LG's updated Gram laptops are absurdly light

There might be a such thing as too thin, but LG's engineering innovation is making sure that as we approach that point that we have to deal with as few compromises along the way. The first generation of the LG Gram compromised too much, sacrificing battery life in the pursuit of thinness and lightness.

For the 2017 edition, LG buckled down and reduced those compromises, producing a laptop that is impressively thin and light. For the 13-inch variety we're looking at 980 grams, or 2.13 pounds. That's absurdly light in a market of increasingly light laptops. LG accomplishes this in a few ways, but a lot of it comes down to slimming down the case — the bezels around the screen have been significantly reduced and the aluminum alloy case itself is also quite thin in construction. It doesn't take much force at all to flex the display, but it still felt solid enough.

But for all that lightness you get a laptop that's still remarkably functional. Inside you'll find Intel Core i5 or i7 processors (the low-power Y-series chips, as you might expect), up to 8GB of RAM, and up to a 256GB SSD. The screen, which comes in 13-, 14-, and 15-inch varieties, is an IPS panel available in Full HD or 4K resolutions and with or without touch. LG will also offer the option of a fingerprint reader embedded into the top left corner of the trackpad, and without Windows Hello camera support we'd recommend you take it.

All of that is powered by a battery pack that has practically doubled in density, providing up to 17 hours of life from the 14-inch Gram. That is, again, in a laptop that weighs 980 grams and measures just 0.61 inches thick — that's actually a hair thicker than last year, because being able to pack in more battery cells is that important. I wouldn't expect that real world use will be close to that, but even 10-12 hours from a laptop this slim would be impressive.

The Gram is remarkably thin and light, and with fewer compromises than before. Heck, they even managed to squeeze in a backlit keyboard this time. LG's not offering a release date or price for the Gram updated Gram, but if the 2016 edition is any guide then we're probably looking at around $1,000 for a starting price.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.