LG Gram 16 (2022) review: The lightest 16-inch laptop you can buy
LG’s Gram laptops have recently had an annual refresh, with the new line-up including 14-inch, 15-inch, 16-inch and 17-inch laptops, plus 16-inch and 14-inch 2-in-1 models. We’re kicking off with a look at the LG Gram 16 (2022). The 16-inch screen size is becoming popular, as many see it as ideal for combining work and leisure. To meet that need, though, a laptop needs to be powerful and lightweight, with good battery life. Let’s see how the LG Gram 16 (2022), which costs £1,549.98 in the UK (~$1,868 at the time of writing) stands up.
While the LG Gram 16 (2022) has a hefty price tag, this does include a 16-inch +View monitor which retails for £299.98 when sold separately. At the moment, you can’t uncouple this pairing at the point of purchase. My review kit came with the monitor and its required USB-C connecting cable. The +View monitor’s 16:10 aspect ratio and 2,560-by-1,600 resolution matches the laptop’s screen precisely, and I found them easy to work with in tandem.
The most striking feature of the LG Gram 16 (2022) is how light this laptop is: at 1.199kg, it puts many smaller laptops to shame, let along other 16-inch devices. Even so, LG has managed to make the chassis durable enough to pass MIL-STD 810G testing. The design is clean and crisp, while the deep black livery is smart but understated.
Open up the clamshell and the 16-inch display, which has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels (16:10 aspect ratio, 189ppi) and a matte finish, makes a good impression. The IPS panel’s maximum brightness of 350 nits is a little low, and there’s no touch functionality on offer. But you do get good colour gamut support (99% DCI-P3) and narrow bezels all around.
The speakers don’t quite match the standard set by the screen. The grilles are on the flat underside of the chassis, where their sound outputs flush with a desk or user’s lap; with the laptop on some softer surfaces there was noticeable muffling. Maximum volume level is acceptable, but if you’re interested in audio with rich bass you may be disappointed.
LG has found room above the screen for a 1080p webcam as well as an IR camera, a setup that’s used in an interesting attention-sensing app called LG Glance by Mirametrix.
By following your head and eye movements, the software can do things like transfer what you’re working on between the laptop and the +View monitor and move the mouse pointer according to where you’re looking. Meanwhile, privacy controls can detect if someone else is looking at the screen over your shoulder and blur its contents, blur the screen when you look away, and turn the screen off if you move away from the laptop — pausing any video in the process. A control panel provides granular control for these features, and I found they all worked very well.
There is a full-size backlit keyboard with a separate number pad whose keys are slightly narrower. The Enter key is elongated but single height, and I found my right pinkie hitting the 7, 4 and 1 keys more frequently than I’d have liked, as well as finding “https://www.zdnet.com/” instead of the Del key and ‘–’ instead of the Backspace key with disappointing regularity. You’d get used to this over time, but the learning curve may be frustrating.
The keys themselves are quite light touch with little resistance on the downward press and a reasonably vigorous bounce-back. The hollow ‘thunk’ made by typing is quite pronounced even for a light-touch typist like me, and the noise could irritate co-workers in a quiet space. The touchpad is large and responsive, although the number pad pushes it off centre in relation to the spacebar, which may take some getting used to.
LG equips the Gram 16 (2022) with a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The operating system is Windows 11 Home. We had no issues with performance when running mainstream workloads during the test period, but its integrated (Iris Xe Graphics) GPU might struggle with graphically intensive tasks.
There’s a decent array of ports and connectors, including a MicroSD card slot — something not often seen on laptops. There are also two USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack and a pair of UDB-C (USB 4/Thunderbolt 4) ports, one of which is occupied when the laptop is charging. Wi-Fi 6E (with 6GHz support as well as 2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 5.1 cover wireless connectivity, but there’s no NFC.
Although the LG Gram 16 (2022) has a high-capacity 80Wh battery to power that 16-inch screen, the company’s claim of up to 20.5 hours of life is optimistic. Under my usual test — three hours of working into web apps, streaming video and music, and using web browsers — a full charge went down to 66%, suggesting total battery life of just under nine hours. If you need a full day’s work from this laptop, keep the charger to hand.
Charging speed is reasonably healthy. When I started charging with the battery at 26% it reached 34% in 15 minutes, 43% in 30 minutes and 55% in 45 minutes.
The LG Gram 16 (2022) is remarkably light, making it extremely portable for a 16-inch laptop. Its MIL-STD 810G certification also helps in this respect. The screen lacks a little brightness but is otherwise very good, and LG’s camera-based security features are welcome.
The speakers leave a little to be desired, and I’ve used better keyboards — although I could live with it long term. Bundling a second monitor is an interesting play: some will find it very useful, but others may find it surplus to requirements.
LG Gram 16 (2022) specifications
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated)|
|Storage||1TB (M.2 NVMe)|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
|Display size & type||16-inch IPS (non-touch)|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600 (16:10, 189ppi)|
|Colour gamut||99% DCI-P3|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax; 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz)|
|USB||2x USB-A (USB 3.2 Gen 2×1), 2x USB-C (USB 4/Thunderbolt 4)|
|Speakers||stereo, 2x 1.5W|
|3.5mm audio jack||yes (audio in/out)|
|Webcam||FHD IR with dual mics|
|Keyboard||full size, backlit, with separate number pad|
|Navigation||precision touchpad with scroll and gesture function (131.5mm x 82.6mm)|
|Battery life (claimed)||20.5 hours|
|Power supply||65W USB-C PD adapter|
|Accessory||USB-C to RJ-45 adapter|
|Dimensions||354.6mm x 242.1mm x 16.76mm (13.96in. x 9.53in. x 0.66in.)|
|Pre-installed software||Microsoft Office 2016 (30-day trial), DTS X:Ultra, Virtoo by LG (selected countries), Alexa for PC (US, UK, Canada, Japan),
McAfee Live Safe (30-day trial), Cyberlink Power Media, Photo Director LE, Power Director LE, Audio Director LE, Color Director LE, LG Smart Assistant, LG PC Care, LG PC Manuals, LG Update & Recovery, LG Glance by Mirametrix, PCmover Professional
Alternatives to consider
Laptops with 16-inch screens are relatively new to the market, but there’s now a good choice of products in this form factor, which offers a decent amount of screen real estate while avoiding the extremes of bulk and weight found in many 17-inch devices. Here are some leading contenders.
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