When it really shouldn’t weigh anything – Review

  • LG Gram 14
  • LG Gram 16
  • LG Gram 17

Summarized

The Gram 14 is distinguished by its low weight of less than a kilogram, relatively many connections and a long battery life. That makes the laptop a good travel companion, but that’s about it. The laptop does not quite use the potential of the i7 processor, but it does make a lot of noise. In addition, the screen is poorly calibrated and no sRGB mode is present. The fact that the housing is light also comes with a price: it easily springs under pressure.

Summarized

The Gram 16 is a particularly light 16″ laptop weighing 1190 grams, with a relatively large number of connections and a long battery life. It is therefore easy to carry, but under load the laptop is disappointing. He knows the potential of the i7 processor by far. not usable, but it makes a lot of noise.In addition, the screen is poorly calibrated and there is no sRGB mode.The fact that the housing is light also comes with a price: it bounces easily under pressure.

Summarized

We know of no other 17″ laptop that is as light as this LG Gram: 1350 grams. If you would like a lot of screen space and if you want to take your laptop with you often, then you will quickly end up with this model. Despite its larger housing, that space For a larger cooling solution, the Gram 17 suffers from the same drawbacks as its smaller siblings.The cooling is below par, is noisy and the processor performs poorly.The display is poorly calibrated and there is no sRGB mode.The light casing also springs easily under pressure, due to its size slightly more than the smaller models.

It is already a bit hidden in the name ‘Gram’ that there is something about the weight of LG laptops. The Korean manufacturer released three models for the first time in the Benelux in 2021, which were characterized by a particularly low weight. We were impressed at the time with the low weight and long battery life the laptops offered, but thought the screen could have been better calibrated and were disappointed by the relatively slow CPU. This year, the Intel CPU has been upgraded from the eleventh to the twelfth generation. The number of cores goes from four to twelve and in this review we look at how much you get with that and what else has changed.

Housing

Compared to last year’s models, LG has not changed much in the design of the Gram laptops from 2022. Especially in combination with the dark gray color of our three test models, the design is so minimalist that you can even call it boring. Compare it, for example, with the sleekly designed Ultrabooks of 2000 euros, which we recently reviewed: at LG no fashionably rounded shiny side edges, visible speaker grilles, hip luminous touch buttons or chrome logos. In the Benelux, LG has chosen not to release silver or white variants. Most variants are dark gray, such as our test models, with the most expensive versions of the 16″ and 17″ laptops in black. You can read more about the exact specifications on the next page.

LG Gram 14

The housings of the three laptops, with a matte texture that feels smooth, appear to be made of plastic at first glance. However, we suspect that LG has used magnesium, just like last year. That material feels less metallic luxurious than the aluminum that many other luxury Ultrabooks are made of, but is probably necessary to get the weight down. All three laptops weigh a few grams the same as last year’s models: 999 grams for the 14Z90Q, 1190 grams for the 16Z90Q and 1350 grams for the 17Z90Q. That makes them all ultra-light, but the weight of the two larger models is more special than that of the 14″ laptop. There are more small laptops under the kilo: for example the HP Pavilion Aero 13, which we have recommended more than once in the Laptop Best Buy Guide, or in a higher price range the models from ASUS, Dynabook and HP’s business line. With larger screen sizes, however, the light models are scarce. Samsung’s 1129 grams weighing 15.6 “Galaxy Book2 Pro is the big competitor of the, slightly bigger, Gram 16, but if you take it one step further, to the Gram 17, we can’t think of another laptop that’s this light.

Just like last year, we see with the LG Gram laptops that the emphasis on weight saving has had an impact on sturdiness. It’s not as good as some other more expensive Ultrabooks. Especially the housings of the larger 16″ and 17″ models give a little if you try to twist them with both hands, where we hear some crackling. The 14″ model is also somewhat flexible in the middle, between the keyboard and the touchpad on the front, so that it compresses slightly when pressed firmly in that place. The screen lid of all three laptops is certainly very flexible. With the hinge that LG uses, the lower bezel is not too flimsy, but at the top you can easily turn the screen back and forth.

Something that may also move a little too smoothly is the hinge, especially on the 16″ and 17″ variants. With all three laptops, the screen lid can be easily opened with one hand, without having to hold the base. When closed, the screen and keyboard remain neatly together, because LG has hidden a set of magnets in the housing. When the screen is open, it stays in position reasonably well on the 14″ laptop; on the 16″ and 17″ models, in our opinion, the screen waves back and forth a bit too quickly with a small jolt, and it can after a while. hitting the table will cause the screen to open further.

Just like last year, we are pleased with the keyboard of the LG Gram series. The 14Z90Q is again the only one with a tenkeyless keyboard layout, while the 16Z90Q does have a numpad on the side, albeit a small one with three columns instead of the usual four. The 17Z90Q has a numpad that places all keys in the usual places, leaving room for separate PgUp and PgDn buttons. The keys have relatively much travel on all three laptops, especially given the thin and light size, coupled with a pleasantly clear touch. Despite the somewhat flexible housing, the bottom-out feels sufficiently sturdy. The lighting is not clearly visible in practice, because the letters are so small and the lights shine relatively little around the key.

LG Gram 17 (2022)

The touchpad is a lesser success. The surface is smooth and looks and feels like glass, but it’s not as large as it could be given the space available, especially on the 16″ and 17″ models. The mouse buttons retract relatively far. In addition, on the 16” model, the surface is not properly attached to the button below. That’s probably an exemplary defect, but not something we’d expect in this price range.

The slightly recessed power button of the three laptops is part of the keyboard, and also immediately contains the integrated fingerprint scanner. Next to the button is a tiny LED that lights up when the machine is on. LG has also built in facial recognition this year; the necessary infrared camera is located in the still super narrow upper screen edge. This camera now also has a 1080p resolution, where the predecessor still had a standard 720p copy on board.

LG Glance and connections

Based on the newly added infrared camera, LG has also added a nice extra: the Glance software from Canadian Mirametrix. Some Lenovo laptops from past years also had that program preinstalled. With Glance, the laptop tracks your presence and head movements. This allows the system to go into standby if you’re not in front of it for a while, or automatically pause media playing when you’re away for a while. When working with an external monitor and the laptop screen, the laptop can also automatically move your mouse pointer or any window you drag to the monitor you focus your attention on. Screens that you are not viewing can be automatically blurred and the laptop can even give a signal if it detects snoopers in the background. All mentioned functions can be enabled and configured separately via the Glance app. In our short field test, it indeed worked as promised, although we conducted our test in a well-lit office space, which is about the ideal conditions for this kind of image recognition. It is also easy to imagine that you will find it annoying that things just happen in your image, for example the self-moving mouse arrow. In any case, this will require some getting used to. It is also good to realize that the Glance software requires quite a lot from your processor. If you want to work on the battery, we would also disable the software.

All three new LG Gram laptops still have the same connections as last year. This means that the large 17″-Gram has the same ports as the 14″ model, which leaves much less empty space on the sides. Still, the connectivity range for an Ultrabook today isn’t bad, with a combination of new high-speed ports and old classics offering something for everyone. On the left are the two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an HDMI 2.0 port, to which you can connect a 4k screen without any problems. So you don’t have to immediately grab a dock or adapter cable to give a presentation on an external screen or a beamer. On the right, LG has seen room for two USB-A ports and a microSD card reader.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: shouldnt weigh Review

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