if you’ve been paying attention to Microsoft you’ll know the company recently made waves with the surface laptop a new notebook with the style to appeal to college students a lockdown build of Windows to appeal to their universities and a spec sheet that shouldn’t impress either of them meanwhile I just wrapped up two weeks with a super lightweight notebook that out does the surface laptop at almost every turn for around a hundred bucks less I’m Michael Fisher this is the LG gram for 2017 and this is the mr.
mobile review okay so there are a lot of different versions of the LG gram and the one I got in for review sits at the lower end of the spectrum its model 13 Z 970 with a 13.3 inch IPS display that’s not a touchscreen and also isn’t all that bright but there’s a daylight mode to compensate for that other corners have been cut to that display is only full HD which is serviceable but looks a bit fuzzy after a few months on a surface book I know I’m spoiled also there’s no windows hello to unlock with your face or a fingerprint you’ve got a key in your password the old-fashioned way and the speakers are bad you ever accidentally leave your headphones plugged in and you keep jacking up the volume wondering why the sound is so distant yeah that’s these speakers but compromises like this are unavoidable when the computer you end up with is as light as this one the Graham weighs in at just over 2 pounds that’s 1.
7 pounds lighter than the hulking mass of the Microsoft Surface book with performance bass and about the same weight as Apple’s MacBook light enough that I sometimes have to check my backpack to make sure I didn’t forget it at home the casing is magnesium alloy in an easy to smudge white finish and while its then there’s a panoply of ports here HDMI 3.
5 millimeter with DTX headphone X processing and three USB 3.0 connections to type a and one type C there’s also a micro SD card slot handy if you want to quickly transfer footage from a phone or a GoPro and one of those nice little details I like a hard drive activity light takes me right back to the glory days of my first PC the LG gram runs Windows 10 Home Edition which the combination of a KB Lake I 5 and 8 gigs of ram runs pretty well now I’m a pretty Google heavy dude so I tend to do most of my work in Chrome instead of Microsoft edge browser and I’m the type of guy who keeps a lot of tabs open at once that makes the fans spool up a bit more often than they might have I used it more judiciously but they’re fairly quiet and despite all that inefficient use this thing gets outrageously good battery life on its first charge I took it on an epic working marathon that saw me scripting in Google Docs sending hundreds of emails and slack messages and doing a lot of Chrome surfing I kept the screen brightness between 40 and 60% and I was connected to Wi-Fi the whole time under this kind of usage the Graham took 12 hours and 40 minutes to give up the ghost that’s about half again as much staying power as I’ve ever gotten from the surface book road warrior test past I held off on reading other reviews until this video script was almost complete and I was surprised by how many reviewers were underwhelmed by the ground to be sure I shared their complaints about the slight flecks in the cover and the kind of mushy keyboard and trackpad I mean after a few days on the Graham typing on a more expensive machine again was definitely a relief but to me these are fair trade-offs ductility makes for a good drop resistance more on that in a second and there were bound to be button compromises on such a thin laptop one thing I think everyone agrees on though is that the hinge is not the place for a webcam this low placement will make even your skinniest friend look like a half melted human gumdrop and whoever put it here is mean and should feel bad a few more dispatches from the Department of details LG’s software control panel looks every bit like a program last updated in 2012 but it’s also got some handy utilities like manual fan controls and a whole bevy of touchpad gestures my favorite is the single finger side-scrolling for such a portable machine it would have been nice to see an equally svelte charger maybe even with USBC but instead you get a bulky brick with a proprietary pin back on the upside it’s cool that even an ultra lightweight like this lets you open it one-handed this machine wasn’t designed to run bleeding-edge games and hair on fire frame rates but during my time with it I really had to abuse it to get it to bog down or LG also stresses that it’s super durable and to test that claim I threw it off every desk I have in the studio and yep it’s still chugging the LG Graham is not alone and what my colleague Daniel Rubino calls a sea of great laptops in fact it seems a direct response to the Dell XPS 13 which sports nearly identical battery life but the Dell is a pound heavier and a hundred bucks pricier than the Graham at least if we’re going on sticker price if I were in the market for a Windows powered ultra portable I’m not sure the LG grams plane looks would catch my attention on the store shelf which is why LG should offer bonuses to salespeople who can make shoppers pick this thing up once you hold it in your hand you see just how light a two pound laptop really is well it’s something when you tally that up with surprising durability and outstanding battery life you’ve got a machine that seems custom-built for the mobile lifestyle a machine that’s also a fair bit cheaper than the surface laptop that’s about to suck all the air out of the room you’ve seen a lot of the surface book with performance base in this video and if you missed my review it’s a two-parter it’s a big one go back and check it out and please subscribe to mr.
mobile on YouTube so you don’t miss more mobile tech video every week until next time folks and stay mobile my friends