Review LG gram 14: A true mobile computer - VnReview
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Review LG gram 14: A true mobile computer – VnReview


In the first time officially involved in the laptop market in Vietnam, LG decided to attack immediately into the high-end segment with a series of products emphasizing the thin and light element.

According to LG's representative in the official launch of grams in Vietnam, the previous 4 years LG's market share in Korea accounted for only 15%. But since the birth of grams, this laptop has helped LG account for 60% of the laptop market share in Korea.

Gram is LG's particularly successful laptop model in the home market

Therefore, LG is confident when officially bringing grams to Vietnam with 4 versions. The starting point is a 13-inch model that costs 24.5 million and the highest is a 15-inch version with a selling price of 32.5 million dong. The LG gram we used in this article is a 14-inch version, codenamed 14 Z970-G, priced at VND 28.2 million. In addition, LG gram also has a 14-inch version without Windows pre-installed for VND 25.2 million. With this price, LG gram will compete with a series of other high-end laptops such as Dell XPS, HP Specter, Asus Zenbook or Apple Macbook … So LG gram has nothing attractive to convince users to spend a large amount of money. so?

Design and connection

Thin and light are always the top 2 factors that laptop manufacturers aim to by themselves, most users always prefer a neat laptop, convenient to move, can be easily carried with you anytime, anywhere. without being cumbersome and cumbersome. LG gram is exactly such a thin and light laptop.

The weight announced for the 14 "version is 970g, but the actual measurement shows that gram is lighter than that. Including the charging tuber, the weight of the gram is still only slightly above 1Kg, the number is very impressive for a laptop. 14 inch This weight of gram is significantly lighter than Macbook Air 13 2017 (1.35Kg) or 13-inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar (1.37 kg), even when compared to a 2-in-1 tablet with a 12-inch screen HP Specter x2 has a keyboard attached.

Actual weight of grams when measured with a dedicated electronic scale

According to LG, in order to make it so light, the company used magnesium carbon nanomaterials, which are commonly used in aircraft and sports cars, with the advantage of being very light weight but still ensuring ruggedness, good impact resistance. Many experimental videos show that gram has remarkable strength, but LG's material and color scheme make the shell of the gram look a bit like plastic and somewhat less expensive, compared to conventional aluminum shell laptops. The hinges of the device are solid, allowing the screen to be opened with one hand easily and with the option to open the screen, turning on the machine is always convenient. However, the paired parts in this area are not very meticulously processed, still can see the gaps.

In everyday use, the compactness of the laptop from LG makes the writer really feel satisfied. Take a gram around the office to attend meetings, feeling just like holding a small folder of documents. Leave it on my lap or in a backpack but I almost don't feel like I'm carrying a 14-inch laptop with me. The weight of grams is spread evenly across the entire body, making this laptop lightweight. Supporting the device with one hand and the other hand to move the mouse, typing for a long time is not difficult with grams. Many of my colleagues, when holding a gram in their hands, were amazed at the surprisingly light weight of this laptop.

Easy to hold a gram with one hand for a long time without much difficulty

The solid hinge helps open the machine with one convenient hand

The details on the hinges are not very tight

Not only light, gram also has impressive thinness. The body is beveled diagonally to the front edge with a maximum thickness of only 1.67cm making it look slim and easy to fit in a bag or backpack. The connection port on gram is quite rich for a thin and light laptop model including: 2 USB 3.0 Type A ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 3.5mm audio port for both mic and headphones supporting DTS Headphone X technology, 1 standard microSD memory card slot and 1 USB 3.0 Type C port support 4K picture output, and allow charging by backup battery with output of 19V – 2A or higher. A small note is that LG gram does not support HDCP2.2 format of 4K content such as Netflix, 4K Blu-ray … In addition, gram also has full wireless connections such as WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.1, head. Transfer from USB Type C port to RJ45 standard LAN port.

The most unfortunate point of the connection ability of gram is the lack of built-in SD memory card slot, the type of card is very popular on current cameras. The standard microSD memory card slot on the gram means more memory expansion because the gram does not allow the addition of a hard drive, even if it is M.2 NVMe. In addition, gram also lacks the fingerprint sensor, security features needed on laptops in this segment.

USB Type C port on gram allows image, audio, USB port expansion and battery charging with only one cable

The device is light and thin and has all the necessary connection ports, the pity is that the gram uses microSD card slot rather than the more popular SD

Screen, audio, webcam

The thin screen border is another highlight on LG's laptop. Thanks to the ultra-thin border on the 3 sides, even though there is a 14-inch screen, the size of the gram is only equivalent to 13-inch laptops. The display area is therefore more open and spacious. The screen panel is pushed close to the frame making the image stand out and lively. As a world-renowned manufacturer of monitors, LG has equipped a high-quality IPS panel with natural colors, fresh, wide viewing angles and good contrast. The screen also gives impressive blackness and high brightness.

