LG Gram 16 assessment: The lightest and longest-lasting at school

“The Gram 16 packs an entire bunch of battery life into an extremely mild body.”

Extremely mild

Skinny bezels, slim chassis

Spectacular battery life

16:10 show is a boon to productiveness

Properly-rounded ports

Show has inferior distinction

Lid and keyboard deck are too flexible

Lacks efficiency upgrades

The Guinness Ebook of World Data formally acknowledges the LG Gram 16 because the lightest 16-inch laptop computer. At 2.62 kilos, I’m not shocked it’s earned the excellence.

LG’s Gram laptops have at all times been designed to be as mild as potential (therefore the title). That’s as true of the 17-inch mannequin as it’s the 13-inch, and throughout the board, they’re among the many lightest laptops you should buy. This yr, LG added a brand new dimension, the Gram 16, to tackle the MacBook Professional 16 and function a center floor between 15- and 17-inch machines.

Previously, LG’s bigger laptops have suffered from not providing a rise in energy, placing them at odds with laptops just like the Dell XPS 17 and MacBook Professional 16. The LG Gram 16 nonetheless doesn’t have discrete graphics, however the $1,700 assessment configuration I examined nonetheless had loads of goodies packed inside, together with a Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 16:10 IPS display. Does LG have a winner on its palms?

Design

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The Gram 16 feels extremely mild. Decide it up and also you instantly suppose it’s empty inside. But it surely’s not — even at simply 2.62 kilos and with a full complement of state-of-the-art elements, it nonetheless manages to pack in a big 80 watt-hours of battery.

We’ll cowl battery life in depth in a while, however suffice it to say that the LG Gram 16 is a battery life champion. The XPS 15 with 86 watt-hours of battery capability weighs in at four.5 kilos — and man, can you’re feeling the distinction. A bigger show and almost half the load? I’ll take it.

Observe that the MacBook Professional 16 with 100 watt-hours of battery life (essentially the most you may take onto an airliner) weighs four.three kilos. Even the a lot smaller Dell XPS 13 weighs in at 2.eight kilos.

How did LG make the Gram 16 so mild? Primarily, it’s the magnesium alloy chassis that trims off the kilos. And it’s not thick magnesium alloy both, which you’ll be able to inform once you bend the lid with minimal pressure and push on the keyboard deck till you hit the elements beneath.

Viscerally, the Gram 16 comes throughout like bendable plastic.

The underside of the chassis resists flexing, however the remainder of the chassis has a variety of give to it. That’s the value you pay to have such a lightweight machine — though LG did topic the laptop computer to MIL-STD-810G testing to army requirements of sturdiness and reliability.

Intellectually, I do know it is a strong laptop computer — perhaps not a lot because the XPS 15 or the MacBook Professional 16, but it surely’s not going to blow aside in a stiff breeze. Viscerally, although, it comes throughout like bendable plastic. Kudos to LG for one way or the other managing to design the hinge to stay in place and but nonetheless open with one hand. There’s not a variety of weight holding the underside of the chassis in place.

Because of some very small bezels, the Gram 16 is barely a bit wider than the XPS 15 at 14.01 inches versus 13.57 inches, with the MacBook Professional 16 coming in at 14.09 inches. It’s a bit deeper at 9.58 inches in comparison with the XPS 15 at 9.06 inches and the MacBook at 9.68 inches. At zero.66 inches thick, the Gram 16 slots in between the XPS 15’s zero.71 inches and the MacBook Professional 16’s zero.65 inches. The Dell XPS 17 can be in the identical ballpark due to its tiny bezels and a really slim design — 14.74 inches extensive, 9.76 inches deep, zero.77 inches thick, and 5.53 kilos with a 97 watt-hour battery.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Placing it extra merely, these are very equally sized laptops, they usually all look fairly trendy. The Gram 16 is the plainest of the group, although, with its easy silver chassis and full lack of adornments. That’s on objective — LG describes it as a “minimalist straight-lined design” meant to “scale back distractions.”

Each the XPS 15 and 17 with their sleeker traces and the MacBook Professional 16 with its understated class are better-looking machines. Observe that the Gram 16 can be out there in white and black coloration schemes — these may add a little bit of panache.

