LG Gram 16 (16Z90P) review: A 16-inch laptop

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The LG Gram is a discreet and elegant all-black PC. Despite the slim and light design, the magnesium body benefits from MIL-STD-810G certification, ensuring good resistance to shocks, pressure, and dust. Unfortunately, the borders are made of plastic (perhaps due to the weight), but they remain thin and therefore do not affect the aesthetics of the computer in any way.

LG Gram is simple and elegant.

LG Gram is simple and elegant.

The keyboard and touchpad are fun to use and take advantage of the adjustable backlighting on three levels (only). A handful of classic features sit on the top of the keyboard, plus an on-off switch that acts as a fingerprint reader to quickly unlock your computer.

The keyboard is fun to use.

The keyboard is fun to use.

Webcam, without Windows Hello, HD movies (720p) max. Thus, the picture is not unusual and is already smoothed out in full light. When the brightness decreases, the quality deteriorates a lot and the picture is really noisy.

Despite its desire for ultra-lightness, the LG Gram doesn’t forget about connectors. On the list: 2 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 mini-jack socket. A microSD card reader is also included, even if its usefulness remains very limited today. Networks are accessed via modern and fast standards such as wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

The connection is good.

The connection is good.

To unlock the computer, you have to be patient and remove all the rubber pads that the eight Phillips screws are hidden under. Inside the chassis there is a single fan, for added lightness, a battery that can be easily changed, and a good surprise, a free slot to accommodate an NVMe SSD, as well as a replaceable SSD already installed. On the other hand, the RAM is unfortunately soldered. In general, we note that LG has optimized various elements as much as possible in order to gain lightness. Thus the components are distributed over two printed circuits of small size, connected to each other by a thin film. The battery does not take up all the available space and some parts have been cut without the motherboard components.

Two NVMe SSDs can be installed in the computer.

Two NVMe SSDs can be installed in the computer.

The single fan delivers a controlled volume level that at full load we noticed was barely 33.1 decibels, making it one of the quietest PCs we tested. Temperatures stay contained too, with a temperature point in the center of the keyboard of 38.9°C and just over 43°C at the air outlet.

Only one fan on this computer and it is still silent.

Only one fan on this computer and it is still silent.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

performance

Our model was equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. We know this CPU quite well from testing it many times, but we have to admit that it lags a bit here. That’s the price to pay for a PC’s quality, unique ventilation, and silent operation. If the processor thermal envelope is 28W, then it throttle regularly so that it does not overheat and its operating frequencies are affected. Thus, with the Handbrake video processing software, the frequency curve presents waves and is averaged at “only” 2.2 GHz. So some of the processing times were quite long, on Handbrake or Blender for example, even if the processor worked fine in absolute terms and could be used, from time to time, for challenging programs like Photoshop or Lightroom.

Gram 16 CPU benchmark against the competition.

Gram 16 CPU benchmark against the competition.

It is possible to improve computer performance by activating the “Perf” cooling mode in the built-in LG Control Center software. As a result, the gains are about 15% depending on the software used, but the ventilation is slower and therefore more noise. Therefore, we advise against using it to perform office tasks.

In the game, the Iris Xe chip performed well with 38 frames per second Diablo III (Graphics pushed to the limit) at 60fps Note and watch (low quality). Something to troubleshoot again in titles that aren’t too recent or not too greedy.

Editor's Rating: 2 out of 5

Screen

The LG GRAM 16-inch WQXGA Monitor (2560 x 1600 pixels) has several flaws that affect its rating. If the contrast ratio of 1400:1 is exactly correct, then the colorimeter lacks accuracy. The screen’s delta E is set at 4 (slightly above the recommended 3), average color temperature is pretty cool (7300K) and gamma isn’t very stable with very masked dark grays. However, the calibration probe should allow all this to be corrected.

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature, and delta E.

From left to right, gamma curve, color temperature, and delta E.

To gain light, LG has covered its panel with a thin layer of plexiglass which gives a noticeable glossy effect. With an average reflectance of ~59.7%, which is among the highest in our test bank, watch out for lights off the screen. Unfortunately, the low max brightness of 350 nits won’t make up for it. The 30ms persistence proves to be very high, even if the effect is minimal in office automation, but a good point, the screen occupancy rate is 83.5%.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

My voice

With the speakers tucked under the chassis, the audio can sometimes be “choked” a little by the forearms on the computer. But even without that, the LG Gram doesn’t offer high-end sound. As is often the case in the thin chassis, the bass is absent; Averages and heights lack precision, while stereoscopic space is really limited. In short, we recommend using headphones or a speaker.

The headphone output is also very true with low distortion at 0.01%, good dynamic range of 98dB, and very limited interference at -65dB, even if the power reserve can be larger. The output power of 125 millivolts per second prohibits the use of high-impedance headphones, but it is still enough to connect consumer models.

strength point

  • Elegant structure.

  • mild;

  • Too silent.

  • Good autonomy.

  • Expandable storage.

Weak points

  • The default average performance.

  • Highly reflective panel.

  • Colorimetry that lacks precision.

  • 720p webcam.

Conclusion

international mark

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

How does grading work?

The LG Gram 16 is an atypical PC that benefits from a remarkable lightness, especially if you have to move it regularly. Very quiet in use, it is generally good, but nevertheless it has some noticeable flaws. Starting with the average screen, which turned out to be a highly reflective and poorly calibrated panel. As for its performance, it turned out to be limited, a design flaw that, by default, puts everything in low noise pollution.

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