LG returned to the laptop market with a vengeance last year with their Gram range of laptops. I checked out their LG Gram 17 last year and found them to be an excellent quality. WHen they announced their new range earlier this year, I definitely wanted to check out the latest, especially with the addition of the +View USB-C display that now comes with the LG Gram 16.
This latest LG Gram 16 includes the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processor, with LPDDR5 RAM and Gen4 NVMe SSDs. There’s a 16” display in 16:10 aspect ratio, and a full-size keyboard which also incorporates a numeric keypad making for convenient data entry.
LG has sent over the LG Gram 16 with a Core i7 processor which retails at $2999, but there’s also a Core i5 model which retails at $2,699.
I’ve been using the LG Gram for two weeks and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Design
The concept of a 16” laptop brings visions of chunky laptops, but just as I found with the LG Gram 17 last year, that isn’t the case.
Weighing in at just under 1.2kg, the laptop is quite portable and easy to carry around, but it is still fairly large with that 16” display. All that said, it still fits quite nicely into the laptop section of my backpack, even if you want to take the +View display along with you.
Just like last year, the LG Gram 16 (2022) comes in a single colour option: Obsidian Black. It’s a decent option, black is classic for a reason, it looks great.
Opening up the LG Gram 16, there’s a lot of space on the keyboard deck and the large 16” display looks great with minimal bezels at the sides with a slight larger bezel at the top to include the FHD resolution IR webcam, and larger again at the bottom.
The keyboard is backlit for work at night, and full-sized with a numeric keypad which is great for fast data entry. The keyboard is comfortable to type on, but as I don’t do a lot of data entry it was a little underutilised. The keyboard is also slightly off-centre to accommodate the numeric keypad, so you’ll find that a little unnerving to start with – but I quickly got over it.
Unlike the LG Gram 17 last year, LG has opted to NOT include a fingerprint scanner with the LG Gram 16 2022. It’s a small inconvenience, but the addition of the Windows Hello compatible IR Webcam makes up for it, offering fast, contactless login – though again, LG has opted to not include a privacy shutter for the webcam – though because the webcam is used for Windows Hello login, as well as LG’s ‘Glance’ privacy software it’s likely by design..
The trackpad is large, but has excellent palm rejection so you can rest your hands on the lower keyboard deck when typing without worrying about the cursor scooting off. It’s also nice and responsive with support for gestures.
The other bonus of a full-sized laptop is that you get more ports, with LG including dual USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port and audio jack on the left, and dual USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 – Type A ports, microSD card reader and kensington lock slot on the right.
The only change I’d like to see made to the LG Gram is that there should be one on each side. Charging the laptop with the ports on the left, but your only available powerpoint on the right means you have a bit of stretching around.
There are a couple of downward firing speakers using HD Audio with DTS X Ultra on the base of the laptop. They do the job, but aren’t terribly excellent in terms of overall quality.
The new LG Gram range in 2022 includes updated internals that include 12th Gen Intel® Core processors as well as a bump in storage to utilise Gen4 NVMe SSDs and low-voltage LPDDR5 RAM for high-performance.
The response on the laptop is snappy, and loading apps is quick across the board. Moving files around is fast, even from the USB-C connection thanks to the inclusion of the Thunderbolt 4 ports.
While the performance was excellent on the day to day work, the response from gaming wasn’t as good. Using the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, there’s some functionality for gaming, but you’ll have to use the lowest settings for the most part unless you want a laggy experience.
We put the LG Gram 16 2022 through its paces on 3DMark and here’s how it went.
The LG Gram 16 uses a 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolution IPS display, and it’s powered by the Intel Iris Xe Graphics chipset which is excellent for any office work or web surfing and video playback.
There’s a matte coating on the screen, so any lights around don’t overwhelm the display, even if you have the brightness down.
The display itself is very nice, with excellent viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel and colour representation thanks to the DCI-P3 99% (Typical, min 95%) colour gamut support. It can also put out a fair bit of light with a super bright panel, but operating around 50% brightness is more than enough for most environments.
