The LG Gram comes in three sizes, but the 14-inch laptop model reviewed here serves as an example of how good lightweight PC laptops can be. To me, a laptop works best when it can effectively balance the elements that make it stand out above the rest: Performance, battery life, weight, and portability. Since Windows PC laptops come in so many variants on those particular elements, it’s not always easy to strike that balance.
The LG Gram 14 isn’t especially flashy, yet it has an undeniable aesthetic appeal. It won’t look bad on any table or lp and manages to hold up as an efficient and capable device. LG had to prioritize magnesium alloy over premium metals for the body, and it surprisingly works. At first, I was skeptical because of how light and fragile it felt in my hands, but over time, I appreciated how understated it is.
Opening it up, a 14 inch laptop has a 1080p resolution and d 16:9 aspect ratio. My review unit ran on an Intel 10th Generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB internal storage, age, and a sizable battery.
There are plenty of ports to work with, including two USB 3.1, one USB-C, one HDMI, one Thunderbolt 3, a headphone jack ana d MicroSD card slot. The power connector is proprietary, which is a knock against this laptop. At this point, USB-C should be the standard, but, unfortunately, ly chose to go a different route. The company did, however, include an adapter to manage Ethernet connections.
The keyboard and trackpad are both nicely designed. I particularly liked the key travel and limited noise they created. As you might expect, it is backlit, and with a screen that can get sufficiently bright, working in low-light shouldn’t be a problem.
The trackpad was a little too sensitive for my liking at first, but once I disabled tap functions, it felt less finicky. That is entirely subjective, mind you, as I’m sure others may really like how tap works on certain PC trackpads.
I should note this is not the 2-in-1 variant of the Gram that flips all the way back 360-degrees. It’s a straight-up laptop, with no touchscreen functionality, nor stylus support, which are staples of the 2-in-1 model. The fingerprint reader is embedded in the recessed power button on the top right of the keyboard. A smart design choice to avoid inadvertently pressing it at any random time.
Given its modest specs, the Gram performed much as I expected it would, which is to say, fair and balanced. It proved adept at handling typical daily tasks (email, browsing, music), and could even hold up well with more intensive apps (Photoshop, Lightroom). Mixing those two together is where things can sometimes skew the wrong way.
The CPU is robust for what it is, yet it was the RAM that proved to be too low for serious multitasking. Granted, I had dozens of tabs open in a browser, playing music on Spotify, and looking to process an image in Lightroom, but it did slow down somewhat. In fairness, this would likely be the case with any laptop using the same specs, including a MacBook. It happens on a MacBook Pro I have all the time.
When isolated to a single intensive task, the Gram does better. It’s not what I would consider the best laptop for video editing, but it can do photos easily. It’s just when other apps demand system memory at the same time, the whole thing bogs down.
This is an integral part of the performance situation. The 72 watt-hour battery is smaller than the 80 watt-hour one found in the 15- and 17-inch LG Gram models, but it’s certainly efficient. You always have the option to prioritize battery life over performance, or vice versa, simply by using the battery life slider.