LG Steps Into The Ultrabook Ring With the LG Gram Seriesby Brett Howse on September 28, 2015 3:05 PM EST
LG has announced several new Ultrabooks labelled under the Gram series. They are going for a very lightweight and portable design, hence the name. There will be two models, with a 13.3-inch and 14-inch available starting today.
Both models feature a 1920x1080 IPS display, and weigh in at just 980 grams for either model, so there is no weight penalty going with the larger device. They are just 0.5” or 12.5mm thick, so they should have no issues with portability. The chassis are made out of carbon-lithium and carbon-magnesium which should result in a pretty strong frame despite the light weight and thin dimensions. LG has also managed to go with a minimal bezel of just 7.2mm on the sides, much like the Dell XPS 13, but they have kept a top bezel in order to fit the webcam. The 13.3-inch version will be offered in white, while the 14-inch version will be gold.
LG Gram 13
Despite being very thin and light, both models will be offered with Intel’s 15w processor lineup. The base offering is the Broadwell Core i5-5200U which is 2.2 GHz and a turbo to 2.7 GHz, and the 14-inch model will also be offered with the Core i7-5500U which is 2.4 GHz to 3.0 GHz. Memory is 8 GB of DDR3L which is listed as single channel, but being soldered on it could actually be dual-channel and only hands on with the device could determine that. Storage is 128 GB of SSD, with the i7 model doubling that to 256 GB.
There is HDMI, dual USB 3.0, and a SDXC card reader as well which should be enough for most tasks, and there is also a micro USB connector which can be used with the included 10/100 Ethernet adapter. It would have been nice to see Gigabit here, but that can’t work on a micro USB port and LG must not have wanted to tie up one of the USB 3.0 ports. Wireless is provided by the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-7260 wireless card, but I would have preferred to see the 7265 model here.
LG Gram 14
Packing all of this into a small frame, light weight, and thin device is a pretty nice feat, but the one thing that seems to have taken a hit is the battery. LG rates both models at 7.5 hours of use, but the battery is just a 35 Wh model so it has a pretty big disadvantage over other Ultrabooks.
|LG Gram 13||LG Gram 14|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-5200U
2.2-2.7 GHz 14nm
|Intel Core i5-5200U
2.2-2.7 GHz 14nm
Intel Core i7-5500U
2.4-3.0 GHz 14nm
|GPU||Intel HD 5500 Gen 8|
|Display||13.3" 1920x1080 IPS||14.0" 1920x1080 IPS|
|Storage||128 GB SSD||128-256 GB SSD|
|I/O||1 x micro USB
1 x HDMI
1 x SDXC
2 x USB 3.0
|Dimensions||(mm) : 302 x 213 x 12.5
(inches) : 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.5
|(mm) : 325 x 226 x 12.5
(inches) : 12.8 x 8.9 x 0.5
|Weight||980 g / 2.16 lbs|
|Battery||35 Wh, up to 7.5 hours|
Perhaps most importantly, the LG Gram series will be sold through the Microsoft Store, which means they will be sold as “Signature PCs” from Microsoft. This means that there will be no extra software installed out of the box other than necessary utilities to function with the hardware. When you see the state of some PCs sold, with so much software installed that it would take you hours to clean it all off, this is a nice benefit and well done to LG for going down this route.
The LG Gram is available starting today.
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Michael Bay - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkJeesus, is there no black anymore.
michael2k - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkSo they made it thinner and lighter than a 11" MBA, but put in a more powerful CPU and higher resolution display than the 13" MBA, with a smaller battery, smaller than even the 11" MBA. Not sure I agree with those tradeoffs.
Flunk - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkNot really a good comparison, people buy MacBooks because they want Macs. I would never consider one, but I might consider this. Actually I think I'd still rather have the Dell XPS 13, but I have to admit the price of the LG is better.
shadarlo - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkWhy do you say this is a better price than the Dell? I was thinking the opposite, you get more bang for your buck from the Dell slightly?
protomech - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - linkhttp://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pd...
$900 for the 13" i5 with 4GB, 128GB.
You do get more battery though - 54 Wh rated at up to 15 hours. More weight and thickness too, about half a pound and 0.1". I'd make that tradeoff.
shadarlo - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - linkYou linked the same twice :)
Dell has the 8GB RAM XPS13 on their site with non-touch, that's the best deal out for that type of laptop atm, IMO.
For people who don't need as much processor, but want more RAM/Storage for less money: $599: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pd...
repoman27 - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkI'm not sure I agree that the i5-5200U and i7-5500U in these qualify as "more powerful" than the i5-5250U and i7-5650U that are in the MBA these days :-P
And the tradeoff seems to be very much along the weight vs. battery life lines. The Gram 13 weighs 9% less than the 11-inch MBA but packs 8% less battery, and the Gram 14 weighs 27% less than the 13-inch MBA but has 35% less battery.
It's also kind of amazing that LG only beats Apple price-wise by $50 to $100 for similarly specced machines. Yes, they offer a lot less bezel and a lot more (IPS) pixels in a similar form-factor, but it also happens to be a form-factor that Apple has been selling for nearly 8 years now. Plus the MacBook Air has GT3 graphics, ridiculously fast PCIe SSD storage available in up to 512 GB capacities, LPDDR3 RAM, DisplayPort 1.2 / Thunderbolt 2, and a really solid trackpad and keyboard.
OCedHrt - Monday, September 28, 2015 - linkThat's a very biased comparison. The battery doesn't make up the full weight of the notebook, and so a 8% battery reduction would not result in a 9% weight reduction. It would be < 8%, probably < 5%. So normalizing for battery, and increasing the screen size (and thus keyboard size), LG still reduced the weight.
There's nothing special about the 13.3", as I've had one in that weight range for years. But the 14" is quite interesting. If the MacBook Air was 14" for its price with at least 1080p and the same weight, that would be great too. Unfortunately for that you'll need a MacBook and you'll see the weight is easily 30-50% higher.
repoman27 - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - linkSorry, I was thinking more along the lines of the tradeoffs made by LG, not necessarily in the eyes of the consumer. I'm sure the screens in the Grams weigh more than those in the MBAs, so the chassis is definitely lighter overall (the screens got bigger through reducing bezel size, the keyboard width is essentially identical).
My point was that LG set a weight target of under 1 kg and shaved battery to achieve that. Given a specific energy of 180 Wh/kg, the battery difference would account for 21 g on the Gram 13 and 108 g for the 14, before you account for any additional material required to create the interior volume to house that additional battery.
xthetenth - Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - linkAn actually decent monitor rather than a refugee from the year 2012 is a pretty huge upgrade well worth the loss of most/all of those for most cases (although to be honest I'd like the DP connector even if I had to keep the computer closed to hide the shame of a 1440x900 TN panel, but my ultrabook as ghetto desktop use case is a pretty rare one for very good reasons).