The LG Gram 16 does NOT include a touch display, so if you need to use touch on your laptop this isn’t the one for you.
The +View Display is a big addition to the LG Gram 16 laptop and effectively mirrors the hardware offering a 16” WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution IPS panel in 16:10 aspect ratio with 350nits brightness and 1200:1 contrast ratio – very similar to the panel in the LG Gram 16 Laptop.
It’s a simple panel with a USB-C port either side for plugging it in, and a simple rocker on the right hand side to control the brightness. Setup is similarly easy: attach the folio cover which acts as a stand, then plug the USB-C cable into the USB-C port on your laptop and the +View display and you’re off and racing.
The folio cover is good for protection, but the magnets used are fairly weak which means it never really feels like a stable platform. The flap on the rear meant to steady it was often flopping off the rear of the panel which wasn’t ideal – but it did work.
Quality wise, the panel is excellent for work or play, though you are still limited by the Intel graphics. It’s bright, colours and refresh are great and it adds a lot of real estate without too much fuss.
There’s no speakers inside the +View display, so if you want to watch some video on it you get a slightly disconcerting off-centre sound coming from the laptop or use some external speakers or headphones.
Inside the LG Gram 16 is an 80 Wh Li-Ion battery and 65W Charger in the box which offers ‘long lasting battery life’ according to LG. The LG Gram 16 also carries the Intel EVO certification which means you get ‘a long-lasting battery that charges fast’. In practice, I found that charging the laptop battery with the supplied charger took just under 2 hours (closer to an hour and three quarters),.
Battery use was excellent. On average I got through a full day of work which included a lot of work on the web, a LOT of Google Docs and Office 365 and some photo editing thrown in, all with no issues. There was even a fair chunk of charge at the end of the business day to kick back with some YouTube and even into a second day.
Plugging the +View Monitor into the laptop WILL decrease your battery life slightly faster. I played a movie on the second display with it set at 100% brightness and saw around 4.5 hours of use, while at 50% brightness I got to around 7 hours of use.
The LG Gram runs Windows 11 Home, pre-installed so there’s no faffing about downloading updates when you boot up for the first time. There is a fair bit of bloat in terms of apps included on the LG Gram 16.
This ranges from the usual Microsoft Office 365 Trial tol pre-installed apps like Disney+, Spotify, a suite of Cyberlink apps including PpwerDirector and of course a host of LG apps including the Glance software and tuning apps for the laptop. For anyone wanting Anti-Virus protection, there’s McAfee Live Safe with a trial as well.
LG Glance, developed with Mirametrix. It essentially uses the camera to check for anyone glancing over your shoulder, at which point it will pop-up an alert with options to lock the screen. The over-the shoulder monitoring did get tripped up by a TV behind me, but definitely worked when anyone walked behind me. There’s salso ome other features like posture alerts and the ability to snap your cursor to the display you’re looking at as well as posture reminders and even rest reminders.
Overall, the LG Gram software load is about what you can expect from most laptop makers these days. Spend some time making sure you have the apps you want installed and uninstall those that you don’t and you’ll be fine.
Should you buy this laptop?
I simply love the LG Gram 16, and the +View Display adds a lot of funcitonality without being a huge burden to carry around.
The LG Gram 16 is an ultra-portable for those of us who want a lot of screen but not a lot of bulk. It’s light and has a thin enough profile that it fits into a bag with ease, but still has a significant amount of grunt to get you through the day.
The +View DIsplay is a good addition if you need that additional real estate but the folio case was a little lacking but still ultimately very functional.
There’s some niggly design issues for me, specifically the layout of the USB-C ports for charging/monitor out. I’d also like to see some improved sound – with this much real estate a couple of larger speakers would definitely be a benefit.
Overall though, this is a heck of a great laptop if you’re after something that’s extremely light and easy to carry that comes with an excellent, large display and enough power to get you through more than a day.