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LG Gram 14

2017.01.04 12:10 PT

The LG Gram 14 blends ultra-thin design with high-end performance. Weighing in at just 2.16 pounds (980 grams) the Gram 14 keeps the lead for lightest laptop for its size class based on diagonal screen size.

But LG didn’t sacrifice battery life to get thin, the company claims 21 hours on a single charge according to The Verge. (Others are reporting a more conservative 17 hours.) Considering the prior model had poor battery life of around 5-6 hours, a claim of 21 hours is remarkable. Even if real world tests come out at 33% less we are looking at 14 hours, which is still impressive.

The Gram 14 sports a full metal body, constructed out of a nano carbon magnesium alloy, a first for a LG product. A thinner yet durable casing would have allowed LG to squeeze in a larger battery.

LG Display’s new display technology enables the IPS LCD to achieve higher brightness and resolution while reducing component weight. The small bezels around the display enable a 14-inch LCD in a typical 13.3-inch chassis. (I’m looking at you Apple, with those chubby bezels.) But there are compromises: the webcam is located on the bottom of the screen, instead of on top.

A fingerprint sensor is built into the touchpad, and the full-sized keyboard is backlit. The fingerprint sensor-integrated touchpad is the type of technology advancement that makes sense to me. Instead of developing an entire TouchBar iOS system to get TouchID working on a MacBook Pro, the more simple and seamless approach resulting in a more unified user experience would have been to do what LG did here. (Yes, there’s more to the TouchBar than TouchID, but the other buttons are just glorified touch buttons that already exist on the screen that are easily accessible with the mouse pointer.)

Technical specification:

Another power-saving move might have been to keep the 14-inch display’s pixel format at 1920×1080. More pixels do have a material impact on the visual experience, but at the cost of battery life. I would have preferred a pixel-doubled retina display and given up on a few hours on battery life, but the battery life LG is claiming is quite impressive for such a thin laptop. Pricing is expected to start at US$850.

Sources: The Verge, TechRadar, Liliputing