Although best known for its mobile phone and audiovisual products, Korean manufacturer LG has a prestigious tradition in the laptop market. In fact, it is not a manufacturer that follows the guidelines set by the market, but rather uses the weapons that provide it with its vast experience in the manufacture of devices such as screens or batteries to offer products with unique characteristics. In addition, the design of their models also makes them stand out clearly from others.
This is the case with the Gram ultralight notebook series, with exceptional characteristics in terms of weight and autonomy. This time we have been able to test a laptop from LG, the LG Ultra 17U70N-J, which belongs to another more ambitious category in the power section. A large device, 17 inches, which according to the brand’s intentions is aimed at professional content creators who need a highly portable and high-performance equipment with great autonomy.
The cover letter to achieve this is really remarkable, with an Nvidia Geforce 1650 graphics card, 16 Gigabytes of RAM in a laptop less than two centimeters high and weighing less than two kilos is impressive. If they promise up to 16 hours of autonomy and a WQXGA screen that covers 96% of the sRGB color space, things improve. Somewhat less exciting is the choice of the processor since Intel’s Core i7-10510U is not that it is not powerful but it does have as a priority the control of power consumption. And it is that those 16 hours of work are not free.
LG Ultra 17U70N-J, technical characteristics
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10510U|
|Chipset||Intel Comet Lake-U PCH-LP Premium|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4-2666MHz SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)|
|GPU||Nvidia GeForce® GTX 1650|
|Storage||512GB M.2 (NVMe)|
|Dimensions||38.1 x 27.4 x 1.99 cm|
|Autonomy||Up to 16 hours (72 Wh battery)|
|Connectivity||1 x USB-C 2 x USB -A 3.1, 1 x USB -A 2.0, RJ45, jack, microSD slot, HDMI|
|Audio||1,5W stereo speakers|
|screen||17.0 ″ 16:10 format, WQXGA (2560 x 1600px) IPS LED, 96% sRGB|
The design of the LG Ultra is practically the same as its cousins in the Gram range: an edge to aluminum and rounded edges. The narrow edge of the screen that makes the most of the lid space and the presence of a very complete set of connectors is surprising, including the always problematic (due to its size) RJ45 connector for wired Ethernet network (yes, with the trick of the tab that is lowered).
It also offers three USB connectors, two of them type 3.1, a USB-C connector (not compatible with Thunderbolt 3 unfortunately), Micro SD slot and the audio jack for microphone and headphones. The aluminum chassis is rigid and has a robust appearance. LG claims that it has passed the demanding STD-MIL 810G military tests which make it resistant to shocks and pressure but also give a reference to resistance to other factors such as corrosion.
At the bottom of the laptop we can see the ventilation grilles on the back and on the front two grids too, smaller, but this time for the two 1.5W speakers. The keyboard occupies the upper part of the surface leaving plenty of room to rest your hands on the sides of the touchpad that has a good size. It gives the impression that a somewhat larger keyboard could have been installed in a 17-inch case, although it takes up more space in proportion than in the Gram models.
The keys are somewhat smaller and further apart which makes it more comfortable to work. In general, the keyboard is handled with precision and its touch is adequate, although with less travel and quality than other premium laptops. The trackpad area is also generously sized and covered in a slip-limiting material for a perfect feel. Microsoft drivers are incorporated to access certain functions through finger gestures.
As it is a laptop aimed at creatives, LG has decided to omit certain functions that could have been incorporated such as a cover for the webcam or some recognition system such as fingerprint reader or iris recognition through Windows Hello, but it has not been chosen for this in this model. Nor does it have a physical button to turn off the microphone, something really useful in video conferencing sessions.
The LG Ultra at work
Once the screen is turned on, it immediately attracts attention. Resolution and image quality are very good with sharp colors and good response when it comes to contrast. It is one of the brightest screens that we have seen in premium computers so we will not find problems working in sunlight. Even put to the test in gaming, the Achilles heel of most professional laptop screens, the LG Ultra holds the type with dignity.