Gram is equipped with a high quality screen that comes with a slim border

The maximum screen aperture of grams is about 140 degrees, which is quite comfortable to get the right viewing angle in many usage situations.

Full HD resolution on 14 inch size for sharpness, good detail but to avoid the phenomenon of writing or icons too small you should leave the DPI level in Windows at 130% or higher. The maximum screen aperture of grams is about 140 degrees, which is quite comfortable to get the right viewing angle in many usage situations. Gram uses a mirror screen format to make the image brighter and clearer, but also comes with a glare, especially in a bright environment. Another note is that the gram versions in Vietnam do not have touch screen options.

LG equipped the gram screen with Daylight Mode for good outdoor use (quick activation with Fn + F9 key combination) and it proved to be really useful. In Daylight mode, the auto-brightness screen is higher than the maximum when manually adjusted. Contrast, sharpness are also automatically increased to make good use under the harsh sunlight directly on the screen. However, due to the increase in sharpness, Daylight Mode also causes jagged, sharp-cut phenomena in the text of some software such as Photoshop.

Besides, the screen of gram also has Reader Mode similar to blue light filters on smartphones today. This mode automatically switches the screen to gold tones, reduces screen brightness, is suitable for working in the night, reducing dazzling phenomena, eye strain.

When measuring the screen with a dedicated device, the gram gives a maximum brightness of nearly 300 nit, the maximum blackness reaches 0.2 and the maximum contrast is close to 1300 and the screen color temperature is 7500. These are all parameters. pretty good with a laptop screen.

The basic colors displayed on the screen of LG grams. Round dot is the display color and square is the standard color. It can be seen that the base color on gram is relatively standard, with many deviations in blue and purple.

Gram has 2 discreetly "hidden" speakers on the bottom edge. The sound when emitted will bounce straight down on the table and create a rather pervasive effect. Loudspeaker volume is quite large enough to fill a room of 15 square meters. The sound quality is quite, clear, not shy when maximized. It also has DTS Audio software to enhance sound quality, suitable for listening to music, watching movies, playing games to help sound bigger, simulate surround sound, create 3D sound effects, enhance bass. ..

The speaker system of the gram is hidden quite tightly on the underside

DTS Studio Sound software helps improve the sound for external speakers and especially the headphones that support DTS Headphone X technology

Due to the thin screen border, LG brought the webcam of the gram to the hinge, which made the image taken from the bottom up and difficult to adjust the angle of rotation properly. The average 720p high quality webcam does not support the Windows Hello feature to log in by face. Detailed images, low definition, easy to light tires, grainy noise appears only colors are relatively honest. The recording mic is located right next to the webcam for good recording quality, clear sound, little noise, capturing sound at a distance.

The webcam is located in the hinge section, causing many inconveniences during use

Photo taken from webcam of LG gram

Video recorded from webcam of LG gram

Keyboard, touchpad

Gram is equipped with full size keyboard with full size, navigation keys are also separated with large size convenient operation. The keys are large, square, smooth surface, wide keys, friendly layout, easy to get used to. The font on each key is printed clearly and sharp. The keys are quite good, the journey is reasonable, it feels good to type. The keyboard is solid, if you use normal force, it won't be nearly flexed, it's commendable for a light-weight laptop.

The keyboard is integrated with backlight with 2 different brightness levels, which helps to work well in the dark night without turning on the table lamp. A noteworthy point is that the power button of the device is also inserted and the main key area is not located separately. The power key is slightly concave compared to the surrounding keys to prevent users from mistakenly clicking and having a small LED light indicating the status of the device on / off or in Sleep mode.

The keyboard has built-in backlight with 2 different brightness levels

The power button is placed directly into the main key row

The quick setup keys are directly integrated into the row of F keys with prominent orange icons, easy to observe. Users can choose to use it immediately without having to keep adding Fn keys through the settings from the LG Control Center software. Also in this software, you can set up many interesting functions such as opening the lid and turning on the machine, without pressing additional power buttons through the Instant Booting option. Combining this feature with the screen close is automatically Sleep, the startup or shutdown of grams is really convenient. In addition, LG Control Center also provides other useful USB Charge Setting settings (allowing USB charging ports for peripherals such as smartphones, smartband … even when shutdown), checking battery status, battery charger limit to 80% to limit battery bottles …

The bundled LG Control Center software allows fine-tuning of many useful features

Touchpad on gram has a wide size, high sensitivity, smooth surface covered with glass for very smooth, comfortable and accurate mouse touch. Touchpad supports multi-point operations such as typing 2 fingers to turn on the right mouse, 3 fingers for the middle mouse, 4 fingers to go back when surfing the web, browsing files, sliding 3 fingers to switch multitasking, and many operations Other convenience. Only when playing games, or video editing, I need to use an external mouse, but with other common operations such as surfing the web, editing images, navigating in Windows, the touchpad on the gram is very good. We can say this is one of the Windows laptops with the best touchpad today. The touchpad limitation of grams is not Microsoft Precision Touchpad, so the operation zooms in / out when browsing the web, viewing images is not smooth.

