Back in 2016, LG released a line of ultra-light laptops which was brand as LG Gram. It’s hard not to be impressed when the company has managed to create premium 15-inch laptops that are no heavier than most 13 inchers.
However, this 2018, the market for ultralight premium laptops has tapered out. These days, people want portable computing devices that may not be as light but can offer more power and versatility at a lesser price.
This doesn’t stop LG from continuing the LG Gram lineup.
The LG Gram 15 is the latest iteration of the Gram series. Does it offer much in terms of performance and versatility? Or is it just another featherlight laptop with gutted features?
Let’s find out!
Before we discuss the key features of this laptop, let’s first take a look at its key specs:
- Light Weight Laptop - Weighs Under 2.5 Pounds
- Long-Lasting 60Wh Battery , Speakers : Stereo Speaker (1.0W x 2).
- 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Display w/ Ultra-Slim Bezel
Ease Of Use
Processor / Chipset
Audio & Video
We have to say that they Gram 15 has truly lived up to its name. While most 15-inch laptops would easily weigh over 5 pounds, LG has done a good job of keeping this laptop for just under 2.5 pounds. Truly, it’s hard to appreciate the Gram 15 until you pick it up. It’s amazingly light that you could pick it up with just two of your fingers.
The LG Gram 15 is actually a bit heavier than the first-gen model but don’t get us wrong, it’s still scary light for a 15-inch laptop.
This laptop is also slimmer than popular models like the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and the Dell XPS 15 Touch at 0.7 by 14.1 by 9 inches (HWD). The thin bezel allows the 15-inch screen to fit into the chassis. The Gram 15 is easily one of the most portable 15-incher that you can buy in the market.
The laptop sports an all-silver exterior which looks like plastic at first glance but it’s actually a nano-carbon magnesium. While we didn’t exactly conduct a series of durability tests, the portable PC feels like a stiff and durable build.
In terms of the overall look, the design of the Gram 15 is on the minimal side. The laptop features some conventionally dull lines that felt a bit too simplistic for a laptop with such price tag. Laptops in the same price range as Apple’s MacBook Pro looks way classier than the featured product. It could really use a different color scheme.
Audio and Video
The LG Gram 15 features a 1080p screen and it manages to impress.
The IPS panel technology really goes a long way in providing a better viewing experience due to multiple viewing angles. The colors are appropriately saturated, and the contrast and brightness really add a lot to a gorgeous picture quality.
Of course, you can’t talk about the screen without mentioning that it supports touch input. The panel features a full 10-point touch support and feels responsive for the most part. The screen surface is quite glossy so be ready for potential fingerprints and smudges.
A 1080p screen is pretty much a standard for most 15.6-inch laptops. However, it’s worth noting that the Dell XPS 15 Touch features 4K resolution in the same price point. This might seem like deal-breaker for some people but we don’t actually mind the fewer pixels. For a 15-inch device, I feel like 4K is an overkill.
The Gram 15 is outfitted with a 720p/30fps webcam which should be more than enough for video calling applications. The picture quality of the webcam looks fairly sharp with a minimal grain.
The Gram also supports a decent port selection. The left portion of the laptop holds a 3.0 USB port, HDMI video out, AC power jack, and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3. We particularly liked the inclusion of the 3.0 USB port as it can be used to connect devices like external monitors and docking stations.
The right side of the laptop holds a micro-SD card reader, an audio jack, two additional 3.0 USB ports, and a Kensington-style cable lock. For wireless connectivity, you have the Intel's 8265AC 802.11ac card and Bluetooth 4.1.
The Gram 15 also comes with stereo speakers. While the bass isn’t all that prominent during our audio tests, the speakers provided an impressive volume.
When it comes to performance, I am happy to report that the Gram 15 didn’t disappoint. This laptop should be able to handle most of your mobile computing needs. This is made possible by the beefy hardware of the notebook.
The combination of the 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics card has paved the way for a snappy and smooth experience. However, it’s worth noting that there are cheaper laptops that pack way more power under the hood.
The LG Gram did a decent to good in most of our tests. For example, the laptop managed to copy about 5GB of files in under 30 seconds. That’s not the slowest transfer rate but it’s way below average when compared to laptops in the same price range. On the HandBrake test, the Gram took about 22 minutes to encode a 4K video file to 1080p format. This is pretty respectable and close to the 22:15 average.
