LG gram 15 review

LG’s ultra-light 15-inch laptop returns

LG gram 15

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With Intel’s Kaby Lake Refresh, Core i7 U-series processor inside, the LG gram 15 is prepared to handle almost any task with aplomb. That said, this laptop doesn’t bring forth the power profile that many may expect from a laptop with a 15.6-inch screen. 


Here’s how the LG gram 15  performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 4,737; Fire Strike: 1,182; Time Spy: 423
Cinebench CPU: 508 points; Graphics: 51 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,698; Multi-Core: 12,404
PCMark 8 Home: 3,210 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 6 hours and 58 minutes
TechRadar Battery Life Test: 14 hours and 9 minutes

This is clearly a laptop aimed at a very specific user more worried about getting 15.6 inches of screen out of a device that weighs lighter than many 13-inch laptops. However, laptops like the MateBook X Pro weigh just a half-pound more for far more power and sharpness.

The gram 15 puts forth some impressive numbers in every benchmark, indicative of a jack-of-all-trades machine. You could get some serious spreadsheet work done on this laptop while running several apps, thanks to the 16GB of memory and quad-core processor.

You may even be able to do some basic gaming and video or image editing with this laptop, but not nearly as much as you will on the MateBook X Pro or new Dell XPS 15, the former of which can do so for less cash and with a far sharper screen.

LG gram 15

Battery life

However, the MateBook X Pro doesn’t come close to the LG gram 15 in battery life over video playback, with the latter laptop’s result in the TechRadar video test beating Huawei’s by more than six hours. The two laptops are much closer in parity when involved in multiple tasks, as evidenced by PCMark 8.

While we have yet to fully test the latest XPS 15, Dell is promising up to 21 hours of battery life. We’ll have to see in a full review, but it seems like these two laptops will be neck-and-neck in that endurance test.

LG gram 15

Features and software

LG has admittedly loaded the gram 15 with quite a bit of software, but much of it is rather useful for users. An LG Easy Guide app helps users learn how to use the laptop’s exclusive features as well as general best practices in Windows 10.

The LG Control Center offers fine-tuned control over several system settings in one place, like screen, sound, network and hardware features such as a silent mode for the laptop’s cooling fans and toggling activation of the touchpad and touchscreen. Meanwhile an LG Update Center pulls gram 15 exclusive software and drivers from LG’s servers.

LG didn’t stop at software when it comes to unique features: the Gram 15 also sports a fingerprint reader embedded into its power button. Once set up, it’s incredibly fast and gets you into Windows 10 in an instant – even from a cold boot.

However, while the bottom-facing speakers are plenty loud, they’re no better than most 13-inch laptops – even with DTS:X audio tuning software at play. Simply put, bigger, top-firing speakers will always be best in 15-inch laptops. Good thing there’s a headphone jack.

LG gram 15

Final verdict

The LG gram 15 carries out the series’ namesake for ultra-light, large-screened laptops with style and impressive engineering. This laptop packs all of the features you’d expect from a 12- or 13-inch ultralight laptop but with a 15.6-inch screen.

That’s nothing to scoff at. However, there are laptops available out there, like the Huawei MateBook X Pro, that sacrifice just 1.6 inches in screen size and half a pound in lightness for a far more powerful and versatile device. Likewise, the upcoming Dell XPS 15 for 2018 touts even more graphics power and the promise of even longer battery life.

There’s nothing glaringly wrong with the LG gram 15. It has just become an awfully niche laptop in the face of new challengers that have managed to cram far more power into laptops that aren’t that much heavier or bulky, somewhat weakening the value proposition of an otherwise stellar laptop.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.