In the tasks to which this model is directed, video and image editing, the screen is more than competent. Of course, some professionals in the area of content creation may want it to cover more completely the professional AdobeRGB color space, but this feature is available to very few models and for many other jobs, 96% of the space sRGB color will be more than enough.
In this sense, the 16:10 format is also a plus for working with more than one window. Although the difference with respect to a screen with a 16: 9 aspect ratio does not seem much, the truth is that this together with the higher resolution with respect to other laptops in the category and the 17-inch screen size makes this LG Ultra Especially recommended for working with texts and numbers without using an external monitor.
Thanks to the Control Center program that LG incorporates into the computer and already present in the Gram range, it is possible to configure the color temperature of the screen by means of a sliding bar that allows the colors displayed on the screen to be warmer or cooler. From the same application, we can also increase the brightness of the screen as with the keyboard buttons that have this function.
Work 16 hours
As we have pointed out, LG relies for this laptop on another of the strengths of its technology: the battery. It is a 72 Wh model that in our tests exceeded 13 hours of navigation autonomy and slightly more than eight with video playback. Very close to the 16 hours that LG promises and certainly more than enough for a (normal) working day. In two hours we can fully charge it by connecting it to the current.
Another important feature especially for teleworking is the operation of the webcam. As in other laptops, LG has opted for a 720-point resolution camera that offers sufficient quality although it misses that it has a higher resolution. It has a MEMS type microphone that offers good noise isolation and low consumption that is very well adapted to the operation required for teleworking.
Thanks to the software incorporated by the manufacturer, the LG control center, we can enable charging through the USB-C connector, but only when the computer is off. It is an interesting option for not carrying the charger with you but it does not allow you to charge it with the equipment on, probably due to the lack of power in chargers of this type or the connector itself. We can also automatically limit the percentage of battery charge which can achieve a longer life to it in the long term. The same program will measure the health of the battery so that we are informed.
LG Ultra performance
It must be said that there are not many laptops that choose as a hardware configuration the combination between a processor of the Intel Core – U series, low consumption and mainly designed to maximize battery life, with a dedicated Nvidia Geforce graphics card from the GTX series. With this LG has sought a performance adjusted for normal tasks and vitaminize those tasks that require graphic performance.
The results of the tests are as expected. The performance of the processor, measured for example with the Cinebench test or the CPU-Z test, defends itself quite well in single-threaded tasks, while the seams are noticeable in multithreading jobs that otherwise include video encoding, an important task for any designer doing video editing tasks with their computer. When doing the performance tests, the laptop has become noticeably hot in the keyboard area while the noise of the fans has not been annoying at any time.
With regard to 3D performance, as expected, the LG Ultra regains some ground with good figures in the tests, although somewhat weighed down by the performance of the processor and therefore in the Time Spy 3D Mark test it remains a little below the average of other notebooks that equip the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 graphics card. Here the heating of the computer was somewhat higher but in no case was it annoying.
There is no doubt that the LG Ultra is a premium laptop and both its design and many aspects of its operation demonstrate this. The Korean company has wanted to distinguish itself from the competition with technical characteristics that are difficult to find in the competition with laptops of this size and price and the truth is that the results of these elections show different results depending on the sections in which we look.
To achieve balanced performance and maintain maximum autonomy, a good processor has been chosen when it comes to handling consumption but that lags somewhat behind in power compared to the competition. The incorporation of the Nvidia card pays off in many ways but not all. On the contrary, we find an excellent screen, autonomy to work all day and a connectivity above the average for a special laptop that can be interesting for users in need of a large screen and a great autonomy with good graphic performance.
With its 17-inch Ultra, LG has achieved a peculiar laptop, comfortable to use and with a wide autonomy and an excellent screen, but with a performance that is somewhat fair for its price range.
Design and build quality8.5