“The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 is an extremely light laptop, but it does more than just that.”
Solid productivity performance
Generally good input options
The performance has decreased slightly compared to the previous generation
As you can tell by the name, LG’s Gram laptops focus on weight – especially extreme weight. While thin and light laptops have gotten a lot thinner and lighter, the LG Gram line has managed to claim its place with some of the lightest laptops you can buy.
LG just updated its Gram 14 2-in-1, which weighs just 2.52 pounds. It’s insanely easy, despite having all of the high-end specs you’d expect in a $ 1,600 laptop. But does this laptop have more to offer than just its light weight?
The Gram 14 weighs 2.52 pounds, which is definitely on the lower end of the scale for 14-inch 2-in-1 laptops. Imagine a direct competitor, the Lenovo Yoga C940, which weighs 3.04 pounds – a half-pound difference that you can tell when you hold it in either hand. Even a smaller 2-in-1, the HP Specter x360 13, is heavier at 2.88 pounds. Simply put, the Gram 14 achieves its goal of being a noticeably lighter alternative.
Much of this has to do with the choice of materials, especially the magnesium alloy that makes up the laptop’s case. This metal manages to keep things lightweight while still being reasonably sturdy, though I’ve noticed some bends in the lid and some keyboard flexes. The Gram 14 feels like it’s made of plastic. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it hurts when you factor in the $ 1,600 price tag.
Despite its low weight, the Gram 14 is not the thinnest notebook.
However, once you overcome this mental hurdle, you will appreciate how LG managed to make the laptop so light and solid that you no longer have to worry about its ability to endure abuse.
Despite its weight, the Gram 14 is not the thinnest notebook at 0.70 inches. The Yoga C940 is thinner at 0.57 inches and the HP Specter x360 13 is 0.67 inches. And you’ll be pleased with that extra thickness as, as we’ll learn, it improves connectivity and battery capacity.
In terms of aesthetics, the Gram 14 can best be described as “handsome”. It’s an attractive dark silver color (it’s also available in white) with a bold white Gram logo on the lid and keyboard font that curiously compliments the design. There’s nothing here to get a lot of attention, but I like the look. I’d prefer it to Lenovo’s yoga aesthetic, which is as conservative as it is boring. HP’s Specter line remains the most extravagant, of course, and the Gram 14 doesn’t come close.
Connectivity is impressive for a laptop this thin and light. There’s a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support (an upgrade from the previous model without this useful connection), a full-size HDMI port, two USB-A 3.1 ports, and a microSD card reader. Wireless connectivity is provided through Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, which keeps the laptop up to date with the latest in wireless technology.
When I reviewed the 2019 version of the Gram 14, it was a strong performance for its CPU class. This time it fell off a bit.
In the synthetic Geekbench 4, for example, the 2019 version with its eighth generation Core i7-8565U achieved 5,013 points in the single-core test and 15,496 points in the multi-core test. The new Gram 14 with its quad-core Intel Core i7-10510U scored 5,244 and 14,789 points respectively and dropped out in the multi-core test. Looking at Geekbench 5, the Gram 14 scored 1,170 and 3,480, respectively, compared to the Asus ZenBook Duo with the same CPU that manages 1,183 and 4,221. The Gram 14 simply lags behind in this test.
When switching to our real-world handbrake test, which converts a 420MB video file to H.265, the 2019 Gram 14 took about 4.1 minutes to complete the test with an older version of Handbrake, while the new Gram 14 took five Took seconds longer. We didn’t test the same CPU with the latest version of Handbrake, but it took the Gram 14 five minutes to complete the test compared to the Acer Spin 3 which finished a Core i5-1035G1 in just over four minutes.
None of this, of course, is a tragedy. These results mean you don’t want to use the Gram 14 for high-level photo and video editing tasks, but it will work for just about any productivity, web browsing, and multimedia task you might want to do. And that’s exactly the focus of this laptop – providing a lightweight platform that productivity workers love to take with them. In this respect, the 14th gram shines.
With Intel UHD Graphics, this is of course not a gaming laptop. If you stick to older, low-resolution, graphical-detail titles, you can play light games, but that’s about all you can expect.
Somehow, LG managed to pack 72 watt hours of battery capacity into the lightweight housing of the Gram 14. That’s a lot of battery for a 14-inch laptop, and I was expecting some strong battery results.
What I got was strong, but not spectacular longevity. Battery life has been one of the most notable improvements in recent laptops, and the Gram 14 sits on the top shelf in this category. It’s not the most durable we’ve tested, but it does give you a good, long day off the beaten track.
First, it did nearly 4.5 hours in our demanding Basemark web benchmark test. That’s on the high end of the average, which is a bit strange because the Gram 14 doesn’t exactly push the CPU to its limits and I was expecting more here. The Asus ZenBook Duo lasted almost five hours longer and the Dell XPS 13 with its Core i7-1065G7 almost half an hour longer. So Gram 14 did well here, but not great.
The LG Gram 14 will get you through a whole working day and much more.
