LG P330 review by Natadiem

Discussion in 'LG' started by Natadiem, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. Natadiem

    Natadiem Notebook Evangelist

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    (All this review is based on my opinion only; I do not pretend to be a professional reviewer in any ways)

    This is for the UE70K LG P330 model (with i7 cpu) for the UE40K LG P330, please see below the amazing Hyttjo review.

    Introduction:

    Some information in this review has been already discussed in the LG P330 thread, so I am sorry if you have read again the same thing.

    My “review” is more like a personal interaction with a new computer device. I share with you MY experience and it has a lot to do with my personal taste. Please keep this in mind (and no I don’t work for LG).

    First of all, I would like to classify what the LG P330 is.

    The PC has a very slim and thin design.
    The only part where it s a little bit thick is on the back of the notebook. This is in order to give some space for the GPU vents. Still, it does not look like a gaming notebook by any means.

    This notebook is in line with Sony VAIO SA, Z, and MBP 13. While it’s definitely a small 13 inch, I don’t think it should be in the “ultrabook” group either.

    When I went to my first meeting with it, my colleague asked me if I bought the “acer” or the “Toshiba”, referring to the two new released and heavy advertised “ultrabooks”.
    I replied that I took the “LG”, this shocked my colleague who thought LG was only a fridge company (I live in Japan and LG products are only a few).

    Ok, now let's start

    I Design:

    Probably it is the most subjective aspect of this notebook.

    But LG didn’t really take any risk there: You have a sharp cut lid with aluminum sheet effect everywhere on the notebook except the bottom.

    The color is dark blue. It looks black in a dark room and dark blue under the light.

    There are only two logos, one small lg on the top left corner of the lid and a Xnote on the bottom of the screen.

    I really like the choice of the lights for power button and the three battery, hdd, on off indicators. This is white/grayish. It goes very well with the dark blue theme in my opinion.

    The thin bezel for the screen reminds the ultrabook fashion. While the bottom is not as small as ultrabook, the screen is really thin.
    Also, the battery (that you can replace) is helping to have the bottom of the notebook a bit higher. It helps for the battery vents to get the fresh air. It also helps for typing.

    In front right you have the memory card reader and the micro.

    II Screen:

    Well this is really based on my solely opinion.

    I owned many notebooks (I think I buy 4 per year) and I find the screen to be not the best but pleasant.

    Of course the resolution is 1366x768 and for pure heavy office users that can be a problem.

    But to be honest, you can get an amazing Sony Vaio Z2 for the price of a LG P330 if your purpose is 100% working and very casual light gaming. And 1366x768 is really perfect for gaming with newest power hungry titles.

    For example, I am currently playing a lot of the Diablo 3 beta and I would be very disappointed to play this game on a 13 inch with 1600x900. Because the character is already small on 1366x768! There are many details you would miss if you play with something higher than 1366x768.

    I owned a desktop with a 30 inch 2560x1600 dell screen. I can clearly see that there are things I am not noticing while playing with 1366x768 already. 1600x900 would be too much for 13 inch screen imho.

    For my work and desktop management I really find 1366x768 to suit my needs perfectly.


    Concerning the brightness, it is satisfactory. The colors also are not washed at all.

    There is reflection on the screen but nothing like a mirror. I really had a hard time in business meeting with others notebooks where I couldn’t see anything on my screen. No problem here (but a matte screen would have been nice…).

    The hinge is very sturdy. I insist that the screen won’t move when you carry the notebook around. It stays at the position you choose.

    Battery:

    First of all, you can replace the battery. I already bought a second one so it seems that they are widely available in Korea.

    I am typing the review on battery and at the moment it says 6h30 minutes of battery.

    I already tested excel with some MP3 at 70% brightness and I could get
    5h30. But I was also installing some software. So you can reasonably get 5h while doing anything except gaming.

    The AC cable is very small. It doesn’t add really any weight to the notebook. So far I noticed no throttling during gaming sessions. Of course I can be wrong but so far I would say that there is no issue.

    Cooling system and noise:

    I think this is a strong selling point to this notebook.
    I have a i7 CPU and a GT 555M in a 13 inch enclosure but I can run furmark and prime 95 without reaching any worrying temperature.

    CPU never passed 80 and GPU never passed 65 during the test. Of course gaming session are even better.

    I know some would say that it sounds “fishy” and I would agree if I was not reviewing the notebook myself.

    If you open the notebook you understand that LG has done its homework. There is a large and big copper heatsink connected to the CPU and GPU with a large fan (for this notebook size).

    The air is getting from under and then it’s blown immediately on the left side. The notebook is doing an excellent job at not keeping the heat in the notebook.

