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Event Coverage

Hands-on with the updated for 2018 LG gram notebooks

By Kenny Yeo - 21 Apr 2018,9:21am

Hands-on with the updated for 2018 LG gram notebooks

New processors, new notebooks

LG has updated its gram notebooks with the latest 8th generation Intel Core processors.

It’s taken awhile, but LG’s updated gram notebooks, which were announced just before CES 2018 last year, are finally here.

As usual, there will be three distinct models: one with a 13-inch display, another with a 14-inch display, and finally one with a 15-inch display. All three have ‘Nano Carbon Magnesium’ alloy chassis and are extremely light but strong. Apart from the updated processors, the new gram notebooks will have also have fingerprint scanners, larger batteries, and select SKUs will also have Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Every gram notebook's power button doubles up as a fingerprint scanner for fast and secure logins.

The new gram notebooks are made to be rugged.

For those worried about durability, the new gram notebooks also meet MIL-STD 810G standards of ruggedness. They are tested to be dust-resistant and can withstand up to 20G of shock and 200kg of pressure.

Fann Wong shares her experiences using the LG gram notebooks.

At the launch event today, celebrity emcee Diana Ser and special guest Fann Wong spoke about their love for LG's new ultraportable gram notebooks.

 

LG gram 13

The new gram 13 notebook might be heavier, but it sports a significantly larger battery and has a much longer battery life.

We begin with the new gram 13, which now comes with a striking white finish. Its dimensions are largely unchanged - it measures 15.5mm thick - but it is considerably heavier than its predecessor. The new gram 13 tips the scales at 965g, which is 125g more than last years’ model (840g). The reason is that it has a larger battery. This year’s model gets a relatively large 72Wh battery, while last year’s model only had a 34.6Wh. As a result, this new model has a much-improved battery life. The gram 13 is also the only gram model in the lineup to have a touchscreen.

It is only available in a single configuration and these are the highlights:

gram 13 specifications
Model 13Z980-T.AA5CA3
Display 13.3-inch Full-HD touchscreen IPS display
Processor Intel Core i5-8250U (1.6GHz)
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Battery life 22.5 hours
Price S$1,999


In terms of ports, the gram 13 will have a single USB-C portsupporting 3.1, two USB 3.0 ports, a single Micro-SD card slot, and a headphone jack.

On the left, there's a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and a USB-C port supporting USB 3.1.

On the right is another USB 3.0 port, headphone jack, micro-SD card reader, and Kensington lock slot.

I recall last year’s gram 13 as being unbelievably light. I couldn’t believe I was holding on to an actual functioning notebook. This year’s model doesn’t quite invoke the same sense of wonderment. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a supremely light notebook, but it isn’t quite as amazing as last year’s model. The tradeoff, of course, is that you get an insanely long battery life of 22.5 hours - that’s enough for a long-haul flight to the US.

 

gram 14

The gram 14 is the only one that comes in 'dark silver.'

The gram 14 makes a return in a familiar shade of what LG calls ‘dark silver.’ Weight and dimensions are mostly unchanged, at 16.5mm and 995g respectively. Eagle-eyed readers will spot the slight increase in weight, and again, that’s due to the larger battery - 72Wh vs. the 60Wh of last year’s model. Claimed battery life has therefore increased too, from 17.5 hours to 21.5 hours. The gram 14 is available in two configurations:

gram 14 specifications
Model 14Z980-G.AA7CA3 14Z980-G.AA5CA3
Display 14-inch Full-HD IPS display 14-inch Full-HD IPS display
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8GHz) Intel Core i5-8250U (1.6GHz)
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 512GB M.2 SATA SSD 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620
Battery life 21.5 hours 21.5 hours battery life
Price S$2,399 S$1,999


In terms of ports, the gram 14 is identical to the gram 13. It has a single USB-C port supporting USB 3.1, two USB 3.0 ports, a single Micro-SD card slot, and a headphone jack.

On the left, there's a USB 3.0 port, a HDMI port, and a USB-C port supporting USB 3.1.

On the right, there's another USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, a micro-SD card reader, and a Kensington lock slot.

For many, the gram 14 looks to be in the sweet spot in terms of everyday usability and portability. It has a larger display than the gram 13 but isn’t so large as to be cumbersome. It also only weighs a tad more than the gram 13 and has a battery life that is almost as long.

 

gram 15

The gram 15 also comes in white. It still holds the record for being the lightest 15-inch notebook in the world.

The gram 15 might be the largest notebook in the family but it weighs just 1,095g, which is incredible for a notebook with a 15-inch display. It is also remarkably thin too at just 16.8mm thick at its chunkiest point. Like the gram 13 and 14, the new gram 15 has a larger battery too - up from 60Wh in last year’s model to 72Wh. Battery life has therefore increased from 15.5 hours to 19 hours. The gram 15 comes in two configurations and they are as follows:

gram 15 specifications
Model 15Z980-B.AA7CA3 15Z980-G.AA5CA3
Display 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS display 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS display
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8GHz) Intel Core i5-8250U (1.6GHz)
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM 8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 512GB M.2 SATA SSD 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620
Battery life 19 hours 19 hours
Price S$2,599 S$2,099


In terms of ports, the gram 15 is mostly identical to the gram 14 and 13, that means a single USB-C port supporting USB 3.1, three USB 3.0 ports, a single Micro-SD card slot, and a headphone jack.

On the left, there's a USB 3.0 port, a HDMI port, and a USB-C port. The top-of-the-line Core i7 model's USB-C port even supports Thunderbolt 3.

On the right, there's two additional USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, micro-SD card reader, and a Kensington lock slot.

However, the pricier Core i7 model’s USB-C port is also a Thunderbolt 3 port. So if Thunderbolt 3 is a priority for you, it is worth nothing that this particular gram 15 model is the only notebook in the lineup to have a Thunderbolt 3 port.

 

Availability

The entire line-up of gram notebooks will be available in May 2018.

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