LG gram 15

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS - Chris Martin

When you think about a full-size 15in lap­top, the word porta­bil­ity doesn’t spring to mind, but LG has sought to change that with its lat­est in­car­na­tion of the gram 15, now with the sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion In­tel Kaby Lake pro­ces­sors for 2017.

Price

LG sells two ver­sions of its lap­top, priced £1,679 for the Core i5 model (15Z970-U.AAS5U1) and a whop­ping £2,099 for the Core i7 (15Z970-A. AAS7U1). Each runs Win­dows 10 Home 64-bit. While that might still be cheaper than the lat­est MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which fetches £2,699, the ex­cel­lent Dell XPS 15 with sim­i­lar specs costs £1,599.

De­sign

Like a lot of the lap­tops we’ve seen this year, the de­sign re­mains the same as its pre­de­ces­sor since only the pro­ces­sor has been up­dated.

As its name sug­gests, the gram 15 is all about weight. It’s some­what sur­pris­ing that this lap­top, de­spite of­fer­ing a 15.6in screen, weighs only 1080g. Not quite un­der the 1kg mark but at just over, it’s around half the weight of the XPS 15.

This is achieved by it be­ing slightly thin­ner at 15mm, com­pared to the Dell’s 18mm, but mainly due to the metal al­loy body, which LG says is made from ‘ad­vanced nano car­bon with mag­ne­sium’. It’s doesn’t feel like metal to the touch, much more like plas­tic, but the lap­top is so light that we don’t mind. The screen is flimsy and bends very eas­ily, though the ma­te­rial ap­pears to be scratch re­sis­tant.

The XPS 15 might look and feel more premium, but if you’re look­ing for a 15in lap­top that won’t bog you down, then you won’t find any­thing lighter than the gram 15.

This LG is also around the same size as the Dell thanks to a very slim bezel around the screen – just 5.5mm at the sides – mak­ing it not only good to look at but feel like a smaller lap­top. It’s a good idea to in­te­grate the we­b­cam into the hinge be­low the screen, though the an­gle of the cam­era doesn’t al­ways work with how you want the screen; and you can’t ad­just them in­de­pen­dently.

Con­nec­tiv­ity

The gram 15 has plenty to of­fer in terms of con­nec­tiv­ity, start­ing off with full-size HDMI, a USB 2.0 socket and two USB 3.0 ports. It also has USB-C, which is both re­versible and of­fers high-speed data trans­fer, though thank­fully isn’t used to charge the de­vice.

The Type-C port is also used to gain Eth­er­net con­nec­tiv­ity as an RJ45 adap­tor is in­cluded in the box. To round things off

there’s a mi­croSD card slot, 3.5mm head­phone port with DTS Head­phone X pro­cess­ing and a Kens­ing­ton Se­cu­rity slot.

Key­board and track­pad

Most 15in lap­tops squeeze in a num­ber­pad onto the side of the key­board and the gram 15 is no ex­cep­tion. While this will be handy for some, it cre­ates prob­lems else­where: the main is­sue be­ing that it shifts the main key­board to the left and typ­ing off-cen­tre isn’t par­tic­u­larly com­fort­able. It also means some fre­quently-used keys, such as backspace and En­ter, are smaller than they per­haps would be oth­er­wise.

The key­board is back­lit, which we’d ex­pect at this price. There are two lev­els of bright­ness to choose from, though this doesn’t make up for its other short­com­ings. The key­board, for ex­am­ple, took some time to learn in or­der to touch type due to the lay­out. Travel and re­spon­sive­ness is av­er­age and noth­ing to write home about.

As for the track­pad, it’s a de­cent size and re­spon­sive. We found it easy to use with Win­dows 10 ges­tures as well as in gen­eral use. It’s not es­pe­cially quiet for press clicks though, and re­quires a lit­tle bit of force to­wards the top.

Dis­play

When it comes to the screen we’ve al­ready men­tioned that it’s full­size 15.6in, which is im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing the over­all size of the de­vice. It’s a pretty stan­dard Full HD res­o­lu­tion (1920x1080) and uses IPS tech­nol­ogy.

You might strug­gle with re­flec­tions at times, but that’s an is­sue with most lap­tops and the gram 15 has a crisp and colour­ful dis­play. How­ever, the bright­ness goes to 257cd/m2, which is fine for in­door use but not so great out­side or in bright con­di­tions.

The Core i7 gram 15 also of­fers touch­screen tech­nol­ogy and al­though we didn’t find our­selves us­ing it much, it may prove a boon for some. That said, the screen wob­bles when us­ing touch in­put.

Per­for­mance

As we touched upon ear­lier, the main rea­son for this year’s edi­tion of the LG gram 15 is an up­date to the lat­est sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion of In­tel pro­ces­sors. So the lap­top ei­ther has a Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U with a base clock of 2.5GHz or a Core i7-7500U, which is a lit­tle faster at 2.7GHz. Both are dual-core chips with four threads.

The for­mer is paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, while the Core i7 model that we tested comes with 16GB and a 512GB SSD.

In terms of bench­marks, the LG scored a mid­dling 2148 in PCMark 8 and due to the chip be­ing dual-core, scores of 5308 and 4880 in Geek­bench 3 and 4 re­spec­tively (multi-core test).

That doesn’t look great com­pared to the Dell, which recorded scores of 2810 and 14,049 in PCMark 8 and Geek­bench 4 re­spec­tively, but this is be­cause the HQ CPU in LG’s ri­val is quad-core. It’s worth keep­ing in mind that the 7500U pro­ces­sor used here is de­signed for lighter tasks and built for ef­fi­ciency lead­ing to bet­ter bat­tery life.

There’s no ded­i­cated graph­ics card, so you’ll be re­ly­ing on the in­te­grated In­tel HD Graph­ics 620 in­stead. A score of 1760 in the 3DMark Sky Diver bench­mark isn’t very good, but this lap­top isn’t de­signed to run games.

Bat­tery life

You’d hope that a lap­top de­signed to be ex­tremely por­ta­ble would of­fer great bat­tery life, too. How­ever, with LG keep­ing weight to a min­i­mum, it could have added a tiny bat­tery. Thank­fully, that’s not the case.

It might not be as big as some of its ri­vals, but LG has man­aged to put a 60Wh bat­tery in­side the gram 15. This is a lit­tle larger than the XPS 15. LG claims it of­fers up to 12- and-half hours of power. In our bench­mark test where we loop a 720p video at a screen bright­ness of 120cd/m2 (60 per­cent in this case), it lasted an im­pres­sive 12 hours ex­actly.

For com­par­i­son, the Dell, with a 56Wh bat­tery, lasted six hours and 24 min­utes. Opt for the Core i5 model of the gram 15 and LG claims you’ll get up to 15 hours.

Ver­dict

The gram 15 does what it’s de­signed to do ex­tremely well. It han­dles Win­dows 10 and un­de­mand­ing apps with ease and lasts for ages away from the mains. It does all this while pack­ing a 15in screen into a chas­sis that weighs just over 1kg. That’s se­ri­ously im­pres­sive, but it comes at a price that’s hard to stom­ach. You should check out the Dell XPS 15 which has more im­pres­sive specs for a lower price, but it does weigh twice as much.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.