LG Gram 15 (2017) review: 15-inch laptops don't get lighter than this

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The Good The LG Gram 15 is one of the lightest and thinnest laptops available with a 15.6-inch display. It has good components and performance for the price and gets nearly 10 hours of battery life. Port assortment includes USB 3.0 Type-C and a full-size HDMI output.

The Bad The keyboard is shallow and somewhat spongy-feeling. The speakers are weak and tinny. The webcam is on the hinge, which basically means positioning it is always going to be a problem. Some might not like the overall flimsy feel to the body.

The Bottom Line The LG Gram 15 is an ultraportable that doesn't make you sacrifice screen size or some runtime for less weight.

7.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Battery 8

With ultraportables, you typically sacrifice screen size to shave something off from the overall size and weight. But as LG showed us with its 13.3-inch Gram laptop, it's possible to get a larger screen into a smaller and remarkably lightweight body, and still get solid everyday performance and battery life. 

The 2017 Gram models -- available in 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch sizes -- start at $1,000 for a non-touchscreen 13.3-inch Gram, but climb up to $1,500 for the 15.6-inch version reviewed here (approximately AU$1,990 or £1,185 in Australia and the UK, respectively) with a full-HD IPS touchscreen and an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD.

The price is certainly fair for those components in a laptop that's a touch less than 2.5 pounds (1,080 g) and is only 0.6 inch thick (15.5 mm). The bigger screen in the smaller, lighter body is the main selling point, though, so if those aren't crucial to your needs, you might want to consider something else such as the 15-inch HP Spectre x360 or the Dell XPS 15.

LG Gram 15 (2017)

Price as reviewed $1,499
Display size/resolution 15-inch 1,920x1,080 touch display
PC CPU 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U
PC memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage 512GB SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

For as much as I love how little the Gram weighs, the look and feel is not as easy to like. The magnesium alloy body just doesn't have the same sturdy feel as a premium aluminum-chassis ultraportable. The lid in particular has a lot of flex to it. However, this doesn't mean that it won't stand up to the day-in-day-out abuse of a commute or getting dragged around from class to class. 

Also, while anyone who picks it up will be amazed by its weight, the Gram likely won't wow them with its looks. The chassis is dark silver inside and out with the exception of the chrome LG logo on the lid and below the display. Politely put, it is unassuming and will blend into any environment, be it boardroom, classroom or cafe.


The slim bezel means more screen in a smaller body. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bigger, but not necessarily better

The Gram 15 is essentially just a larger version of the Gram 13. That, unfortunately, means that a couple issues I had with the 13.3-inch version are found on the 15.6-incher. For example, the Gram 15 has a slim bezel around the screen like the Gram 13, which is great because it means you're looking at almost nothing but display when you open the lid. A side effect of this, however, is LG moved the webcam to the screen's hinge so it shoots straight up your nose while also placing the camera so low that the screen has to be at a 90-degree angle to keep you entirely in the shot. 

As you might expect from a company that makes TVs and displays, the screen on the Gram is nice. It's sharp with very good color and excellent off-angle viewing. It gets reasonably bright, too, but you still might struggle with some of the glare from the glossy touchscreen. LG also includes a Reader mode setting that lets you quickly reduce blue light.

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