It’s a luxury to be able to take your work with you, easily setting up shop in a coffee shop or an airport to complete some tasks. Carrying around a big hefty laptop, as well as the backache and pit-stains that come with it, is a lot less of a luxury. Being confined to a small display is also not conducive to productivity. So, what is the solution? LG Gram 16-inch notebook is one possible solution. It’s small, powerful, and has plenty of screen real estate to get things done. On the surface, it appears to be a remote worker’s dream device. We’ve been putting it through its paces to see what it’s really like to live with and how it compares to other options.
The LG Gram isn’t particularly flashy or premium-feeling, and it comes at a high price. However, after spending some time with it, we can see exactly how its price point is justified. The LG Gram 16-inch provides plenty of screen space, a large comfortable typing platform, and extremely lightweight portability. The screen is lovely, the keyboard is excellent, and the trackpad is superb. The performance and battery life are more than adequate for the vast majority of users. Everything it lacks in aesthetic appeal it makes up for in practicality and usability; in the end, the speakers were the only thing we found lacking.
The LG Gram 16 2022 looks a lot like its predecessor, which is sensible, professional, and a little boring. It basically looks and feels like most low-cost Windows laptops, and for the price, it’s a little disappointing at first. When you pick it up, however, the difference is immediately apparent.
The Gram 16 weighs less than 1.2kg, which is quite remarkable given its large 16-inch frame. It’s amazing how easily such a large laptop can be picked up with one hand. On the other hand, the chassis feels a little hollow, and the screen can easily flex without applying much force. It lacks the dense solid feel of a MacBook Pro, but then again, that weighs nearly twice as much. The overall appearance and feel do not imply durability, but the Gram has passed a seven-grade military durability test. As a result, it should have no trouble with a typical daily commute.
Because the chassis is made of magnesium alloy and plastic. It does not feel as cool to the touch as aluminium-based counterparts. A grippy, soft-touch coating is applied throughout. And making it very easy to handle without fear of slipping and feeling quite nice on the palm rest. Unfortunately, this coating is extremely susceptible to fingerprint smudges, making it nearly impossible to keep the lid smudge-free.
The keyboard is well-sized, and we were typing at full speed in no time. Given the slim chassis, there’s a decent amount of key travel and a full number pad, which will please those who spend their days tapping away at spreadsheets. We were also surprised by the lack of flex in the keyboard. The trackpad is equally impressive; it’s large, responsive, and glides smoothly.
Display and Webcam
Our test unit has a WQXGA-resolution 16-inch IPS panel. It has a matte anti-glare finish, which is a significant improvement over the glossy display on the 2021 model, which frequently caused distracting distorted reflections.
It doesn’t have a touchscreen, and there’s no glass coating on the panel, presumably to save weight. As previously stated, it lacks rigidity and has a plastic trim around the screen that we did not find appealing. However, the bezels are nice and thin, resulting in a great screen-to-body ratio, and the matte finish makes it much more suitable for use outside.
We don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the display’s performance. Because of the excellent colour depth, it is a viable option for graphic designers as well as video editors. It has a lot of detail, good contrast, and juicy vibrant colours. The display is also reasonably bright, and we had no trouble using it outside. The matte finish is extremely beneficial in this situation, as glass-fronted displays tend to struggle in direct sunlight.
A 1080p webcam is located in the top bezel. Its image quality is higher than the 720p equivalent found with most laptops, but it’s unremarkable in low-light situations. It does, however, support Windows Hello, allowing you to log in with your face, as well as another pretty cool party trick via the LG Glance by Mirametrix app.
Performance and Battery
The LG Gram 16 is a quick and responsive performer that easily handles our daily tasks. With endless Chrome tabs open and very large Photoshop files open, it showed no signs of slowing down and barely even turned on the fans. It kept up with the XPS 13 Plus and its massive 32GB of RAM in most scenarios, all while remaining cooler and quieter.
Of course, if you push it to its limits, the laptop will heat up and those fans will spin faster, but it never becomes uncomfortable to the touch or too loud. We were even able to play some light games on the integrated Intel XE graphics. It’s not designed for all of this, so you’ll have to dial back the settings, but it handled CSGO well, with good frame rates at 1080p resolution. GTA V proved more difficult, and you’d need to reduce the graphics to sub-720p to get playable frame rates.
The battery life is advertised as up to 20.5 hours, but in practice, you can expect roughly half that, which is still impressive. It wasn’t uncommon for us to get through a work day on a single charge, which is everything you can really ask for. Especially in something as light as this.
We were pleased to see USB-C charging, which is increasingly becoming a standard feature of modern ultrabooks. It means that a single charger can power your phone, laptop, earbuds, and other devices, making packing much easier. The Gram 16 comes with a reasonably sized 65W charging brick, but we also tested it with third-party 65W phone chargers and it worked just as well.