Being a business-focused laptop and the integrated Intel HD 620, it’s no surprise that the Gram can handle some gaming action.
We’ve tested the LG Gram with Overwatch and the machine averaged around 50 to 55 frames per second which makes for some smooth gameplay. Overwatch isn’t the most resource intensive game out there but the in-game action can be quite frantic. We did have to decrease some settings and disable graphical features to make the game very playable.
Battery life has always been the main factor for many people when choosing a laptop, especially those who like to travel or take their work with them.
The previous model of the Gram’s battery life clocked in at an impressive 12 hours. LG has upped the ante with the Gram 15 by fitting an even larger battery inside and is marketed to have a 16.5 hours runtime. This is simply mindblowing for us since the latest Gram is only marginally heavier than the previous version.
We tested the unit with a video loop test and the laptop managed to come close to the marketed battery life at 15 hours and 50 minutes. While this is certainly impressive, there are similar models that beat the Gram 15 in battery life like the Lenovo Yoga 920 and Microsoft Surface Laptop.
At the time of this review, the LG Gram 15 is available for almost two thousand dollars on Amazon which puts the laptop in the premium category.
While this is the case, we feel like that the LG Gram 15 deserves its premium price tag. As we have said, this version of the Gram is one of the most portable 15-incher that you can find in the market. So if you’re working on the go or frequently traveling but don’t want to compromise on screen size and power, the Gram 15 is a worthy buy.
The Gram 15 is also a powerful laptop with some interesting bells and whistles like a solid touchscreen display and fingerprint scanner. On top of being a productivity beast, you can also use the laptop to play full-priced games like Overwatch and Dirt 3.
The Gram 15 is an excellent portable device but how does it compare with similar laptops in the same price range? Here are some of the related models that are worth a look.
The Dell XPS 15 Touch is a 15.6 inches laptop that features similar specs to the LG Gram 15. However, the XPS 15 Touch features a stellar 4K resolution which in some way or form better than the 1080p screen found in the Gram. Aside from the superior resolution, the juiced-up contrast ratio of the display is a nice feature to have.
The Dell XPS 15 Touch also comes with an Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core Processor which is a whole lot better than the CPU found in the Gram 15. This laptop also comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 which should be more than enough to handle most modern games.
When comparing the specs, the Dell XPS 15 Touch and LG Gram 15 are fairly similar but it’s clear that the former is the powerhouse between the two. However, it’s worth noting that the XPS 15 Touch comes at a higher price tag. The most expensive model can cost you around more than two thousand.
The Dell XPS 15 Touch is clearly marketed towards the PC enthusiasts.
Ease Of Use
- 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
- 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache - 256GB PCI-E based flash memory storage, 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
- Dual graphics processors - A discrete AMD Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB GDDR5 memory and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 processor that shares memory with the system for an amazing experience.
Another laptop that we have mentioned earlier in the article is Apple’s own offering, the MacBook Pro.
Again, the specs of the MacBook Pro and LG Gram 15 are very similar with key differences. For starters, all models of the current-gen MacBook Pro come with quad-core Intel Core i7 processor which is faster than the Gram’s Intel Core i7-8550U CPU.
The MacBook Pro is also loaded with Intel Iris Pro Graphics which is by far the better integrated graphics than the Gram’s Intel UHD Graphics 620, and that’s just the base model. The two most expensive MacBook Pro models come with Radeon Pro graphics card.
However, the MacBook Pros don’t have touchscreen capability, just the Touch Bar and Touch ID. So those who are looking for a touchscreen will have to get the Gram 15.
In terms of pricing, the Gram is still the more affordable option. The base MacBook Pro model comes with a two thousand dollar price while the most expensive version will cost you almost three grand.
Ease Of Use
Pros and Cons
Below is the summary of the Gram 15’s strengths and weaknesses.
So there you have it, our review of the LG Gram 15. So, would we recommend this featherlight notebook? Absolutely!
In terms of design and weight alone, the Gram is an easy buy. It is honestly one of the most portable notebooks that we have reviewed and it’s made even more impressive that it’s a 15-inch laptop. It’s by far not the most powerful laptop in the market considering the price, but it managed to impress us with its performance and functionality. The long battery life is also a great benefit if you’re a mobile user.
What LG did here is made an already existing good product and made it a lot better. We rate the LG Gram 15 a 4.5 star out of 5 rating. We highly recommend this featherlight but beefy laptop.