The 2021 LG Gram Is All About Ports And Portability

The 2021 LG Gram Is All About Ports And Portability
Image: Gizmodo Australia

The LG gram may not have the grunt or graphics of other laptops, but it excels in one major way – its weight.

The gram it appears is aptly named because this thing is next-level light. It may have a weighty price tag attached but there’s no doubt LG’s new gram is a pretty incredible laptop for work, leisure and working from home.

LG gram (2021)

WHAT IS IT?

LG’s new lightweight laptop

PRICE

$2,599

LIKE

Lightweight, excellent screen, decent array of ports

NO LIKE

A little pricey, too many pre-installed apps

Just the specs, please

Gizmodo Australia was provided with a 16-inch white LG gram model for review. The specs for this laptop are as follows:

  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core Processor i5
  • GPU: Intel Iris X Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 16-inch, 2560×1600 IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Weight: 1.19 kg
  • Dimensions: 355.9 x 243.4 x 16.8 mm
  • OS: Windows 10

The RRP for the 16-inch LG gram is $2,599.

Everyday Use and Performance

lg gram review
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When it came to everyday use of the LG gram, I couldn’t find much to complain about.

I was able to complete my regular workload seamlessly and the SSD ensured I never had to wait for anything. I ran a simple test by opening around 30 content-heavy websites at once and the laptop was easily able to process each of them with minimal lag.

This was a pretty big upgrade from my current work computer (a 2017 MacBook Air) which often struggles to load multiple tabs so I really appreciated the LG gram’s speed here.

I also experienced little to no fan noise while doing this. The LG gram does have a fan, but you wouldn’t know it with the minimal fuss it makes.

Like most laptops, however, it does get a little hot. I wouldn’t say it’s “cooling mat required” levels of warm but it’s something to consider if you plan on putting the gram through its paces while it’s on your lap.

One gripe I had using the laptop each day was its pre-installed software pop-ups.

The gram comes with Windows 10 as its OS, which is fine, but I was frequently bugged with notifications to sign up for embedded anti-virus software and the like.

These are easy enough to close down but that doesn’t stop them from being annoying.

Battery

While the gram’s battery life is decent, it is no where near the 22 hours that LG advertises.

I found I could get a full 8-9 hour day of work done on one full charge. This is sure to be a relief for anyone working on the go or if you happen to forget your charger.

In a battery run down test playing Netflix continuously on a low brightness setting the gram managed to last for 11 hours.

So while the 22-hour claim is eyebrow raising, the gram will at least get you through the work day.

LG Gram: Design

lg gram
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Where the LG gram truly shines is in its design. It’s sleek, simple and insanely light. This makes it versatile for a number of work and personal uses and the range of models allow you to choose a gram to suit your needs.

The design of the laptop itself is pretty simple. The white model that I received was sleek and shiny, but you can also choose a larger black model or silver if you so wish.

The design of the laptop is clean, smooth and incredibly thin, but it doesn’t sacrifice on processing power or ports.

I’d like to call attention to the ports here. Most of us by now are sick of laptops that require us to buy adapters or control hubs for every single cable we want to plug in.

You won’t have that issue with the LG gram.

lg gram review ports
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It manages to stay stick thin and include a variety of inputs for HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, Micro SD and an audio jack. See? It can be done.

The keys are large and make for a smooth typing experience. However, being a 16-inch model allowed for an extra number pad to be inserted on the right of the keyboard, which I was not at all used to, so I made a few typing mistakes before I adapted.

The extra-large touchpad was a nice addition and made swiping, scanning and clicking through the device a breeze.

A small issue I had was typing on the gram in darker environments. The backlit brightness of the keys is relatively low and, being a white laptop, it was sometimes hard to differentiate the letters with ease.

This could be an issue exclusive to the white model or maybe my eyesight is going in my 20s. Regardless, a more powerful keyboard backlight wouldn’t go astray here.

Portability

lg gram
Image: Gizmodo Australia

Now for the real reason we’re here: the weight.

The LG gram absolutely lives up to its name. You’ll honestly forget how light a kilogram is until you pick up this laptop.