Ports and connectivity

Connectivity is a energy, with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt four assist, two USB-A three.2 ports, a full-size HDMI port, a microSD card reader, and a three.5mm audio jack. That beats the XPS 15, which has two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports, a single USB-C three.1 port, and no HDMI port.

The MacBook Professional 16 is all-in on Thunderbolt three ports, with 4 of them.

The Gram 16 additionally enjoys Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 for up-to-date wi-fi connectivity.

Efficiency

The Gram 16 I reviewed used the Core i7-1165G7, a preferred Tiger Lake processor that gives strong productiveness efficiency and might dip into low-end content material creation. As most producers have been doing these days, LG offers a utility that enables switching between quiet, optimum, and efficiency modes. Switching between them adjusts efficiency in opposition to fan noise, and within the case of the Gram 16, you’ll wish to make use of the utility.

The usage of a U-series CPU is necessary right here — most bigger laptops, just like the Dell XPS 15 and 17 and MacBook Professional 16, use 45-watt H-series CPUs which are a lot sooner for the artistic execs who usually select laptops at these sizes. That is significantly true when you think about the GPU, the place the Gram 16 is proscribed to Intel’s Iris Xe graphics, that are nowhere close to as quick because the discrete graphics out there within the competitors.

In optimum mode, the Gram 16 is an underwhelming performer. As with most such utilities, this didn’t present up in Geekbench 5, the place there wasn’t a lot distinction between modes — the Gram 16 is a strong performer on this benchmark, coming in just a few factors above laptops just like the Dell XPS 13 and the Razer Ebook 13 (which makes use of the sooner Core i7-1185G7). The XPS 15 and MacBook Professional 16 use 45-watt 10th-gen H-series CPUs and, as talked about, are a lot sooner consequently.

In our Handbrake check, although, which encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Gram 16 took over three.5 minutes in optimum mode and just below three minutes in efficiency mode. Each scores are inside about 10 seconds of the Dell XPS 13, and sooner than most different laptops with the identical CPU. The XPS 15 completed in simply over two minutes. We didn’t check the MacBook Professional 16 utilizing the identical model of Handbrake and so can’t present that comparability.

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In Cinebench R23, the Gram 16 was gradual at four,137 in multi-core mode and 1,394 in single-core mode within the optimum setting. That’s nicely behind laptops just like the XPS 13 and Razer Ebook 13. In efficiency mode, although, the scores jumped to four,718 and 1,415. These aren’t the quickest we’ve seen — the HP Spectre x360 14, for instance, scored four,847 and 1,404 in its efficiency mode — but it surely’s in keeping with the remainder of the sphere. We didn’t check both the XPS 15 or the MacBook Professional 16 in Cinebench R23, however we assure they’d each be sooner due to their extra highly effective CPUs.

Don’t purchase this laptop computer anticipating powerhouse efficiency.

Lastly, I ran PCMark 10’s Full benchmark and didn’t see a lot distinction between optimum and efficiency modes. The Gram 16 scored four,887 in efficiency mode within the total rating, and 9,687, 6,886, and four,749 within the Necessities, Productiveness, and Content material Creation exams, respectively. These scores are good for the CPU, with the Spectre x360 14, for instance, scoring four,796, 9760, 6340, and four,837.

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General, the Gram 16 supplied snappy efficiency all through my testing. It’s precisely what I anticipated to see in a laptop computer with its specs, and I by no means skilled something that gave me pause concerning the laptop computer’s efficiency even in optimum mode — with one exception.

That exception is relating to the Intel Iris Xe, which ought to present gaming efficiency near an entry-level discrete GPU just like the NVIDIA GeForce MX350. Right here, the Gram 16’s optimum mode fell nicely quick, scoring simply 1,390 in 3DMark’s Time Spy check. That compares to the XPS 13’s 1,589 in its equal mode and is nicely behind most different Intel Iris Xe laptops. Change to efficiency mode, although, and the rating jumped to 1,801, nicely forward of most different Tiger Lake laptops not operating Intel’s Iris Xe Max GPU.

