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

While watching TV and movies on it is a good experience, listening to any sort of audio through its weak speakers is not (the Gram 13's speakers were similarly disappointing). To be fair, few laptops this thin have good speakers and LG built-in DTS Headphone: X processing for improved audio quality through the headphone/mic jack. Other ports and connections include two USB 3.0 ports (Type-A), a microSD card slot, HDMI output and a USB 3.0 Type-C port that supports video out, high-speed data transfer and Ethernet via an adapter.

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The Gram's Type-C USB port isn't Thunderbolt 3.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Another carryover from the Gram 13 is the short travel on its keyboard keys. If you hammer hard when typing like I do, it doesn't make for the most comfortable experience. Plus, while most of the keys are reasonably large, the Enter and Backspace are just a little too small, which led me to occasionally miss them. Not a deal-breaker, but something you might have to adjust to. On the upside, it does have two levels of backlighting available. 

The touchpad is responsive without being jumpy and its software allows for a lot of fine-tuning for multitouch gestures and taps. Oddly, though, LG dropped the fingerprint reader that's built into the Gram 13's touchpad. 

Everyday performance, all-day battery life

With a seventh-gen Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 16GB of memory and integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, you get enough power to get you through average computer tasks like word processing, web browsing and email, and it won't get bogged down if you have a dozen tabs open in Google Chrome with some other applications running in the background. Streaming video and music are no problem either, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything more than casual photo and video editing.

The laptop's battery life doesn't quite hit the 11.5 hours that the 13.3-inch Gram reached (putting it in the top five of laptops we've tested with the longest battery life), but it's not disappointing either. In our streaming video test, the Gram hit nine hours and 42 minutes. On a full charge with the screen brightness at 50 percent, I had no problem getting through an entire work day, including a one-hour commute on both ends. 

You'll forget it's in your bag

In case this review didn't hammer it home enough, without a doubt the best thing about the LG Gram 15 is its weight. Lightweight 15.6-inch laptops are a rarity to begin with, but finding one that's less than 2.5 pounds is, well, this is the only one at the moment. (Samsung's Notebook 9 comes close, though.) If you want a big-screen laptop that you won't mind carrying around all day, everyday (and can look past the meh keyboard and speakers and bad camera placement), the Gram 15 is worth the expense. 

Multimedia Multitasking test 3.0

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
183
Dell XPS 15 (2017)
197
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
427
LG Gram 15
442
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
509

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance (in seconds)


Geekbench 4 (Multi-Core)

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
15440
Dell XPS 15 (2017)
14161
LG Gram 15
8083
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
8042
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
7778

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance



Streaming video playback battery drain test

Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch)
736
Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
643
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017)
594
LG Gram 15
582
Dell XPS 15 (2017)
432

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)


System configurations

LG Gram 15 (2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD
Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX; 256GB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) Apple MacOS Sierra 10.12.5; 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HQ; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 4GB Radeon Pro 560 / 1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 630; 512GB SSD
Dell XPS 15 (2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ;16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; 512GB SSD
HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX; 512GB SSD

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