The 16-inch model weighs in at 1.19kg, while the 14-inch clocks in at an even lighter 999g.

This weight does wonders for the laptop’s portability. For the hybrid workspace that a lot of us are living in right now, which includes trekking a laptop between the office and home, a lightweight laptop makes a big difference.

Albeit, the 16-inch laptop was slightly too large to fit in my everyday backpack. So if size is a concern, you’d want to opt for the 14-inch model, or a bigger bag.

The 16-inch gram never felt like it was a big or cumbersome laptop and I actually think it’s a better size to work on. If 14-inches is too small of a screen for you then I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade to the 16, but for more portability, the smaller size will suit you better.

Durability

The lightness of the gram does raise questions about its durability. Do lighter parts make for a less sturdy device?

I found that the material make-up of the gram did make it feel a little flimsy. No one intends to drop their laptop but if you’re carrying it on public transport every day you want to be sure it can hold up.

LG assures that the gram has been tested in the toughest conditions with military-grade durability. This includes tests for shock, dust, high and low temperatures, and vibrations. I did not try any of these tests myself, of course, so we’ll have to take its word for it.

These lightweight materials help make the gram what it is and if that’s the trade-off, I’d rather take flimsiness over more weight.

Display

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Following the weight, the next best thing about the LG gram is its screen. LG is known for making great TVs and it turns out this translates to laptops as well.

The 2021 gram range is designed with an unusual 16:10 aspect ratio, which allows you to fit more on a page. This is particularly useful for scrolling through web pages or documents but is less relevant for video content.

The display itself is an IPS LCD that delivers a resolution of  1920 x 1200 with a DCI-P3 99% (Typ.) wide colour gamut.

Thanks to this, the screen delivers beautifully vibrant pictures with deep colours and excellent brightness. Pushing this to the limit on 4K content made for a luxurious watch that I didn’t want to tear my eyes away from. It felt like a TV standard on a laptop.

The only downside here is that the screen can be quite reflective, so you might have to switch your lights off.

Another thing to point out is that this model of the gram doesn’t feature a touchscreen display, which is desirable for a lot of Windows users nowadays.

LG does offer 2-in-1 versions of its gram but these are, unfortunately, not available for purchase in Australia right now.

LG Gram: Price

While the gram may be virtually weightless, its price is not.

You’re looking at RRPs of $2,999 for the 17-inch, $2,799 for the specced out 16-inch, $2,599 for the median 16-inch (like this one) and between $1,799-$1,999 for the 14-inch models.

This is definitely on the higher end for a laptop, particularly one that isn’t also gaming-ready. You expect to see heavy price tags on big specs gaming laptops but the LG gram’s price tag pushes it into the premium category without the processing power to back it up.

The LG gram itself is fairly simple, it doesn’t have a touch screen, rotatable display, gold highlights or any of the other fancy bells and whistles that might hike up the price of other laptops. But it has cornered the lightweight market and you won’t find another laptop like it.

Some of the non-gaming competition in this area are the likes of the new M1 MacBooks or the latest Microsoft Surface Pro models. Like the gram these each have their own unique selling points that consumers turn to for this price tag, so it really comes down to how much you like what the gram has to offer.

This is the first LG gram to be released in Australia for quite a few years, so it may seem relatively unknown to many. This price tag and a lack of LG laptops to compare it to in our market may be enough to sway some people away from the gram, but it shouldn’t.

Should you buy the LG Gram?

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The LG gram may seem simple on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts and it’s hard to beat this laptop in a number of areas.

The gram is a high achiever with a stunning display, quick SSD, plenty of storage ports, and long battery life to back it all up.

You won’t find a lighter laptop of this calibre on the market and if that’s important to you, then the gram is worth considering.

Its versatility makes it the perfect laptop for everyday work tasks that can then shift to being a laptop you want to cosy up with on the couch with a movie. Plus its weightless design makes the travel between work and home, or meeting to meeting, a joy.

The LG gram really is the perfect machine for the post-pandemic world, but be prepared to pay for it.