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LG Gram 14-inch laptop review

Hands-on with the 14-inch Gram, which marks LG's return to laptops in Australia.

lg_gram_laptop_first_look
Last updated: 07 July 2021

CHOICE verdict

LG is back in Australia with a new range of ultra-light "Gram" laptops. We tested the 14-inch model (they also come in 16-inch and 17-inch versions) and found it hits the mark in providing a no-compromises lightweight everyday laptop with outstanding battery life.

Price: $1798
Contact: lg.com/au/laptops

LG Gram front-on

The 14-inch model weighs in at just under 1kg, which makes it highly portable.

A sleek and portable machine

We tested the 14-inch LG Gram, which hits the scales at less than a kilogram (we weighed it at 967g for the laptop only). This is light enough that you don't have to think twice about picking it up and taking it with you. 

As the first in the series, the Gram laptops are designed to hit the mark for versatility and portability. The sleek and very lightweight design comes with plenty of connection ports and exceptionally long battery life, plus a vivid 16:10 aspect ratio screen which gives you a bit more room vertically than extra-widescreen laptops.

Exceptional battery life

You don't have to worry about carting around the 301g power supply thanks to the Gram's exceptionally long battery life. We found it gave us more than 13 hours of battery life in our heavy usage test with continuous Full HD video playback at maximum brightness (13hr 15min to be precise). 

Battery life is excellent and well above most laptops that we've tested

This is superb battery performance, which is head-and-shoulders above most laptops we've tested. Charging time to 80% was just 1hr 43min, which is very good considering how long that gives you. 

How many connection ports does the LG Gram have?

LG Gram right ports

Two USB 3.2 Type-A ports and a microSD card slot on the right, plus a security lock slot.

That svelte, light body makes few compromises in functionality. You get plenty of ports – and good ones at that, starting with two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports on the left and two USB-A 3.2 ports on the right, plus a full-sized HDMI port, and a UFS-supported microSD card slot. UFS is faster because it allows reading and writing to the storage simultaneously. There's also a Kensington lock slot for security. That's pretty much everything you can expect in a modern laptop, but which many models don't give you.

LG Gram left ports

Two Thunderbolt ports and a full-sized HDMI port plus headset port on the left.

The body of the LG Gram feels sturdy and well put together. There's no creaking when handling or opening the lid, which can be done one-handed, which is impressive for a laptop this light. 

The 14-inch glossy screen has a good quality IPS (in-plane switching) panel which we measured at a maximum brightness of 291 nits, which is fine for indoor work, but note that it is not a touchscreen.

The screen resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels, which is a bit more than usual (a Full HD panel only gives you 1920 x 1080 pixels) and the extra vertical space in the Gram is very handy in office apps in particular. The built-in webcam quality is fine if you're using it indoors in a well-lit area.

How does the LG Gram perform?

LG Gram front top

The backlit keyboard is good to type on and you'll use the large touchpad a lot because there's no touchscreen.

Performance is not an issue for an everyday workload. Our test model came with an 11th-generation four-core, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, plus built-in Intel Iris Xe graphics. It had 8GB (gigabytes) of memory (RAM) and a 256GB SSD (solid-state drive), both of which are the basic amount for this class of laptop.

What made a difference was that the SSD was particularly fast and this helped give the Gram a very snappy feel overall. There's also the latest Bluetooth v5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

Usually, high performance means more heat generated by the CPU, resulting in more fan noise, but noise is not an issue with this LG Gram model even under heavy load. We found the fan made only a low whirr during intensive work, and heat under the base was only slight, making this laptop relatively quiet and cool.

This is an impressive debut series, with very good screen and connectivity and standout battery life

We found the backlit keyboard very good to type on, with good key travel and response. The large touchpad is adequate in size, and smooth to use. This is a good thing, as you'll be using it a lot because there's no touchscreen.

LG is onto a winner with its first new series of Gram laptops in Australia. All up, this is a very impressive lightweight laptop with a very good screen, great connectivity and exceptional battery life making it good value for money.

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