The switch to the web browser test and the Gram 14 was a bit stronger. It ran for roughly 11.3 hours, which is a strong – but also not a class-leading – score that indicates a long-lasting productivity laptop. The ZenBook Duo only lasted 8.5 hours, while the XPS 13 lasted 13 minutes longer. Finally, watch our video loop test looping a local Full HD The Avengers trailer until the battery runs out. Here the Gram 14 lasted 16.6 hours, beating the 11.9 hours of the ZenBook Duo and the 14.5 hours of the XPS 13. You’ll find the Gram 14 an excellent laptop for getting Netflix on the road .
Ultimately, I have to rate the Gram 14 as impressive in terms of battery life, all the more so since you don’t pay a premium in terms of weight for total battery capacity. The Gram 14 will get you through a full day of work and more, which is all you can ask in a featherweight machine like this.
If you look at our display database, you can see a remarkably consistent trend. Laptops like the Apple MacBook and the Dell XPS 15 have fantastic displays with brilliant and precise colors, deep contrast and high brightness. Then there are inexpensive displays with faint colors, poor accuracy, and dull panels with less contrast. Right in the middle is the premium average, which is almost exactly where the Gram 14’s display drops off.
It’s comfortably bright at 320 nits, which exceeds our preference of 300 nits, while its contrast of 830: 1 falls below our preferred ratio of 1,000: 1. But that’s similar or better than some other laptops like the Lenovo Yoga C930 (we haven’t tested the C940 yet) which came in at 294 nits and a contrast of 650: 1. The Dell XPS 13 was much brighter at 377 nits and had a contrast ratio of 1,440: 1.
The display is one of the worst color accuracies we’ve seen in a while.
In terms of color, the Gram 14 managed 70% AdobeRGB and 95% sRGB. Again, this is roughly average for premium laptops. although the XPS 13 outperforms it with 77% and 97% respectively. Where the Gram 14 drops, the color accuracy is 5.11 (1.0 or less is considered accurate), which means there were colors everywhere compared to a laptop like the XPS 13, which scored 1.53 . The Gram 14’s score is one of the worst we’ve seen in a while, and there’s no excuse for an expensive laptop like this.
Still, I enjoyed using the display while writing the review. Black text on a white background popped up in a way that was comfortable for long-term writing, and the only time I noticed the inaccurate colors was when I compared it side by side to another laptop. If you’re the creative type who demands a wide gamut and accurate colors, control should be clear. For productivity users and multimedia watchers, however, the Gram 14’s laptop is more than good enough.
The sound was clear and pleasant, although the volume was absent. There was little bass, of course, but few laptops outside of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros can claim a lot of low-end reactions. Highs and mids were fine, so the speakers were fine for the occasional YouTube and Netflix sessions (in a quiet room), but headphones or bluetooth speakers would still be a boon.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard on the Gram 14 appears to be the same as the previous model, which is generally a good thing. First, as mentioned above, it’s a nice looking keyboard with a nice, clear, attractive font and effective backlighting. Second, it has a fast mechanism that is good for long writes, although it’s a bit flat for my tastes. Many people may agree, so I rate the keyboard as very good – not quite on par with the excellent keyboard on the HP Specter x360 13, but not too far off.
The touchpad is average in size and supports Microsoft Precision drivers with solid support for Windows 10 multi-touch gestures. The display is of course touch sensitive, and the included active pen supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and works well with Microsoft inks. Overall, input is a strength.
Windows 10 Hello support without a password is provided by a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button. It works well, quickly and accurately and saves me the hassle of entering a PIN or password.
The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 fulfills its primary goal of being a lightweight 2-in-1 productivity that is particularly easy to transport. Performance is a bit slower than the previous version, but it’s not unusual – it’s still fast enough for the productivity users’ goal. Battery life is a strong point, as are the input options.
There is stiff competition out there, however, and some of them are much cheaper than the Gram 14. However, it’s hard to beat the LG Gram 14 for ultimate portability.
Are there alternatives?
The Lenovo Yoga C940 is a strong competitor to the Gram 14. It is likely faster and more solidly built, with great audio performance and a better keyboard. While the battery life isn’t that long, it makes up for it with a price tag of about $ 300 lower.
You could also cut the price significantly (around under $ 1,000) and consider the HP Envy x360. Thanks to the powerful Ryzen 4000 CPUs from AMD and an overall better build quality, you get significantly faster performance without adding too much weight. However, you are giving up on battery life.
Finally, LG sells a Gram 14 clamshell that is even lighter at 2.2 pounds and is the same basic size as the 2-in-1. It’s only configured with a Core i5, but if you don’t need the speed or 2-in-1 functionality, you can save 14 cash compared to the 2-in-1 price of 1,600 grams – the clamshell is out now available for $ 950 and retails for $ 1,200.
How long it will take?
The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 is built well enough that it should last for years. And with the latest components and Thunderbolt3, it’s relatively future-proof. As always, we complain about the short one-year guarantee.
Should you buy it?
Yes, but only if you have a super light laptop. When performance or build quality are higher priorities, better laptops and 2-in-1 devices are available.