Though LG doesn’t make laptop often, LG laptops are renowned for their quality. And with LG Gram 15, the brand surely lived up to its reputation! Now, fellow readers, if you are looking for a premium Ultrabook with all the latest hardware and a large screen, please continue to read our LG Gram 15 review. There is a chance, you are going to love, and jinally end up buying this one!
Basically, The LG Gram 15 is an ultra thin and ultra light 15.6 inch notebook with a latest sixth generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB Samsung solid state drive. With only 0.9 kg weight and 0.66 inch thickness, the LG Gram 15 is surely the thinnest and one of the lightest 15 inches Ultrabooks of the market. And considering all the aspects, for an Ultrabook like Gram 15, the base price of $1100 is surely not that much.
- Elegant and stylish outlook
- Decent hardware
- Ultra light
- Super slim
- Thin screen bezel
- IPS display
- Decent keyboard and touchpad
- Relatively low screen resolution
- No touch screen
- No backlit keyboard
- Mediocre battery life
- Bad webcam placement
- Relatively expensive
- Brand: LG
- Model: Gram 15 Z 960
- Processor: Intel Core i5 6200U 2.3 GHz
- Chipset: Skylake
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
- Video Memory: Shared
- Memory: 8 GB DDR3L
- Storage: 256 GB SATA3 SSD
- Optical Drive: none
- Display Type: IPS LCD
- Screen Size: 15.6 inch
- Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Audio: 2x 1.0W Stereo speakers
- Keyboard: Island style keyboard
- Navigation: 4.0 x 2.7 inches touchpad
- Camera: 720p
- Video Ports: HDMI
- Audio Ports: Combo
- Total USB Ports: 4
- USB 2.0 Ports: 1
- USB 3.0 Ports: 2
- USB 3.0 Type-C: 1
- Media Ports: Micro SD
- Wi-Fi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC7265
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- Ethernet: 10/100 Mbps (USB Type C port with RJ45 gender)
- Battery: 2Cell (Li-Polymer, 4495mAh / 34.61 Wh)
- Battery Life: 7 hours
- Width: 14.08 inches
- Depth: 8.99 inches
- Height: 0.66 inches
- Weight: 2.16 pounds
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64 bit
- Warranty: 1 Year limited warranty
- Base Price: $1099
- Price of the Reviewed Model: $1099
Build and Design
Thanks to the nearly borderless display design, the LG Gram 15’s 14.08 x 8.99 inch body is about an inch smaller in both dimensions than a typical 15.6 inch notebook. The screen bezel size is only 0.26 inches thick, which is almost similar to the Dell’s XPS 15, which is almost identical to the Gram 15. However, speaking of weight, the Gram 15 is a lot lighter than the XPS 15, or even MacBook Air. To compare them, check our review on the Dell XPS 15 and MacBook Air.
However, being too light has its drawback as well. The Gram 15 lacks the solid feel you’ll get from an XPS or MacBook. Though the chassis is made of magnesium alloy, it feels like fragile and plastic. Regardless of the feeling, the chassis of the Gram 15 is really strong and rigid.
Even though the chassis of the laptop feels sturdy, the lid, which houses the screen, is far from it. It’s really flimsy and flexible. But you surely, shouldn’t try to flex it, as you may end up damaging the screen by doing that.
A small bezel means that the laptop is not much larger, and yet LG has still managed to pinch in a number pad alongside the regular keyboard and it surely is a good thing. The layout of the keyboard is kind of odd, but has a fine feel for a laptop this thin. The keys have a good travel, and provide pretty decent feedback. Considering the space inside the chassis, LG did an awesome job here.
But there is a very disappointing fact. The Gram 15 doesn’t have keyboard backlight. It was not expected from a laptop of $1100. They probably did it to cut the extra thickness, which personally I think, is not a good trade. I wouldn’t mind an extra 0.1 inch thickness, if there was the keyboard backlight feature.
The 4.0 x 2.7 inch touchpad of the Gram 15 is pretty decent. It is quite accurate and recognizes gestures instantly. However, the click action of the pad is really loud. Also the press able areas are not that flexible. If you don’t mind the noise and flexibility of this touchpad, you will surely love it.
The left side of the Gram has a proprietary power port, a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port.
While on the right, there is a lock slot, a second USB 3.0 port, a MicroSD card slot, a headphone port and a micro USB port that works with an included Ethernet adapter.
There are no ports on the back or front side.
As expected from LG, the screen of the Gram 15 is top class (IPS) panel with broad viewing angles, bright colors, rich blacks, and so sharp that at a glance it looks like it has higher resolution than its actual 1920 x 1080.
However, with Ultrabook offering 4k resolution screen nowadays, the screen of the Gram 15 is not something you can be proud of. Anyway, the display of the Gram 15 serves up 157 pixels per inch. That’s below a MacBook with Retina, which stuffs in 224 PPI, and far below a Dell XPS with QHD+ display, which crams in an astonishing 276 PPI. Also, there is no touch screen support. That said, the display is adequate for most situations; it’s nowhere near the best.
Regardless of the screen resolution, the screen of the Gram 15 is well suited to high resolution videos and games because it provides deep blacks and excellent shadow detail in dark scenes.
The bottom mounted stereo speakers of the Gram 15 is somewhat mediocre. They don’t make much of an impression even at maximum volume. But the sound accuracy of the speakers is amazing. With Surround and Volume Max enabled, you won’t need external speakers if you are in a small room. There is also a Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) to reduce the amount of distortion from its speakers.
Our review unit came with a sixth generation Intel Skylake i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SDD. As tested, the single app performance of the Gram 15 is really strong. But it’s not that good at multitasking, if you compare with other i5 Ultrabooks. On the other hand, the 8 GB memory is enough for almost all tasks, also thanks to the SSD; the Gram 15 has a really fast boot time.
However, Intel HD Graphics 520 is good enough for casual gaming and video viewing, but nothing more. The Gram hit 38 frames per second in DOTA2, but only with the medium graphics settings and display resolution set to 1336 x 768 pixels. So yeah, it is not possible to play latest games on it.
Heat and Noise
Even with 0.66 inch thickness, the thermal system of the Gram 15 is pretty good. It neither makes noise nor heat under normal to medium use.
The battery life of the Gram 15 is not really that impressive. Though LG claims a 7 hours of battery life, we were able to get a maximum of 5 hours 50 minutes out of it, while streamed YouTube videos, browsed the internet, and listened to the music.
There are 2 variants of Gram 15 on the market. They are Gram 15 Z 960 – AAA52U1 and Gram 15 Z 960 – AAA75U1. Basically, both variants are almost same, except for the processor unit and storage.
The cheapest version costs $1099, and sports a Core i5 6200U dual core processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD.
While the expensive one came with an i7 6500U processor, 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD. And it costs $1499.
It’s not possible to add additional storage or memory on any of the laptop variants, as there are no spaces or slots.
Clearly LG made this laptop to seek the attention, and by the look, they surely succeeded. At 0.9 kg weight and 0.66 inch thickness, the LG gram 15 is crazily light and slim for a full size laptop. Moreover, considering the sixth gen processor, IPS screen, and SATA3 SSD, the specs are pretty decent as well.
Of course, there are some shortcomings. Weak builds, no keyboard backlight, no touch screen, and also relatively low battery life. But if you can live with these few shortcomings, the laptop shows a lot of promise.