    So yes you can game on your laps in your sofa but just make sure not to block the entry vent for air.

    I don’t think any additional extra cooling pad or re-pasting is necessary…but well if you want to overclock maybe it worth it.

    The noise is also a strong selling point.

    Some bigger gaming laptop were really nosy during gaming sessions.
    Even sometime during meeting the fan was starting for no reason. Maybe I didn’t have the good bios or I should have tweaked the notebook a little bit.

    Anyway, my LG P330 is silent all the time as long as I don’t start a game. And even though, I can hear it but it’s not a hair drier. I think this GT555M version is probably doing a better job for cooling. It might not be the most powerful available but clearly noise and heat are managed well.

    Performance:

    I already posted many pictures with benchmarks (in the main LG P330 thread) and I will add the entire links later in the review.

    Overall, I am just delighted by the performance.

    Maybe it doesn’t have the strongest GT 555M in the market but man, it still kick some …ss!

    Skyrim, Dead Island, Deus X, Batman Arkham city, Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, The saints 3, dirt 3, Diablo 3 beta…

    All these titles are running flawesly at above 50 FPS with eye candies.
    Some of the titles cannot reach the absolute maximum at above 50 fps but really you won’t see many differences with the screen size.

    It’s just mind blowing to see Deus X maximized on this tiny little thing while my MBP17 with same GPU power was stuttering like crazy with low everywhere on FULL HD res.

    So yeah, you don’t have the full HD, but you know what, when you are comfortably setup in the starbuck coffee with the screen near you, you will completely forget this.

    The notebook performance really allows you to bring all the latest titles with you and “play them the way it was meant to be played” haha.

    Sure, Diablo 3 on my 2560x1600 screen with desktop is an ultimate experience. But quite frankly I was thrilled to play this game maximized on a 13 inch! (Over 60 fps with everything on).

    D3 Beta test:
    [​IMG]

    Dead Island:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Deus EX:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Batman Arkham City:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Keyboard and trackpad:

    Yeah…remember it’s a business notebook! The keys are MBP like (island style), or Sony Vaio type if you prefer.

    This is very easy breezy to type and thanks god, Korean have the exact same layout than the US (I am not American but the US keyb is the most practical imho).

    So you don’t need to learn any Korean, you have the korea letter in very small near the big roman letters, this is kind of cool and it ads personality (love to show this to my Japanese co-workers haha).

    No important keys are missing; you have even 2 extra keys for “korean” language. Well you can re-assign through third party software what it does.

    It’s now switching language on my windows and it’s very practical well you can do whatever you want with it.

    The trackpad is small, so it could have been better. It’s the same design as the aluminum looking enclosure (it looks aluminium but I am not saying the enclosure is in aluminum).

    The trackbad is ok, let’s say it’s average for PC users. Of course it’s lightyears away from the Apple experience. But I have a Razer Orochi so I can live with it.

    Yeah, I don’t like the trackpad buttons, it requires too much strength to be pushed and I am very lazy…

    I like the fact that there are only one button but it will click left or right depending where you touch. It’s good for the design and look of the notebook.

    Sounds:

    This is the weakness of this notebook in my opinion.
    It’s not worse than any average notebook but it’s not better either.

    So I bought a sound blast xfi go pro for 25 bucks and now I have pretty good sound for my LG P330. But I think that’s something LG can easily add for the next version.

    Speakers are ok if you stay around the notebook but it’s not going to be a media center in your hotel room lime my MBP 17 was able too.

    Storage:

    Msata port and HDD together! Yeah, you can in theory have 256gb msata and a 1tb HDD in this tiny enclosure.

    I think it’s a very strong selling point as well.

    Thanks god, the old, useless DVD drive is gone and we got more space for GPU and MSATA, FINALLY!!!

    So I am planning to buy the MSATA 256gb just announced by Samsung and add a 512 gb.

    Various things:

    Bluetooth worked well with my Razer mouse orochi. It immediately detected it not problem.

    Wireless lan: No problem, I could connect the notebook immediately with the LG introduction screen.

    On the left side you have a USB3 connector. It also can charge your USB device. I think it’s very handy!

    I like how they organized the FN functions. You can easily increase/decrease sounds and lights with the FN plus arrow keys.

    There is no illuminated keyboard…And I miss this feature. Not a deal breaker but come on, it’s 2012, it should be mandatory.

    There are HDMI and VGA ports, yes the dinosaur VGA port is really important for me during meeting, because customers always have old projectors and I don’t want to bother myself with adapters. But some users might find a bit too old to have.

