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LG gram review: The lightest family of notebooks you can buy

By Kenny Yeo - 8 Feb 2018

LG gram 14

LG gram 14

The LG gram 14 is easily one of the lightest notebooks with a 14-inch display. It weighs just 980g.

The gram 14 is the middle child of the trio of gram notebooks in terms of size and weight.  The overall design of the gram 14 is similar to the other gram notebooks. It just looks like a bigger version of the gram 13 or a smaller version of the gram 15, take your pick. Like the other gram notebooks, the gram 14 is only available in dark gray.

The gram 14 has a 14-inch display, and so it is slightly bulkier than the gram 13. It weighs 970g and it is around 16mm thin. Even so, 970g for a 14-inch notebook is still very remarkable. Remember, most Ultrabooks with 13-inch displays are typically around 1.1kg to 1.3kg. ASUS’ ultra-light ZenBook 3 Deluxe, which also has a 14-inch display, is 1.1kg. So yes, the gram 14 is remarkably light.

The gram 14 is just 16mm thick.

The light weight of gram 14 is thanks to its all magnesium construction. So once again, it suffers from the same flexing problems as the gram 13. Exert any kind of pressure on the chassis and it will flex. It doesn’t inspire confidence even if LG has videos to prove that its gram notebooks are sufficiently strong. Plus, it makes the gram 14 feel less like a premium product.

Though the gram 14 has a larger 14-inch display, it retains the same Full-HD resolution as the gram 13. The display panel is also IPS, so even though it is just Full-HD, images and text still look pretty good. Colors, however, do look a little washed out at higher brightness levels. 

Similar to the gram 13, the gram 14 display also comes with Reader Mode and Daylight Mode. The former adjusts the display by reducing blue light and turning the display warmer to make it less fatiguing to read, while the latter increases contrast to make the display more usable under harsh lights.

On the left side, users can find a power jack, USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and a USB Type-C port that supports USB 3.1 standards.

As for specifications and features, it is identical to the gram 13. There are two processor options users can choose from, there’s the Core i7-7500U processor (2.7GHz, 4MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 620) and the Core i5-7200U (2.5GHz, 3MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 620). Regardless of which processor you pick, the gram 14 will come with 8GB of RAM and a capacious 512GB SSD. The unit we are testing has the more powerful Core i7 processor.

Like the gram 13, the right side of the gram 14 houses a microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, USB 3.0 port, and a Kensington lock slot.

In terms of connectivity, the gram 14 has the exact same ports as the gram 13. This means two USB 3.0 port, a single USB Type-C port that supports USB 3.1 standards, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-sized HDMI port. No Thunderbolt 3, as well. Wireless connectivity also comes in the form of an Intel Wireless-AC 8265 adapter which supports Bluetooth 4.2 and wireless 802.11ac with speeds of up to 867Mbps.

Inside, the gram 14, like the gram 13, relies on a Cirrus Logic DAC for digital-to-analog audio conversions and it features DTS Headphone: X, which gives you an audio control panel that lets you play around with various sound settings. It can be useful, provided you use them with headphones or external speakers because the built-in speakers are very average. That is to say they sound like most other notebook speakers: thin, hollow, and dull.

The keyboard is well-sized and the individual keys themselves have a good feel. Unfortunately, if you type with forceful strokes, the chassis flexes a little.

The gram 14’s keyboard and trackpad are identical to the gram 13. It is well-sized, very usable, with a good amount of feel and resistance. The keys have backlights too, useful for typing in dimly lit places like an aircraft cabin. However, the gram 14’s keyboard suffers from the same problems as the gram 13. If you type forcefully, the chassis flexes a little. The trackpad is one of the better ones I have used on a Windows notebook. It is large, but more importantly, it is responsive and accurate and doesn’t exhibit any erratic tracking behaviors.

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