LG Gram 16 review: The perfect middle ground for mobility – CNET

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The LG Gram 16 is an Intel Evo-verified laptop. The Evo platform is sort of a guarantee that you’ll get a top-notch mobile experience for battery life, responsiveness, and wireless and wired connection speeds among other things. Because of the focus on mobility, though, the overwhelming majority of Evo laptops are small, with 13- or 14-inch displays. The Gram 16 is currently the only Evo clamshell with a 16-inch display. Despite the bigger screen, it’s still one of the lightest Evo laptops at only 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms). It has incredible battery life, too. The laptop is one of a kind and, well, it’s priced that way: $1,700, £1,499 and AU$2,809. 

Like

  • Incredibly lightweight for its size.
  • Excellent battery life and performance.
  • Beautiful display

Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • 720p HD webcam

The full Gram experience

The 16-inch size is new for the Gram lineup and while the configuration I tested prices out at $1,700, it starts at $1,200. It replaces the 15.6-inch Gram 15, which is still available but wasn’t updated to Intel’s 11th-gen processors. Other than the size, though, this Gram is pretty much like the others. 

The chassis is made from magnesium alloy. That keeps it lightweight but also doesn’t give it the solid feel or stiffness of an aluminum laptop. There is noticeable flex in the keyboard deck and lid (you definitely want to avoid picking this up one-handed by the display). Still, as with other Grams, it is strong enough to pass seven military-grade durability tests including ones for shock and vibration, so it’s built for a commute or travel. 

LG Gram 16

Price as reviewed $1,700
Display size/resolution 16-inch 2,560×1,600 display
CPU 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7
Memory 16GB LPDDR4x 4,266MHz (onboard)
Graphics 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics
Storage 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking Wi-Fi 6 802.11AX, Bluetooth 5.1
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Connections Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (x2), USB-A (x2), HDMI out, microSD slot, 3.5mm combo audio jack
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It might be slim, but LG includes a lot of ports.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Although its weight makes it nice for travel, LG includes a full port assortment, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports that makes it easy to connect to an external monitor or two, a keyboard and mouse, external storage and more. The laptop charges extremely fast through its USB-C ports and runs for a long, long time. I never had any problem getting through a workday on the battery alone and it ran for 14 hours, 37 minutes on our streaming video test. 

More laptop makers are moving away from widescreen 16:9-ratio displays in favor of 3:2-ratio displays or a 16:10 ratio like the Gram 16’s. The 2,560×1,600-resolution display gives you a bit more vertical space to work than a widescreen display. It’s a perfect middle-ground for mobility and screen size. It’s a high-quality screen, too, with excellent color and contrast performance, even if it’s not the brightest. If you work next to a window or out in the sun you’ll be fighting reflections off its glossy coating.

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The keyboard and touchpad are spacious.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LG redesigned its keyboard for this model and it shows. It not only feels better with a comfortable firmness to the keys and a fair amount of travel, but it looks nicer, too. A responsive fingerprint reader is built into the power button so you can turn it on and sign in with a single press. And, for added privacy, pressing the F4 key lets you kill the mic and webcam (I wish LG had upgraded the webcam to 1080p resolution, though). 

The touchpad is 16:10 to match the display, but its increased size and position puts much of it under your right palm. This can lead to accidental brushes or clicks if you tend to drag your right palm while typing. The precision touchpad is otherwise nice to use. 

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Performance from the LG Gram 16 was right where it should be for its components. (You can see how it stacks up compared to similarly configured systems in the performance charts below.) With its 11th-gen i7 processor and 16GB of high-speed memory, you’re not going to have any problem tackling everything from productivity tasks to light photo and video editing. What’s nice is the performance remains snappy whether you’re plugged in or not. 

While responsive, phone-like performance is part of the Evo promise, it’s still somewhat of a surprise when a laptop actually delivers on it. It’s even nicer when it happens on larger devices like the LG Gram 16. It lands perfectly in that middle ground between the feel of a smaller laptop and the workspace of a larger one. You just have to be prepared to pay for it.

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Razer Book 13

Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch)

LG Gram 16

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

HP Spectre x360 14

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R20 CPU (multicore)

Razer Book 13

Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch)

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

LG Gram 16

HP Spectre x360 14

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R23 CPU (multicore)

LG Gram 16

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

HP Spectre x360 14

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

PCMark 10 Pro Edition

Razer Book 13

Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch)

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

HP Spectre x360 14

LG Gram 16

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

LG Gram 16

HP Spectre x360 14

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Streaming video playback battery drain test (minutes)

Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch)

LG Gram 16

HP Spectre x360 14

Razer Book 13

Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

System configurations

LG Gram 16 Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (20H2); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU; 16GB LPDDR4x 4,267MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics; 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Lenovo Yoga 9i (14-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (20H2); 3GHz Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU; 16GB LPDDR4x 4,267MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics; 512GB PCIe NVM SSD
Razer Book 13 Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (20H2); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU; 16GB LPDDR4x 4,267MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics; 256GB PCIe NVM SSD
Samsung Galaxy Book 360 (15-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (20H2); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU; 16GB LPDDR4x 4,267MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics; 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
HP Spectre x360 14 Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (20H2); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU; 16GB LPDDR4x 3,733MHz RAM; 128MB Intel Iris Xe graphics; 512GB Samsung PCIe NVMe SSD

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