Within LG's deep portfolio of appliances, TVs, soundbars and phones is its line of Gram laptops. Available in 13.3-, 14-, 15.6- and 17-inch sizes, they all have ultralight bodies for their sizes and exceedingly long battery lives (though never as long as LG claims).
This year LG added its first Gram 2-in-1 to the lineup by essentially putting 360-degree hinges on its Gram 14 laptop, in turn making it one of the lightest -- if not the lightest -- 14-inch two-in-one laptop available. It's a good half pound less than our current top-rated two-in-one of that size, the Lenovo Yoga C930.
With similar features, components and pricing, too, the LG Gram 14 2-in-1 is stiff competition for the Yoga C930. Here's how they measure up to each other.
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Weighing the design differences
While the Yoga C930 and Gram 14 2-in-1 are roughly the same size, the latter is lighter, which makes it slightly more comfortable to use as a handheld tablet. That comfort extends to the included Wacom AES 2.0 Pen with 4,096 pressure levels and tilt detection. It's a full-size pen unlike the Yoga's, which is about the size ofand significantly smaller than the Wacom. The Yoga's advantage here is that the pen stores and charges in the body; there's no storage or holder for the LG's pen. (Both pens worked well, by the way.)
Pen storage is admittedly a small issue and likely not a dealbreaker on its own. There are a bunch of these little differences that could sway you one way or the other.
Lenovo went with two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single USB-A port, for instance. There's a combination mic-headphone jack, too, but that's it. This means you'll need an adapter or dongle for other connections. LG, despite having similarly limited space, gives you two USB-A ports, a microSD card slot and HDMI output as well as a USB-C 3.1 port and includes an Ethernet adapter.
When it comes to keyboards, neither laptop's keys have a lot of travel. The Yoga's ultimately proved to be more comfortable and accurate, at least for touch typing, because LG used smaller Enter and Backspace keys that resulted in missed keystrokes.
Two other features might help the Lenovo rise above the LG for you. If you're concerned about web cam privacy, the Yoga has a small switch that slides a shutter across the camera to block it. There's also a function key to instantly cut the built-in mics.
Then there's the Yoga C930's speaker system. Lenovo used the laptop's 360-degree hinge as a rotational soundbar. Paired with its Dolby Atmos audio processing, the C930 has unusually good sound for its thin chassis. The Gram's speakers are fine in a pinch, but it's no surprise LG built in headphone-specific DTS processing.
Get what you get or get what you want
The LG Gram 2-in-1 is currently available in a single configuration from Best Buy for $1,500. Fortunately, it's a good one and is in line with Lenovo's pricing for the C930. (There's a spec chart below for comparison.) The price also includes LG's active pen and a USB-C-to-Ethernet adapter.
The Yoga, on the other hand, starts at around $1,100 and can be configured with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 16GB of memory, up to a 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD for storage and a 4K UHD display. Lenovo also frequently has deals on its site, so depending on when you buy you could end up getting a better configuration for less. For example, at the moment you can get the C930 with a Core i7 and 16GB RAM for less than one with a Core i5 and 8GB RAM.
||LG Gram 14 2-in-1||Lenovo Yoga C930|
|Price as reviewed||$1,500||$1,300|
|Display size/resolution||14-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel touch display||14-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel touch display|
|CPU||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz||12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620||128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Storage||512GB SSD||256GB SSD|
|Networking||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
Both the LG and Lenovo delivered strong performance for general home and office uses such as word processing, web browsing and email. Want a two-in-one for jotting down notes, putting together presentations or sketching a design? Either of these will do the trick.
They also have enough muscle to push through more demanding work, assuming it's not too graphics intensive. The integrated graphics can handle casual gaming at low settings as well as basic photo and video edits.
On our benchmark tests, the configurations we reviewedgiven their slight processor and RAM differences. Battery performance was similar, too, on our online streaming video test. The Gram ran for 12 hours, 35 minutes while the Yoga stopped less than 10 minutes shy of that at 12 hours, 26 minutes.
More than beginner's luck
The Gram 2-in-1 might be LG's first for the category, but it doesn't show in the final product. LG's taken everything that worked for its clamshell laptop designs and made it work as an ultraportable convertible. It also carried over a couple things that were less desirable like its keyboard layout and thin-sounding speakers, which are two areas where Lenovo's Yoga C930 shines. And with the options to get the C930 in more than one configuration from more than one retailer, the Lenovo has broader appeal while delivering similar performance and battery life.
LG Gram 14 2-in-1
Best 2-in-1 for traveling light
The LG Gram weighs noticeably less than its similarly sized competition. For business travelers, commuters or students, the lighter load will likely be appreciated. With its great battery life and USB-C charging, you can likely get through a daily commute without carrying its power supply, too. Plus, since LG gave it a full-size HDMI out and USB-A ports, you won't need as many adapters. Read CNET review.
Lenovo Yoga C930
Best all-around premium 2-in-1
The C930 might not be as light as the LG or have its port assortment, but it has other design advantages like a better keyboard, a garaged active pen, a webcam privacy shutter and a speaker system that actually sounds good. Multiple configurations are available from retailers and direct from Lenovo starting around $1,100 so you can get performance that fits your budget. Read CNET's review.