Regular readers will know that I was a huge fan of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The moment it was discontinued, I rushed out to buy the very last model so that I could keep it for as long as possible.

Way back in 2014, I argued that it was time to bring it back. That didn’t happen, of course, and two years later I’d come to terms with the fact that the era of user-upgradable MacBook Pro models was at an end.

But that wasn’t there only reason I loved the 17-inch model: there was also that gorgeous screen size. And LG’s latest laptop shows just how lovely a modern take on a 17-inch MacBook Pro could be …

Here’s what LG has to say about its new gram 17:

Adding more processing power and all-around usability, the LG gram 17 stays true to LG gram’s winning formula, balancing the technology and features users demand with a level of portability previously thought impossible for a laptop this size […]

A CES 2019 Innovation Awards honoree, it offers speed, power and a generous 17-inch high-resolution display all within a 15.6-inch class body.

Now, that last point is a little bit of a stretch. While the 15×10.5×0.7-inch dimensions are in line with mid-range 15.6-inch Windows laptops out there, it is still bigger than Apple’s MBP 15, which measures roughly 14×9.5×0.6 inches. But it’s pretty close, so the size penalty is a very small one.

Impressively, the gram 17 actually weighs less than the 15-inch MBP – three pounds versus four – so there’s no weight penalty either.

Spec-wide, it doesn’t quite compare with the current MBP – though it does offer an unspecified 8th Gen Intel Core processor and DDR4 RAM, along with Thunderbolt 3. But LG is aiming at a more affordable price-point (the machine is expected to start at $1700). I don’t think there’s any technical reason it couldn’t offer identical specs within the existing form-factor.

There may be one exception here. LG does skimp slightly on battery, offering 72Wh in place of Apple’s 83.6Wh, so matching that would add a touch more weight and perhaps a tad more thickness. On the other hand, LG does claim up to 19.5 hours usage, so perhaps battery-performance with a more powerful version would still be in the same ballpark.

There are a lot of unknowns here. Maybe a comparable Core i7 would require more heat-sink capacity, and maybe that would require a slightly bigger chassis. I’m not claiming that the gram 17 shows exactly what Apple could offer in terms of a modern 17-inch MacBook Pro, but it certainly shows approximately what the company could make – and I for one would want one.

What are your views? Would you like to see a modern take on a 17-inch MacBook Pro? Or is the screen size irrelevant without the upgradability? Or should I let it go already? Please take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.


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