LG Gram 16 (2021) Review | Trusted Reviews



The LG Gram is a rather unique laptop, giving you a huge 16-inch screen in an extremely portable design, with it weighing a dainty 1199 grams. There are a few issues, such as questionable build quality and a diluted performance, but they’re worth forgiving if you want a big laptop for on-the-go work.

Pros

  • Incredibly light design
  • Big and detailed display
  • Speedy productivity performance
  • Generous port selection

Cons

  • Questionable build quality
  • Glossy screen
  • Not as powerful as rivals

Availability

  • UKRRP: £1249
  • USARRP: $
  • EuropeRRP: €
  • CanadaRRP: CA$
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$

Key Features


  • Display:16-inch 2560×1600 IPS

  • Processor:Intel Core i7-1165G7

  • RAM:16GB

  • SSD:1TB

  • Dimensions:356 x 243 x 16.8 mm

  • Weight:1,199g

The LG Gram 16 (2021) is the latest entry in LG’s mind-bogglingly lightweight laptop range, sporting a huge 16-inch display despite weighing less than a MacBook Air. 

In fact, hitting the scales at just 1190g, the LG Gram 16 is lighter than most 13-inch laptops on the market and has officially been named as the ‘Lightest 16-inch laptop (commercially available)’ by the Guinness World Records

However, in order to achieve such a feat, LG has had to make a number of compromises. Firstly, it’s lagging behind rival laptops in our performance benchmark tests, despite flaunting Intel’s 11th Generation processor. Build quality is questionable too, since the laptop has noticeable flex when put under pressure.  

But are such flaws a deal breaker when you’re getting a big-display laptop that’s an absolute doddle to carry around? 

The LG Gram 16 (2021) is available from various stores such as AO, Currys, eBuyer. 

The price ranges from £1249, which gets you a model with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GM RAM and 512GB of storage. 

The most expensive configuration is currently available for around £1449, featuring an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. There is no option for a discrete graphics card. 

The LG Gram 16 is officially the lightest 16-inch laptop you can buy, which is no surprise since I can pick it up with two fingers. This lightweight feat is LG’s signature move, making the Gram range among the best if portability is your chief concern. 

I wouldn’t usually entertain the idea of slipping a 16-inch laptop into my bag ahead of a commute to the office, but the LG Gram 16 is perfect for the job – in fact, the laptop is so effortless to carry around that I’ve genuinely had to double check it’s actually still in the bag. 

LG Gram 16

LG uses a magnesium alloy construction to achieve such a lightweight build, but this does come with drawbacks. When I hammer away at the keyboard, I can feel the laptop’s chassis flex, resulting in a slightly uncomfortable feel. Applying pressure to the corner of the screen will also concerningly cause it to bend back. 

This makes me sceptical about this laptop’s endurance, despite LG claiming it passes the MIL-STD-810G military standard test, which evaluates the Gram 16’s durability and reliability with dust, shock and extreme temperatures. They’re impressive credentials, but I’d still be very worried if I dropped this laptop from a high height. 

LG has given the Gram range an aesthetic makeover since the 2020 range, now offering both black and silver options which arguably look more sophisticated. The lid and deck of the laptop feel more textured now too, although it still doesn’t feel quite as fancy as a Dell XPS 13. 

LG Gram 16

While previous Gram laptops already had a slim bezel, LG has squashed it down even further in 2021 so that the chin is barely noticeable. It looks bang up to date with rival laptops launched in 2021, making the likes of the current MacBook Air and Surface Laptop 4 look old fashioned by comparison. 

LG has still managed to squeeze a webcam up top, with fuzzy video quality that’s only really acceptable for casual calls. There’s a generous offering of ports on the Gram 16, with 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 2x USB-A, HDMI, microSD and a headphone jack all included. 

The Gram 16’s keyboard is decent, with good travel and satisfying audible clicks, the flimsy chassis underneath can prove distracting when hammering away with force. 

LG Gram 16

The keys feel rather small for a 16-inch laptop too, which seems especially strange when LG has left a gap of free space on either side of the keyboard. The number pad has been condensed even further, which could be a pain point for those who work heavily with numbers.

A fingerprint scanner has been embedded into the power button in the top-right corner, and has been very responsive for me so far. Speaking of security, LG has added a ‘Secure Mode’ key in the top row, which can toggler off the webcam and microphone for added reassurance of privacy. 

I can’t fault the trackpad; it’s spacious, smooth and responsive. There’s some decent travel here too, making it easy to left– or right-click. 

The LG Gram 16 has a huge 16-inch display with a 2560×1600 resolution, which is noticeably sharper than what standard Full HD laptops offer. 

LG has gone for a 16:10 aspect ratio this time round, which is slightly taller than the more traditional 16:9 display and is more accommodating for websites and social media. This seems to be the biggest trend of 2021 in the laptop world, so LG is making sure it doesn’t fall behind. 

I was impressed with the laptop’s screen when watching the likes of Shadow and Bone, with punchy colour and sharp detail making the fantasy epic look fantastic. I’m not a big fan of the glossy panel though, with reflections proving to be a distraction. 

