In January 2003, the Apple drew attention when launching the first on the market notebook with 17″ screen, a version of the Powerbook G4. At the time, the company boasted of the physical characteristics of the machine: weight of “only” 3 kg and 25 mm thick in the thickest part, with a battery autonomy of 2 hours of 20 minutes. Enough to watch an entire movie on DVD, just imagine!
I started this review with a little “trip to the past” as it reveals the contrast with current machines, which benefit from almost 20 years of advances in technology. And among them is the LG Gram family.
The line is known for its slim and light designs (hence the name Gram, if you haven't noticed), and LG prides itself on its machines being certified by Guinness World Records® as the lightest in the world: the 14-inch model of the current generation weighs less than 1 kilogram, and the 17-inch model we tested (17Z90N) only weighs 1,350 kilograms.
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Our test machine came configured with a 5th Gen Intel Core i10 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive. In addition to being light, as already mentioned, the Gram is also thin: it is only 16,5 mm thick at the thickest part.
The screen is an IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 2.560 x 1.600 pixels, which according to the manufacturer is capable of reproducing 96% of the sRGB color spectrum. And it's just amazing, with excellent viewing angle and contrast, and vivid colors that seem to jump off the screen.
What's not amazing is the webcam which is in the thin frame above the screen. With a sensor of just 0,9 MP, the maximum capture resolution is 720p at 30 frames per second. And the quality of the images is simply horrendous: they are full of noise, reminiscent of a poorly tuned analog TV.
Thanks to the screen, there's enough room to include a “full-size” keyboard that's quite comfortable, as well as a number pad on the right. The keys are backlit, which is great for typing in dark environments, and you can choose between two light levels, although in practice I didn't notice much of a difference between them.
An interesting security feature is the fingerprint reader, integrated into the Power button, which allows you to replace the double login/password with a quick touch of the button to log into the Windows.
Unlike machines with the newly released Galaxy Book Pro, the LG Gram is well served in terms of ports: on the left side there is an input for the charger, a USB 3.1 port, an HDMI output and a USB-C port. On the right side are a micro SD memory card slot, headphone jack, two USB 3.1 ports and a slot for a Kensington lock. The USB-C port is Thunderbolt 3 compatible.
Besides the webcam, another point that disappointed were the speakers: they are on the bottom of the notebook, which in itself doesn't help, and they sound muffled and with low volume. You will definitely want to use headphones if you want to enjoy the beautiful screen to watch a favorite series or movie.
But the main highlight of the LG Gram is the autonomy of its 80 Wh battery, which according to the manufacturer can last “up to 17 hours”. If there's one thing I've learned in more than 20 years following the technology market, it's: “never trust the manufacturer's battery estimate”. That's because the numbers usually don't reflect the result in the real world.
That's why I was pleasantly surprised by the autonomy I got during my typical use. To recap, I'm what's classified as an “office worker”: my typical day involves writing texts, light editing of images and lots, lots of web browsing over a Wi-Fi connection, packed to the sound of playlists on the Spotify ou YouTube Music and played on Bluetooth headphones.
In this regime, I got 9 hours and 52 minutes of autonomy, which is excellent. It was enough for an entire shift and another “chorinho” for the next day. Working all day without worrying about where the charger or the nearest outlet is is something surreal, something I've never achieved with another machine before.
As a “cherry” on the cake, the LG Gram's performance is excellent, whether dealing with dozens of tabs in Chrome or heavier software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. There is no dedicated GPU, just Intel Iris Plus integrated into the processor, so this cannot be considered a “gamer” machine. Games like “Genshin impact” run fine at low graphics quality if you limit the resolution to 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Lightweight and with an absurd battery life, the LG Gram is the ideal machine for those who need mobility above all. The machine has a suggested price of R$9.999,00 in the configuration tested, but there are other models with smaller screens, such as a 14-inch (14Z90N) that costs R$7.999,00.
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