In Fortnite, the Gram 16 managed solely 13 frames per second (fps) in 1080p and excessive graphics — most Intel Iris Xe laptops topped 30 fps with the identical settings. In efficiency mode, the Gram 16 hit 33 fps, which is barely common for the category however a lot better than in optimum mode.

I didn’t trouble check the Gram 16 utilizing our artistic content material benchmarks due to the shortage of discrete graphics and lower-wattage CPU. It simply can’t compete with the XPS 15 and 17 and MacBook Professional 16 for artistic professionals, which is likely one of the major demographics of larger-screen laptops. Don’t purchase this laptop computer anticipating powerhouse efficiency.

Show

Laptops with taller shows — 16:10 or three:2 — are more and more widespread, and it gained’t be lengthy earlier than the old-school 16:9 widescreen show is within the minority. The Gram 16 encompasses a 16-inch 16:10 show operating at a WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) decision. Because of small bezels, you’re instantly confronted with a big, luxurious expanse for getting actual work executed.

Sadly, the panel itself is a combined bag in comparison with different premium laptops. On the one hand, it enjoys a large coloration gamut at 88% of AdobeRGB (75% is nearer to common for all however the very best shows) and 100% of sRGB. However these colours aren’t significantly correct at a DeltaE of simply 2.67 (1.zero or much less is taken into account wonderful). The XPS 15’s 4K show got here in at zero.65 and the MacBook Professional 16 managed 1.41.

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The show’s brightness got here in at 313 nits, simply assembly our most popular 300-nit threshold. The XPS 15 4K put out 442 nits and the MacBook Professional 16 was a nit brighter than the Dell at 443 nits. The place the Gram 16’s show actually suffers is in its distinction, which was simply 830:1. Good premium shows lately exceed a 1,000:1 distinction ratio — the XPS 15 4K is available in at 1,480:1 and the MacBook Professional 16 at 1,250:1.

I loved the Gram 16’s show for its dimension and side ratio, and I used to be fantastic with its colours and brightness — however then once more, I’m not a artistic professional, so extensive and correct colours aren’t that necessary to me. I observed the low distinction, although, as a result of black textual content didn’t pop the best way I like in opposition to white backgrounds. Even so, most individuals will discover the show to be nice sufficient for his or her productiveness work and media consumption.

Audio high quality was simply OK, with adequate quantity for YouTube and the occasional Netflix binge and with out important distortion. Mids and highs have been clear, however bass was lacking. The XPS 15 and MacBook Professional 16 supply higher sound high quality, significantly the MacBook, which boasts among the finest audio high quality you’ll discover on a laptop computer.

Keyboard and touchpad

The Gram 16 has a reasonably typical island keyboard with properly constant backlighting. The black keycaps are a superb dimension and have comfy spacing, and the switches are exact, with loads of journey and a cushty bottoming motion. My solely drawback with the mechanism is the quantity of stress wanted to interact a keypress — the keyboard felt stiff to me, in distinction to the crisp and snappy motion on the HP Spectre line and the MacBook’s Magic Keyboard. Should you like a lighter contact, you then may not want this keyboard.

Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The touchpad is giant as a result of expansive keyboard deck — though there’s house for a good bigger touchpad. Its floor is clean and comfy for swiping and has wonderful Home windows 10 multitouch gesture assist courtesy of Microsoft’s Precision touchpad drivers. I favored the touchpad fairly a bit and appreciated the comparatively quiet buttonless clicks. What I didn’t like was the nontouch show — I a lot want contact shows for scrolling with my thumb, which is much more useful on a taller show.

Home windows 10 Whats up assist is supplied by a fingerprint reader constructed into the ability button. It logged me in shortly and painlessly, and not using a single failure to acknowledge my finger. I might have favored to have had facial recognition as nicely, however LG selected to not embody it.

Battery life

As talked about earlier than, the Gram 16 manages to pack in 80 watt-hours of battery capability regardless of its extremely mild weight. On the similar time, it has a quick CPU and a high-resolution 16-inch show. I wasn’t too certain what sort of battery life to count on.

What I actually didn’t count on is among the finest battery life we’ve seen. In all our exams, the Gram 16 lasted an exceptionally very long time, coming in both because the longest-lasting laptop computer or within the prime tier.