I also used a colorimeter to get some benchmark results for the laptop’s screen, recording a 1415:1 contrast and a 333-nit brightness which are both impressive results. 

Colour accuracy was also astonishingly good, with a 99.6% gamut coverage for sRGB and 82.2% for Adobe RGB. These results mean the Gram 16 should be able to accurately display photos and videos, which will be a boon for content creators. 

While the glossy panel is an irritant, the big and colorful display is one of the LG Gram 16’s biggest strengths, second only to its excellent portability. If watching the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus on the go is important to you, the Gram is worth considering. 

The LG Gram 16 is a good example to show that you can’t always judge a laptop by its specs. 

Despite having the same Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor as the Dell XPS 13 and Razer Book 13 (as well as 16GB RAM) the LG Gram lagged behind in the benchmark test results, particularly for Time Spy which evaluates the graphics performance. 

  LG Gram 16 Dell XPS 13 Razer Book 13
Processor Intel Core i7-1165G7 Intel Core i7-1165G7 Intel Core i7-1165G7
Geekbench 5
(single core)
1366 1548 1571
Geekbench 5
(multi core)
4524 5687 5838
PCMark 10 4718 4802 4983
3DMark Time Spy 1107 1657 1854

The drop in performance is likely due to LG’s pursuit of such a lightweight build, with LG compromising on the size of the cooling solution to make the laptop as light and thin as possible. This means you’re better off looking elsewhere if you want the best performance possible at this price point. 

That said, when using the LG Gram 16 as my own work laptop, I didn’t notice any issues. I could have multiple web browsers open without seeing any slowdown, and it’s still noticeably faster than the previous-gen LG Gram 17 which scored 4177 in the PCMark 10 test last year. 

You’ll only really need more power if you need to frequently edit photos and video, or like to play some video games during your downtime. 

On the plus side, the LG Gram 16 offers fantastic SSD speeds, with read and write results of 3427MB/s and 2585MB/s respectively. This means the Gram 17 can load and save data on the physical drive at a lightning pace, which is handy for anyone who works with large video files. 

What’s more, the LG Gram 16 offers a base storage option of 512GB, climbing up to 1TB if you spend more. The former should be plentiful enough for the majority, and it’s good to see LG not trying to cut the storage down to 256GB like some other laptop brands.

The biggest benefit of 11th Generation Intel Core processors is arguably the gains you see to battery life rather than performance power. The LG Gram 16 has seen a big boost to the battery life compared to previous Gram laptops, making it a superb option for on-the-go work.

Our battery test – which involves turning the brightness down to 150 nits, running the PCMark 10 ‘Moden Office’ simulation and waiting for the battery to deplete – saw the LG Gram 16 last a very respectable 15 hours and 10 minutes.

LG Gram 16

LG claims you can push that battery life up to 22 hours, but I can only see the Gram 16 survive that long if you turned down the brightness to a low setting, and kept to very basic workloads. But the 15-hour result is still very good, allowing the laptop to withstand almost two full working days. 

The LG Gram 16 can be charged up via the Thunderbolt 4 port. This means you don’t have to rely solely on the bundled charger, with many devices now sharing the same USB-C connection for power delivery. 

The LG Gram 16’s unique selling point is clear: it’s a 16-inch laptop that weighs little over a kilo. If you want a portable big-screen laptop to enhance productivity or offer up more space for Netflix shows, then this is a leading option. 

There are major downsides to such portability, however. Its flimsy magnesium alloy chassis is a concern, especially if you plan on chucking it in a bag and knocking it about. And while it’s a fast performer, it still lags behind rivals such as the Dell XPS 13 and Razer Book 13, particularly for graphics-centric workloads such as content creation and gaming. 

Should you buy it?

You want a laptop for on-the-go work

The best aspect of the LG Gram 16 is the fact it weighs just 1190g. This makes it a great option if you’re often moving about with your laptop.

You want the best possible performance

The LG Gram 16 is no slouch, but you can buy the Dell XPS and Razer Book 13 for similar prices which can comfortably outpace the LG.

Verdict

The LG Gram is a rather unique laptop, giving you a huge 16-inch screen in an extremely portable design, with it weighing a dainty 1199 grams. There are a few issues, such as questionable build quality and a diluted performance, but they’re worth forgiving if you want a big laptop for on-the-go work.

FAQs

Does it have a touchscreen?

The LG Gram 16 does not have a touchscreen, but LG does sell 2-in-1 variations of its laptops.

What software is shipped with this product?

Windows 10 Home

Benchmark results

PCMark 10

Geekbench 5 single core

Geekbench 5 multi core

3DMark Time Spy

CrystalDiskMark Read speed

CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed

Brightness

Black level

Contrast

White Visual Colour Temperature

sRGB

Adobe RGB

DCI-P3

PCMark Battery (office)

Battery recharge time

Full specification

UK RRP

CPU

Manufacturer

Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Front Camera

Battery

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Ports

GPU

RAM

Connectivity

Colours

Display Technology

Screen Technology

Touch Screen?

Convertible?





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