cooling.
LG also uses the RTX 3080 Max-Q, which is usually configured towards the lower range of the 80 - 150W bracket. This contrasts to the likes of the Alienware x17, which addresses a similar market but has a significantly beefier cooling system to cope with the RTX 3080 GPU configured for 165W.
Other Features and Specs
Buyers will be able to configure LG UltraGear 17G90Q systems with 16 or 32GB of DDR4 using the dual slots and up to a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD (2 slots provided).
Users will also appreciate the RGB backlit keyboard with per-key configuration options, 3D sound via 2-ways speakers, supporting DTS:X Ultra, fingerprint reader in the power button, FHD webcam with Dual Mic, IR Camera, plus Wi-Fi 6E & Intel Killer Wireless networking.
I/O ports include USB 4 Gen 3×2 Type C (x1, USB PD-out & TBT4), USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 Type C (x1, USB PD-out & DP), USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (x2), Audio (4-Pole Headset, US type), HDMI, Ethernet RJ45, DC-In, and microSD/UFS reader.
LG provides its UltraGear Studio software to allow users to monitor and configure stats such as CPU clock, GPU TDP and clock, and memory performance – in real-time.
You can learn more about the Ultragear 17G90Q laptops at CES starting from Jan 4, 2022. The first machines will become available in the US and South Korea in early 2022, with other markets to follow. It will be particularly interesting to see pricing. With expectations of next-gen laptop CPUs and GPUs being launched at CES 2022, hopefully LG can respond quickly and get this promising design updated.