Beginning with the PCMark 10 Gaming check that stresses the CPU and GPU, the Gram 16 lasted for 5 hours. The following-closest laptop computer is the XPS 13 Full HD+ that lasted a full hour much less. Within the PCMark 10 Functions check that’s the very best measure of productiveness longevity, the Gram 16 managed virtually 18 hours, which is greater than three hours longer than the subsequent finest, Lenovo’s Yoga 9i 14. In third place is the XPS 13 at just below 11 hours.

In our web-browsing check, which loops by way of a sequence of widespread web sites, the Gram 16 made it to virtually 14 hours. Amongst Intel laptops, solely the Samsung Galaxy Flex 13 got here shut (in reality, it lasted precisely as lengthy). Solely ARM-based laptops have lasted longer, together with Apple’s M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Professional 13. The XPS 15 we reviewed included discrete graphics and lasted simply seven hours, whereas the XPS 17 with discrete graphics lasted simply over six hours. You should buy each of those laptops with built-in graphics they usually’d doubtless do a lot better.

Lastly, the Gram 16 lasted for roughly 24.5 hours in our video check that loops by way of a Full HD Avengers trailer. The Lenovo Yoga 640 with a 10th-gen Core i3 is the closest competitor at 23 hours, and the Dell Latitude 7410 2-in-1 with its low-power show lasted for just below 22 hours. Once more, you need to swap to an ARM processor to get higher battery life on this check. As with our web-browsing check, the XPS 15 trailed at simply over seven hours, and the XPS 17 lasted over 9 hours.

Merely put, the Gram 16 exhibited spectacular battery life. The truth is, it was an actual ache to assessment — I needed to wait over 60 hours for all of the battery exams to finish. For the everyday productiveness consumer, although, you’ll doubtless make it by way of two full workdays earlier than needing to plug in.

Our take

The LG Gram 16 is sort of unbelievably mild to have such an expansive show and extremely lengthy battery life. I wasn’t enamored with the keyboard, and the very best efficiency required turning on efficiency mode and placing up with a little bit of fan noise. However I may stay with these flaws to have a laptop computer that I wouldn’t have to fret about plugging in for days and that I’d barely discover in my backpack.

My largest situation with the laptop computer, although, is how flimsy it feels. I don’t wish to overstate issues — the laptop computer feels strong except you purposely twist the show or press tougher than typical on the keyboard deck. However we do these items in critiques and so we discover them. Whether or not the everyday consumer would discover — or care, on condition that the laptop computer meets army specs for robustness — is an open query.

Are there any alternate options?

The Dell XPS 15 provides a show that’s additionally within the 16:10 side ratio and offers a lot better high quality in its 4K variant. It’s additionally virtually twice as heavy despite the fact that its show is a bit smaller, and it will possibly’t come near matching the Gram 16’s battery life. You’ll additionally pay about $300 extra for a equally geared up XPS 15.

Subsequent up is the Apple MacBook Professional 16, which has a extra elegant feel and appear, in addition to a a lot better show and spectacular sound. It’s additionally way more costly, and it, too, can’t come near matching the Gram 16’s longevity.

Lastly, you will get a barely bigger show with the XPS 17, and far sooner efficiency, in a package deal that’s solely barely bigger than the Gram 16. You’ll spend more cash, although, and once more, battery life will endure.

The XPS 15 and 17 and the MacBook Professional 16 are additionally a lot sooner than the Gram 16 due to extra highly effective 45-watt CPUs and discrete GPUs. That’s one thing to think about once you’re selecting between these two choices and the lightest and longest-lasting laptop computer on this class.

How lengthy will it final?

I’ve already stated it — the Gram 16 doesn’t really feel prefer it’s as strong as many different premium laptops when you go in search of flaws. Should you belief the MIL-STD-810G score, although, you may really feel assured that it’ll face up to some abuse. It’s coated by the business customary —  and too quick — one-year guarantee.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The LG Gram 16 is a strong productiveness performer with stellar — actually, unparalleled — battery life, and it’s so darn mild. Simply be sure you be aware the efficiency variations in comparison with different equally sized laptops.

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