LG Gram 16 Review: Can the Lightest 16" Laptop Around Punch Above its Weight?

NikoBB

Posts: 134   +85
The author writes that there is a keyboard with a numpad (as an advantage over solutions from other manufacturers), but the numpad here is not classic, but mutilated by some "designers" at LG, so there is no sense in it, for those who own blind typing ( and therefore professionals).

In reality, the LG Gram with the classic numpad is only available in 17" model. Then why would anyone need a shabby 16" variant? The difference is only 1", but a full-fledged keyboard.

The low performance of the processor (Alder Lake here is more than 2-3 times slower than full-fledged models from other manufacturers with the same processors) is a direct consequence and a price for low weight. After all, a decent cooling system a priori weighs a lot. You can't cheat the laws of nature.

Due to the fact that the processors in the LG Gram series always work 2.5-3 times slower in sustained (and even in impulse, because the psu just can't handle full load i5/i7 Alder Lake without silently using the battery) mode, there may not be much point in 32/64Gb - all the same, heavy virtual machines cannot be used by such strangled processors. But on the other hand, listen - at the end of 2022, 32Gb of memory in retail stores have price for $100-130. It's just some kind of exorbitant greed from LG, to roll out such a monstrous price tag and not unsolder at least ridiculous 32Gb...

Another weak point of the laptop is the 2.5K@60Hz (for example L5Pro have 165Hz with 500 nits + HDR/DV+G-Sync/FreeSync it's usefull and in video) screen, slow in response and with low ppi, although there are already a lot of 4k@120Hz screens, which are much more pleasant even in office work and surfing (the picture is much closer to what a laser printer produces, plus there is no such hellish mess when scrolling text). Although if the target audience prefers to run on battery power, then such a screen will consume much more. From psu, it doesn't matter.In the end, when switching to a battery, you can simply switch from 120Hz-165Hz to 60Hz, thereby reducing consumption. Even if the resolution is 2.5k, but why not a smooth picture even in surfing when scrolling text, at least from psu, LG?

I can hardly imagine that someone will carry around a 16" (like 17") model, albeit a light one. It's just uncomfortable. And to drag from car to car to transport a laptop from point A to point B (or from room to room and very rarely to the street) - the weight does not matter, within 2.5-3kg (laptop plus psu). For any person. I understand when ultralight 12-13" models are taken on business trips, but 16", are there really those who carry this all the time?

In the office, a slight noise from the cooling system does not matter, but at home, if there is complete silence, you will climb the wall if the coolers tend to howl periodically. Much better than a light rustle or complete silence. And complete silence under load (for example, many tabs with heavy content) requires a heavy cooling system.

As a result, we essentially have a "typewriter" for not very pretentious buyers who do not pay attention to many real flaws, taking into account the price. Such models do not actually have a performance margin for the next 3-4 years. They are already slower than full-fledged models, 2-3 times lower than the norm (the speed in sustained mode is at a level slightly higher than the R5 3500U of 2019).. Of course everything is decided by the price. If there are significant discounts of 30-40% at the end of the year, then why not buy this?
 
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rmcrys

Posts: 365   +294
Nice test, thank you!

A couple of points:
1) international website and readers, please add weights and measurements in mm and grams also..

2) "so it shrinks much of Chipzilla's CPU innovations into 7nm silicon": that chip is made in Intel 7 which is 10nm (though the density is equivalent to tsmc 's 7nm).

I have to agree that it is a very good package, but the screen is way too dim for 2022... over 1000$/€ I expect already much better screens and even going HDR400 or HDR600
 

NikoBB

Posts: 134   +85
HD400 and HDR600 are a pointless crutch, in fact a marketing fake. Static HDR is basically not feasible on any IPS/VA panel, as requires a native contrast above 100k: 1, which is only possible on AMOLED, and these panels are all, 100%, vilely flickering with low PWM, with such a contrast and 100% glossy, I.e. glare.

Nobody supports Dynamic HDR(it's standart for HDMI 2.1/DP2.0+ protocols) in laptop and monitor panels. Its analogue is DV(Dolby Vision), but it rarely appears anywhere and even more rarely does it work like that. as it should. For example, the Legion 5 Pro screen is also 2.5k, but 500 nits/165Hz (with smooth, almost no porridge in the eyes, text scrolling and dynamic picture) and supports HDR/DV + G-Sync/FreeSync. What prevented LG from installing the same panels in the LG Gram series at such a price tag especially since they are also one of the top manufacturers of laptop and monitors panels on planet? Nothing really, but greed... On battery power, it panel can simply operate in 60Hz mode to save energy. As a result, we have a classic "shoemaker"(LG) without "boots"...