    A detail, which is important for hardcore users. It’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist degree to take apart the notebook! Note like the LG P310 which was a real freakin puzzle! Just removed the screws (careful there are two hidden screws under the notebook pads).

    Talking about this one negative point is that my crucial 512 gb M4 was not accepted! I am discussing this with crucial but they told me it’s not their problem… I really want an SSD with my Msata so I am really sad panda on this.

    I have in the Korean LG P330, an "international LG warranty" stating in english that if I have any problem within a year I just need to contact the LG office in the country I live in. So I can t tell you if they are good or not but yes : you have a warranty even if you import.

    When you start the notebook, you find a welcome "LG" windows 7 screen. it's in English and it asks if you want the notebook to be in English or Korea. After you choose English: you never have to see any Korean application. Everything is in English. For example the LG driver update software was all in English and it's updating very well. Except the nvidia driver where you have to manually adjust the inf to accept the install.

    Conclusion:

    Among the portable gaming notebooks, I got the : zepto 14 inch with GT 9600m, LG P310 with GT 9600m, Sony Vaio Z with GT330M, P150HM with GTX 485M, MX14x with GT 555M.

    I liked all these notebooks a lot. But there were always something wrong. When performance was great, battery was awful. And the opposite. Usually there were always something missing.

    So now, LG made it, the LG P330 M is allowing you work for a long time unplugged.
    You can game with all eye candies with a notebook which has a weight of 1.7kg!!!
    It’s very tiny, you won’t bother your neighbors with your gaming notebook.

    It’s not a perfect notebook, screen can be improved (with IPS as it was originally announced), trackpad and especially sounds can be better.

    But these are areas where this notebook is “average”, for everything else storage, performance, weight, design are clearly EXCELLENT.

    So, is it going to be in a class of its own for a while?
    Well, who am I to know about the future?

    The only I can say, I see no reason why any notebook maker would try to put an above average GPU card except AW and Razer.

    The trend seems to be MBA for everyone from 11inch to 15…

    And if E-gpu start to appear with thunderbolt, we might never see powerful GPU in small enclosure.
    Of course it’s pure speculation, but I think it’s fair to say that this notebook is in a class of its own and if it doesn’t get a success, well, we might wait for a while before to get a successor.

    I hope you enjoyed reading my review, I am not working for LG but I really hope that this “UFO” notebook get noticed.

    And let’s start a lounge thread when other people get their models from Korea :D!
     
  2. Gearsguy

    Gearsguy Notebook Deity

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    How does warranty work out? Would you have to ship it to Korea if anything happens? And I assume no accidental? :/
     
  3. Natadiem

    Natadiem Notebook Evangelist

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    I am sure it depends on the country you live in. In Japan, I just need to go to LG repair center in Tokyo and bring my lappy.
    Maybe give them a call before to drop any conclusion.
     
  4. Gearsguy

    Gearsguy Notebook Deity

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    Not trying to drop to any conclusion, just asking. I guess Ill check on my own then, thanks for the answer.
     
  5. Ryan

    Ryan NBR Moderator

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    LG has a global warranty.

    But they do not have accidental warranties..
     
  6. Pommie

    Pommie Notebook Deity

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    A global warranty would indicate to me that you wouldn't have to send the laptop back to the original country of purchase, just take it to your local repair center? I'd recommend giving LG a call.

    And on a sad note, LG replied to me today via email with following:

    "At this point, there has been no mention of an upcoming P330 for release through LG Electronics Australia.

    As we are constantly updating our inventory and introducing new products, we would encourage you to try contacting us again over the coming months and we will be more than happy to advise you should further information regarding this product come to hand."

    Sigh...
     
  7. hyttjo

    hyttjo Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey Natadiem, nice review :) we could make this thread as owners lounge (maybe changing the topic of the thread), it isn't really sensible to me to setup a new thread for my review which I just finished so I will post it here. Thanks :D

