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With Intel 12th-gen CPUs looming, LG’s debut gaming laptop opts for 11th-gen

With Intel 12th-gen CPUs looming, LG’s debut gaming laptop opts for 11th-gen

 December 20, 2021 at 11:44 pm   |     Author:   |     Technology  

LG UltraGear 17G90Q lid
Enlarge / LG UltraGear 17G90Q.

LG has carved out a small space for itself among mainstream users seeking an attractive, slim design. But now LG wants to push laptops toward gamers, and it has the RGB and high refresh rate to prove it, alongside an interesting choice in components.

A couple of months after a Bluetooth SIG filing made it appear that LG is working on its first Chromebook, LG has announced the UltraGear 17G90Q today as its first gaming laptop. The brand is launching right into it with some extreme, gaming-ready specs, starting with a 17-inch IPS screen that has a 300 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms gray-to-gray response time.

Graphics are handled by an RTX 3080 Max-Q. The RTX 3080 is the most powerful mobile GPU Nvidia offers; although, the Max-Q variant suggests it may be slightly less powerful than a fully specced mobile RTX 3080. LG didn’t get specific about the 17G90Q GPU’s clock speed or total graphics power, but Nvidia says the RTX 3080 can be configured to boost to 1,245-1,710 MHz.

Like LG’s other laptops, the UltraGear 17G90Q stays trim, measuring 0.84 inches (21.4 mm) thick and 5.82 lbs (2.64 kg). Slim gaming laptops always bring concerns about heat, so it’ll be interesting to see how LG’s first gaming clamshell manages its gaming power, especially for players seeking to hit 300 frames per second (fps).

Will heat be a problem when trying to push 300 fps?
Enlarge / Will heat be a problem when trying to push 300 fps?

Interestingly, the 17G90Q will arrive with an 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake-H CPU. LG didn’t name the processor that the laptop will be available with, but Intel’s H-series is aimed at delivering gaming performance, comparable to a desktop, for laptop gamers.

But it’s not the series that piques interest, it’s the generation. LG said it will be showing off the 17G90Q next month at the CES trade show. At that same trade show, Intel is expected to reveal its 12th-gen Alder Lake chips, as reported by Tom’s Hardware. The mobile offerings should introduce the big.little CPU core design to Intel laptops with as many as 14 cores, according to the publication. Of course, we won’t know for sure until Intel actually reveals its mobile Alder Lake chips. And LG likely wouldn’t have opted for a 14-core monster for its first gaming PC, which uses a 93 Wh battery, anyway.

Still, it’s interesting to see LG announce an 11th-gen laptop when we’ll likely hear about the so-called wonders of 12th-gen Intel laptops in about two weeks. It’s possible this laptop has been in the works for a while, and the 11th-gen was all that was available at the time. It could also be a result of the chip shortage. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger for months has been saying that the chip shortage won’t be over until 2023. He reiterated the point just last week to Nikkei Asia. 

The clamshell uses an aluminum chassis and 1080p screen.
Enlarge / The clamshell uses an aluminum chassis and 1080p screen.

Still, LG seems rather committed to its gaming PC entrance. Its 17G90Q also comes with 16 or 32GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Port selection also seems well thought out, with a Thunderbolt 4 port, USB-C, two USB-A ports, HDMI, RJ-45 ethernet, a headset jack, and micro SD card reader.

The Seoul-headquartered company even went as far as to include a per-key RGB keyboard. The laptop is configurable with software designed for the gaming system and potentially future iterations called LG UltraGear Studio. The app offers the usual selection of PC insights, such as the CPU’s and GPU’s current clock speed, the GPU’s TDP, and the memory share rate.

The 17G90Q gaming laptop will make its debut in the US and South Korea in “early 2022,” according to LG’s announcement.

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