LG’s new Gram Style laptop amazes me

LG’s Gram laptops have always been good, but they basically have a value proposition: they’re really light. Whether it’s a 2.2-pound 15.6-inch laptop or a 2.98-pound 17-inch laptop, they’re as light as they come. The design was always a bit boring, and the magnesium construction never really felt premium, but they still got that right. Things have changed. This year’s Gram line of laptops is different, and the LG Gram Style blew my mind when I got to see it at CES 2023.

The LG Gram Style is the most beautiful laptop LG has ever made

When I asked what is the color of the LG Gram Style (after looking at it), they showed me a spec sheet that simply called it dynamic color. In fact, the word they were looking for was iridescent, so it changes color depending on how you look at it. It is absolutely beautiful.

LG gram Style with partially closed lid

It’s also not strictly made of magnesium. There’s more glass involved, but the 14-inch model still weighs just 2.2 pounds, while the 16-inch weighs more like 2.7 pounds. Yes, it’s tremendously light for something that feels and looks so premium.

Borderless touchpad with lights on the side

However, that’s not all, because it has a haptic touchpad that is reminiscent of Dell XPS 13 Plus. The touchpad doesn’t have any borders, so when you look at the iridescent palm rest, you only see the palm rest. When you touch the touch panel, the two sides light up as seen in the image above. This should give you a bit more guidance than Dell’s option, which doesn’t provide any indicator of where the touchpad ends.

This is a very nice touch to the design. Haptic touchpads are a great way to make a laptop feel modern and fresh, and it does this very well.

Front view of laptop showing XDA home page

Another key part of LG’s new Gram lines are the OLED screens. At 400 nits, that’s 2880×1800 at 90Hz on the 14-inch model or 3000×2000 at 120Hz on the 16-inch model. Honestly, everything about this laptop looks excellent.

I really appreciate that laptop companies focus on design. HP used to really focus on making a sexy Specter x360, and now Lenovo has really stepped into the ring with the pretty Yoga 9i and its gold colors and shiny edges. Dell has also redesigned its laptops, and the XPS 13 now comes in colors like Umber and Sky.

It’s always good to see. Let’s put an end to boring laptops that come in gray or silver.

The normal LG Gram is also updated

Speaking of dull, gray laptops, the more traditional LG Gram laptops have been upgraded with 13th-gen processors. Not much else has changed, and they include Gram 14, 15, 16, 17, 14 2-in-1, and 16 2-in-1. While the Gram 17 still weighs 2.98 pounds, there’s now an option for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, and that unit weighs 3.2 pounds. The 16-inch version also offers a dGPU, and both now have dynamic refresh rates of up to 144Hz.

The LG Gram Ultraslim is the other new entry

LG Gram has always been characterized by being light, but not necessarily by being thin. That’s where the LG Gram Ultraslim comes into play. It is 10.99-12.55mm thick, while the next thinnest Gram is 15.9mm thick (the LG Gram Style 14).

LG gram Ultraslim side view

The LG Gram Ultraslim is also the lightest Gram, by a…gram. It weighs 998g while both the Gram Style 14 and Gram 14 weigh 999g. Usually when this happens, it is not a coincidence. For example, laptops end up weighing 999g because there is an internal goal for them to weigh less than a kilogram. I guess the Gram Ultraslim weighs 998g because there was an internal goal to make it lighter than the rest of the line.

Three semi-enclosed airborne portables

There are some interesting things about the screen. Like the new LG Gram Style, the screen is OLED, but it’s 1920 x 1080 and it’s 16:9 at 15.6 inches. The aspect ratio is a really strange choice for a new laptop, and I suspect it comes down to that weight goal. Using a 16-inch 16:10 panel means making the device bigger, which would certainly add more than a gram to its weight.

However, it’s worth noting that the Gram 15 is the only other Gram to have a 16:9 display. I asked LG why it still makes four sizes and was told that people still buy the 15-inch model.

Angled view of black laptop

One thing to note is that the keyboard is shallow, definitely deeper than the rest of the line. I asked what the depth of the keys is and couldn’t get an answer. I will update this article if I get a response.

At 60 WHr, the battery is the smallest in the Gram line. The second smallest is 72WHr, which is in the Gram 14.

While I’m absolutely smitten with the LG Gram Style, and Gram’s standard lineup is mostly a spec bump, I’m skeptical of the Gram Ultraslim. Sure, it’s really thin, light and pretty sexy. But you also make compromises to get there. It has a smaller battery and the OLED screen has a lower resolution. The keyboard is shallower, the screen is 16:9 and more.

I think as well as being known for being really light laptops, I also know the Gram line for not having to compromise to get there. The only thing you’d notice is the material, but other than that, they have great displays, full-size processors, and more. If LG had upheld that principle, it could have done it. The simple answer would have been to make the Gram Ultraslim a 14-inch laptop. The screen would be 16:10, the battery could be bigger, etc.

In fact, we all know that smaller screen laptops are more mainstream. They just sell more. So when a business has two laptop sizes, the smaller one almost always has more color options. But now, LG has nine laptops under its Gram umbrella. One has a 17-inch screen, three have 16-inch screens, and two have 15.6-inch screens. LG has to be seeing the success of larger-screen laptops, perhaps because it can make them lighter and much easier to carry than the competition.

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