    Yay! So yesterday I got my LG P330-UE40K laptop from the customs and final price was exact 1600 USD. I think that it is very reasonable price for so slim and powerful “gaming” laptop. I’ll write now my initial expressions from 1 day usage, unfortunately I had only my cellphone as a camera so picture quality isn’t the best.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_080721 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Housing
    First thing to notice from the laptop is its size, It is really compact but not exactly like Macbook Air or any Ultrabook, but still its highly portable. Weight is pleasant surprise, I can easily lift this from its corner using only two fingers and the housing seems very sturdy at least as it is brand new now. I haven’t noticed any crackling or wobbling from the body.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_081749 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Colour of the notebook is very dark blue but in the normal indoor lighting it is quite hard to say is it more black than blue. I would have preferred matte black or aluminium silver but I think that is currently only available as a blue. Unfortunately LG has used very little magnesium-alloy in the body, wrist-rest, area between keyboard and display and the back side of the display is made from it. Rest is plastic but it seems to be thick and sturdy, so I’m confident that it will handle well in the rough environment also. Use of plastics helps to keep the wight of the laptop low so it isn’t all bad. I kept the thin protective plastic layer on lid because it is very tightly on its place so it doesn’t look bad and helps to protect the lid from scratches.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_082127 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    But the LG has also decided to slam bunch of stickers on the laptop, which I immediately removed. Almost all the stickers left from the surface quite easily but the Nvidia’s and the Intel’s sticker glue remained on the laptop. I had to spent over half an hour to remove those completely.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_101027 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Size difference to the 14” Asus K43SV notebook is remarkable, even though I always thought that the Asus was compact and small. But LG beats it in every aspect, length, width, depth and weight easily.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_101122 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Optical-drive has been useless to me a long time so I’m happy to see that it isn’t in the P330 to waste precious space. I haven’t had any use to VGA or Ethernet-port either and I think that those are dieing specifications so I would liked to had instead of 3 USB-ports at least 5 USB-ports which could have been fitted with the cost of those other ports. Underside there isn’t any other hatches than the one with the access to memory. In the UE40K model there is only 1 piece of SO-Dimm 4GB DDR memory so first thing I did was to add second 4GB memory module so that I would double my RAM.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_103601 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Display seems to have very narrow bezel, but unfortunately it is partly optical illusion. But even with the 11mm and 17mm those are one of the narrowest bezels currently available in any laptop. Asus has very standard old school thick bezels and it is double the width! Result is in my opinion very stylish computer that LG has made here. Maybe in the future we will have those real 5mm bezels available in the laptops.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_101753 by Hyttjo, on Flickr


    Keyboard and Touchpad
    As a Korean laptop it obviously has the Korean layout keyboard, which means that it is default US-layout with the some weird funny looking characters. I would have preferred a Scandic keyboard but maybe I’ll change the keyboard if this ever is going to get a release in Germany. At first I couldn’t spot the brightness and volume buttons but those apparently are in the arrow keys which works very well. Keyboard has excellent feel to it. It is pleasure to write this review right now with it, and I think this is one of the best keyboards I have used in a laptop. Keystrokes react quickly and accurately, I rarely misspell anything cause it takes just the right amount of power to push one key down. I would have liked to have backlit keyboard but maybe LG will release some model in the future with it.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_091018 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    Touchpad is also accurate with its cursor movements and I really like the tiny bumps on its surface, they add good tactile feedback. At first this touchpad seemed to be quite tiny but maybe I’ll get used to it over time. Mouse buttons are also very small and it is hard to hit them precisely and fast, it is also one plate for both left and right mouse buttons so I can push only in the very end of the plate so it takes my input. Two separate buttons would have been better design.


    Speakers and Display
    Sound quality on the speaker is dull, it isn’t neither bad or good. Clarity is good but there is lack of bass which is understandable cause the small size of the laptop. There is plenty of volume to fill small room but nothing bigger than that.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_102338 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    As a display there is LP133WH4-TJA1 TN-panel manufactured by LG Philips, this is glossy panel but it has received some sort of anti-reflective surface cause it reflects much less than other usual glossy panels. But much more than the LG Philip’s LP140WH1-TLD2 matte-panel in my Asus K43SV. Those pictures I have took with my cellphone doesn’t tell at all picture quality or difference in reality, I’ll try to describe it a little bit.

    Display in the LG P330 is pleasant and the brightness is good but not brilliant. I don’t think that in the direct sunlight there is anything visible on the screen (can’t test it now because of the clouds). Colours are rich and saturated when there isn’t anything to compare it. But when I put my Asus laptop side by side with the LG, I can clearly tell that Asus has superior colour gamut and it slightly brighter. This of course doesn’t matter cause watching the LG’s screen doesn’t strain my eyes, and I can’t say much negative about it when I don’t have anything better to compare it with. Viewing angles are good but there is slight reflections noticeable but still a lot less than in many others laptops. I haven’t calibrated never either of these laptops so that can make a difference. Contrast is decent but could be definitely better. It isn’t a issue in normal usage. When sliding a text against white background I can see slight ghosting, but only slight. As a resolution there is 1366x768 which is sufficient for the laptop of this size. And it also allows more gaming performance with the native resolution than the 1600x900 resolution.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120105_091524 by Hyttjo, on Flickr

    So in short display could be a lot better but it is just for normal day to day usage. That IPS-panel would have been too good to be true anyways. Maybe LG will release that version someday in the future. If not, I think that I’ll probably change the matte-panel from the Samsung Series 9 NP900X3A notebook to this because it is easily the best display in any laptop currently.