Gram can be considered one of the Windows laptops with the best touchpad today, replacing the external mouse in many tasks

Performance, temperature, noise

All 4 gram versions in Vietnam now have the same configuration, only difference in screen size and hard drive capacity (512GB SSD on 15 inch version), whether Windows is installed or not. Specifically, the 14 "gram version of Z970-G in this article is equipped with Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 7200U CPU with 2 quad-core 2.5GHz (3.1 GHz Turbo Boots), Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU, 8GB DDR4 2133 MHz RAM, 256GB SanDisk Z400s M.2 2280 SATA 3 hard drive, WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.1, Windows 10 Home (64bit) license pre-installed.

With this configuration, during my experience, gram responds almost to all tasks from web browsing with about 20-30 tabs, editing, merging photos in photoshop, even creating video resolution Full HD with Premiere Pro with Full Playback level also takes place quickly. The measured scores of grams with familiar benchmark software are all good.

Cinebench application evaluates CPU power and graphics power

Geekbench application evaluates CPU power

3DMark application evaluates graphic power

Speed ​​SSDs measured via CrystalDiskMark

The drawback of gram is its ability to upgrade, the machine has only one RAM slot, not to install an NVMe-type hard drive. The built-in SSD is just a SATA 3 type, not a higher speed PCIe. The configuration of gram can only meet the light game titles like League of Legends, Fifa Online 3 at medium and low setting.

The operating temperature of grams with normal tasks is completely cool, the machine runs smoothly, rarely hears the fan and completely discharges the roof when placed on the lap for use.

However, when the CPU has to load more than 50%, the cooling system on the gram is not enough to cool down the CPU, so sometimes there is a phenomenon of overheating, which leads to the CPU having to reduce the frequency (Throttling) to affect overall performance.

Battery life

With the equipped Li-Polymer 4 cell battery up to 60.06Wh, LG confidently announces the battery life of gram can be up to 17.5 hours of continuous use. In the standard battery tests of VnReview, LG gram gives impressive results with nearly 15 hours of continuous movie watching, nearly 5 hours of continuous gaming and nearly 7 hours of continuous web surfing. Note that all battery tests of VnReview are done from full battery to 10%, 70% screen brightness, 70% volume via headphones, Windows Balance Mode battery mode, turn off lights keyboard.

In daily practical use with my work, including browsing the web with about 20 tabs, paralleling Photoshop to edit photos, Word to write articles, sometimes even Premiere Pro to make videos, gram often abide from About 8 hours, equivalent to nearly a new working day need to charge when the screen brightness is about 80%, Windows Balance Mode battery mode. Convenient point is USB Type-C port of gram support charging, so you can use with backup batteries that support standard USB Power Delivery or tuber charging smartphone, USB Type-C port on some computer screens .

It also has LG All Day Mode in LG Power Manager software to extend battery life, but when switching to this mode the maximum clock speed of the CPU will be limited to about 1.6GHz, system performance. also reduced, only suitable for light work. In addition, when the battery level is low, about 20% but not charging immediately, you can activate LG Hibernate mode. This mode will make the screen darker, reduce system performance to the most basic level for maximum battery saving.

LG Power Manager software allows intuitive control of battery life and system performance

Gram will display a warning about screen brightness and system performance every time you switch to LG Hibernate battery mode

The time to charge from 10% of the battery until it is filled with the included charging bulb is nearly 3 hours, while charging with a Type C USB port takes just over 2 hours. In the process of charging, the charging tubers come quite hot, up to nearly 60 degrees when measured by an electronic thermometer so you should not let the charging tuber of the device go into easily catchable objects such as bedding.

The charger comes with a compact gram but quite hot when charging the device

summary

Considering the high-end segment, LG is not too prominent in design, if it only looks at it, but it is especially convincing when holding in hand thanks to its extremely light weight, neat body, very suitable for the audience. users often have to move or often go on business trips. Combined with an impressive battery life, this is truly the most portable portable device to meet the needs of mobile, flexible, anytime, anywhere.

In addition, LG gram also has a beautiful screen, thin, bright and bright edges, good for outdoor use. Agile performance, keyboard and touchpad for good experience. The speaker system offers good sound quality, high volume, supports both DTS Headphone X headphones. This will be the product you should consider if you are looking for a thin, light, long-lasting, good-performance laptop.

The point LG needs to improve for gram is how to make a high-end device that is needed in an expensive product. Webcams also need to be arranged more reasonably, preferably on the top side as usual because there are still many vacancies. The cooling system must be optimized to better cool the CPU in heavy tasks. SD memory card slot and fingerprint sensor should be built in to increase security as well as convenience during use.

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