My opinion, as an expert, is that today there should not be shameful "60Hz" panels even in office models, for a simple reason - a monstrous response of 30-50ms, which leads to mess even with banal text scrolling in a Word. I also understand when a laptop is very cheap, it costs less than $600-700 (where the price of a 2.5k@165Hz panel, for example, is already too high in % of the total price of a laptop), but when a manufacturer rolls out such a price tag to us, this is an outright bad manners in 2022, see instead of a fast panel at 120-165Hz, this is rubbish with a response of 30-50ms.

At the same time, back in 2021, AliExpress already sold 4k@120Hz from AUO at retail for $130-140. In fact, they quickly sold out. Those. even if we take a price of $150-200 for 2.5k@165Hz (as in L5Pro) due to the start of hyperinflation due to the fault of the authorities and central banks, then in % in relation to such expensive models as the model from this review, this is simply insignificant.

I would be glad to see full-fledged and eye-safe AMOLED models on the market. But, alas, they are not. Neither is microLED (Apple tried make it, but failed for now). miniLED also has disadvantages - zone halos around small objects (such as letters).

So today, the best panel for the eyes in a laptop is still IPS with native contrast of at least 1200:1 (better is 1500:1) with a response of no more than 10ms to B2W/G2G. In resolution from 4k, because only 4k on 15-17" diagonals gives ppi close to that of a laser printer.
 
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Couldn't disagree with some of you more. I AM a power user and quite the opposite of pretentious, yet I LOVE my Gram. I had the last gen 16" and fell for the placebo trap of "the greener pastures" to have something more powerful, more metal, etc. etc.. I purchased a loaded 16" HP SPectre. OLED, 16", every feature you could hope for and the more powerful mobile processor variant.... That lasted all of 3 months before I sold it, and I now own the latest model 16" Gram and +View monitor. The i7 in the 16" Gram has MORE than enough power for most users. IF you are into graphic design, 3d editing, gaming, video editing, then sure, it's not the machine for you. I am however a System Administrator and do plenty of heavy spreadsheet and database work, and this machine doesn't skip a beat. What it does best is being super portable while still having a good screen size and LONG battery life. I can pop on the extra 16" for dual monitor on the go and I get BOTH screens at less weight than the 16" Spectre or MBP. Portability WHILE having a good screen size is important to some people, and I am one of them. I have absolutely ZERO interest in being stuck with a 12-14" screen. This laptop offers exactly what I need. I have owned everything from Macbook Pros to Surface Pros, Surfacebook, macbook air, ipad pro, Spectre, Asus 14" gaming, etc.. and I honestly truly like my 16" Gram better than any laptop I have ever owned. For productivity I care more about resolution, aspect ratio (IE 16:10 vs 16:9), battery life, etc.. the Fact that its not 120hz or OLED or a maxed out i9 is irrelevant because all those things add weight and eat batteries.

I will say I am dissapointed they removed the fingerprint sensor on the latest model, I miss that. I don't really care for Windows Hello.
 
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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,614   +1,527
Why build a body so thin it can't dissipate heat so you have to throttle an i7. I'd prefer they stuck to i5 and let it boost for longer . You can't beat physics.
 

Musician

Posts: 55   +37
I have a 2022 model of Gram 14 (instead of 16), coupled with the 16” Gram monitor and so far it’s been working very well. Being so lightweight, some compromises had to be made. Performance is speedy for general usage, not so much for power users or gamers.

I agree that the refresh rates aren’t top notch, but they’re fine for movies and work. The colors are nice and pixel density is above average. Comparing with my other Zenbook S (IPS panel), colors are more vibrant and images are sharper from higher ppi.

Overall a beautiful laptop that works well and easier on my shoulders as they commute with me frequently.
 

Fulljack

Posts: 116   +97
2) "so it shrinks much of Chipzilla's CPU innovations into 7nm silicon": that chip is made in Intel 7 which is 10nm (though the density is equivalent to tsmc 's 7nm).

are Intel 7 really comparable to TSMC N7? AFAIK Intel stops sharing the number of transistors in their processors ever since Kaby Lake, because they know they have lost the transistors density race, too.
 
I found this review is very good one: comprehensive and fair. I own a 2020 model of 17" LG gram as well as Apple M1.

As a software engineer, I would consider two options for my laptop choice: Apple M1/M2 for sustained CPU power, or LG gram for lightweight, connectivity and large screen. Since many companies provide access to beefy VM machines, LG gram certainly has a place in my day-to-day use.