    Battery
    This has 56Wh battery which gives 6,5h power to this when display is 100% brightness, Wlan and Bluetooth is on. This is according to Windows so i don’t know how accurate this is, haven’t had a chance to test this yet. If this is correct I’m very happy with it.


    Performance
    Finally we got to the interesting part of this review. As idle Intel’s i5-2435m clocks as 798Mhz and temperature being a reasonable 50 degrees of Celsius. On load it can reach 3Ghz clock rate and I have reached 83 degrees at maximum.

    Nvidia’s GT 555m isn’t in use when idle but on load default clocks are 525Mhz on core and 900 Mhz on memory. I have reached maximum temperature 71 degrees on load.

    At the bottom of the laptop there is quite large fan and grill responsible to keeping the laptop cool. I was surprised to notice that it is very quiet even on load and completely silent when idle. I can hear only slight hum when leaning towards but in normal positions hardly anything. This could be different in a dark room at night but hardly distracting. Notebook remains very cool even on load, there is only little warmth noticeable on the left side of the touchpad, I assume that hard drive is directly under that spot. I haven’t been able to stress test this laptop long periods yet (only 0,5-1h on constant load) so there is a chance that temperature could rise over long periods of usage. But I’m pretty confident that this laptop’s cooling system can keep it cool inside and out.

    I have been able to test this laptop only with 3Dmark06 and 3Dmark11 benchmark programs yet (default clocks and overclocked), but I will add BF3 and Skyrim tests on the next weekend.If someone wants to know some specific game or setting I’ll gladly test it out for you.


    3Dmark06
    Default clocks on CPU (temp CPU max. 83 degrees) and GPU default clocks 525Mhz/900Mhz (temp GPU max. 71 degrees), GPU drivers version 275.91

    10124 points

    Default clocks on CPU (temp CPU max. 82 degrees) and GPU overclocked 685Mhz/1020Mhz (temp GPU max. 73 degrees), GPU drivers version 275.91

    11897 points


    3Dmark11
    Default clocks on CPU (temp CPU max. 77 degrees) and GPU default clocks 525Mhz/900Mhz (temp GPU max. 65 degrees), GPU drivers version 275.91

    1212 points

    Default clocks on CPU (temp CPU max. 78 degrees) and GPU overclocked 685Mhz/1020Mhz (temp GPU max. 67 degrees), GPU drivers version 275.91

    1551 points


    GPU can be overclocked to 685Mhz on the core and 1170Mhz on memory. I haven’t had time to test maximum overclocking capability with the memory I’ll find out that soon. As far as I know there isn’t any software overclocking method for Sandy Bridge Mobile processors, if there is please tell me :)

    For comparison my Asus K43SV got scored on 3Dmark06 with i3-2310m processor and default clocks with the GT 540M graphics result of 8531 points. When I changed CPU to i7-2630qm and overclocked the GPU to 800Mhz/900Mhz it scored 10647 points. In 3Dmark11 test with all of those modifications it scored 1302 points.

    I haven’t yet opened my laptop completely but I’m guessing that there should be 4GB mSata Express Cache SSD. Windows boots quickly and programs start fast, but in the future I will change the SSD to OCZ Nocti 120GB mSata SSD for the OS.

    I can’t think anything else now and I have probably forgotten plenty of things but I’ll keep updating this. I have been very pleased to this laptop and I’ll recommend this to everyone, of course availability is nonexistent currently. If you have questions I will answer to them with pleasure!

    Lastly I would like to thank Ryan for all the hard work for me getting this laptop. Thank you!
     
  8. lee_what2004

    lee_what2004 Wee...

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    @hyttjo, the 3Dmark06/3Dmark11, run at what resolution? 1280x720 ?
     
  9. flawless2c

    flawless2c Notebook Geek

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    Fantastic review. Does anyone know if this laptop is due to come out in the US anytime soon?
     
  10. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope.

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    LG has serious distribution issues. As you can see, they are having a hard time keeping it in stock in Korea, the company's home country. Once LG starts to catch up with demand, it will probably appear in Canada rather than the US, as Canada is a more typical distribution point for LG. Hopefully, it gets upgraded with an Ivybridge CPU when they are out in April and an IPS panel (although I would perfer an HD+ display). It will be interesting to see if there is anything competitive with this being introduced at CES next week.

    Nice job Ryan getting these in circulation. It looks like it is going to be a long time before many more are seen in the wild. Rep to you. It is a shame that LG has such a lame distribution network, since they could probably sell as many of these as they can make over the next few months.
     
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