LG Gram 16Z90P;Review

The technological miniaturization that characterizes laptops always involves sacrifice. Thus, the user who decides to buy one must think about what they are willing to give up . More power in exchange for less autonomy? More screen diagonal but with a higher weight and dimensions? Does a few grams less compensate for a lower performance?

There is no doubt that laptops, like almost any technological product, have undergone a notable evolution in recent years, but it is also true that, looking at the sector with some perspective, there is a certain stagnation . In a sense, and beyond the obvious performance differences, there is no dramatic change between a current laptop and one from five years ago.

The disruptions that we have seen in other sectors, such as smartphones, have to reach the world of portable computing. Probably the emergence of ARM , with Apple’s firm commitment at the helm , is an incentive to move from evolution to transformation.

 

 

Thus, in a large but boring market, LG opted with its Gram series for truly portable equipment with great autonomy, aimed at the user who demands and prioritizes mobility over any other factor. I have used the LG Gram 16Z90P in my daily work for a few weeks and I share my impressions along the next lines.

The first feeling that the LG Gram transmits when we remove it from its packaging is its lightness. Not surprisingly, we are talking about a laptop with a diagonal of 16 inches and 1,190 grams of weight, a milestone achieved in part by the wise decision to opt for a magnesium alloy instead of aluminum.

The result is a robust chassis, with a point of flexibility that does not imply at all that it can be easily broken, quite the opposite. This is the classic equipment that can go in a backpack without protection, quite resistant to scratches and minor shocks, as well as dust and extreme temperatures. Not surprisingly, LG boasts MIL-STD-810G military certification.

The aesthetic retouch with respect to the previous generation suits this LG Gram (also available in silver) and brings it closer to the upper mid-range, although without reaching the finishes (or prices) of the HP Specter, Dell XPS or Apple MacBook Pro. It is not a team that attracts attention, but it does convey a sense of quality and does not clash in any environment.

LG Gram 16Z90P, technical specifications

  • 9 x 243.4 x 16.8mm, 1,190 grams
  • Intel Core i7 1165G7
  • Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • 1 x 16 GB RAM DDR4
  • 512GB M.2 NVme
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 80 Wh battery. Up to 16.5 hours.
  • Intel WiFi 6. Bluetooth 5.1.
  • 2 x USB A, 2 x USB C, HDMI, 3.5 mm jack. Micro SD
  • HD Webcam
  • From 1299 euros

Undoubtedly, the protagonist of the team is a 16-inch panel , in 16:10 format with a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, from my point of view the ideal compromise between image quality, performance and comfort. The bezels are ultra-thin, although engineers have been able to embed a webcam in the top profile discreet, but of only sufficient quality for video conferencing and telecommuting.

Regarding the keyboard, the touch is correct and the path is adequate, although the certain flexing of the lower tray can be uncomfortable at first, especially if we are used to mechanical keyboards or thicker profile notebooks. The Korean firm has chosen to reduce the size of the keys a bit, something that, without being a serious problem, is a bit strange considering that we are talking about a large chassis. A possible solution would have been to do without the numeric keypad (which they have also reduced and narrowed), although I understand that market studies indicated that it was not the best option in this case.

Fortunately, the trackpad does have a generous size and a response so good that we will not miss connecting a mouse after five minutes of use.

Outstanding performance

Beyond synthetic tests and performance tests with absolute values ​​to compare equipment in ideal conditions and that, normally, have little to do with real use, I think that the best way to evaluate this type of solution is by putting yourself in the user’s shoes end and put them to work for what they were designed for.

In this case we are facing a team oriented towards office automation and the use of applications that do not make intensive use of the graphics card , such as video games or the most advanced video editors. On a daily basis with a web browser and dozens of open tabs, the Office suite at maximum performance and business applications of all kinds, this LG Gram works with total fluidity in any scenario.

The combination of a good Intel processor (it is a pity that LG does not offer the option to test a format like this on the Ryzen platform), 16 Gbytes of RAM and 512 GB (expandable to 1 TB) of a really fast SSD offer to the user a platform with which to work, study or simply consume content is wonderful.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I think that the Intel platform shows signs of exhaustion and we would have liked a version of this team on AMD 4000 or, to dream, with a Windows alternative to the excellent M1s. They will arrive, sure, as it is also that a giant like Intel will have a response ready to match. Nothing better for the end user than the fierce competition looming in the world of portable computing.

The 16:10 screen is a great option to enjoy movies and series on the multiple platforms available and fans will love to edit their photos or videos at a non-professional level. Opting for 2,560 x 1,600 pixels implies a bit more vertical space to work with than more panoramic options. It is a pity that the audio of the equipment is not up to expectations , with a flat sound without nuances that makes the use of good headphones almost mandatory for multimedia content.

The promise of autonomy

For several iterations Intel processors offer more than enough performance for this type of equipment. The pending issue for years is none other than efficiency , that is, offering the maximum possible battery life without compromising performance too much.

The LG Gram reviewed is probably the most autonomous device I have had the chance to test , beating any Intel-based Apple device and the new Dell XPS with a 17-inch screen. In actual use discussed in the text, my times have never dropped below 10-11 actual hours.

In my tests I tried to get as close as possible to the 16.5 hours that the manufacturer promises, setting the brightness to 40% and using the office automation test available in PCMark 10. With these parameters, the average of the five tests carried out was around the 14.5 hours of total duration , some outstanding numbers.

At this point, two more advantages that are worth highlighting: the included charger, compact and discreet in size and the possibility of charging the equipment through the USB-C ports with any approved charger, something really practical on a day-to-day basis if we have more devices with the same standard.

Conclusions

If you need a lightweight laptop but don’t want to give up a large screen, this LG Gram should be among your options. Its price, which has been moderated compared to the launch and is around 1,200 euros, is a powerful argument since it is difficult to find more for less in diagonals above 15 inches.

The LG Gram is a powerful device, with outstanding autonomy and perfect for users who dedicate a large part of their time to working with multimedia software, web browsing and consuming multimedia content. Designed as a unique device, the quality of its panel, the wide trackpad and the comfort of the keyboard allow you to use it comfortably both inside and outside the home without the need for additional accessories.

On the negative side, we are not convinced by the webcam, the audio system or the decision to reduce the space of the keyboard to integrate the numeric. In any case and, as with any analysis, it is a necessarily subjective opinion, so it is the task of each one to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. From my point of view, an interesting option for those looking for a balanced laptop and with which they do not miss an auxiliary monitor.

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