LG Gram 16 2021: the review of the ultra-light notebook with Tiger Lake CPU and Intel Iris Xe Max GPU

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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The arrival of Intel Tiger Lake processors with integrated Intel Iris Xe Max graphics has given rise to thin and ultra-light notebooks that, while designed primarily for the professional field, can also give satisfaction with video games. In fact, they mount a limited GPU but based on the same technology of future Intel video cards with much higher performance than the previous solutions used for this type of notebook.

We found ourselves evaluating this factor in particular in the review of the LG Gram 16, arrived in the editorial office in the 16Z90P model; compromises are not lacking in a notebook that stands out for its clean image, low noise, a featherweight and excellent build quality.



Hardware features

Available in three colors

The heart of the LG Gram 16 notebook is theIntel Core i7-1165G7, a Tiger Lake series processor that is content with 4 cores and 8 threads, but incorporates an integrated GPU Intel Iris Xe Max from 96 compute units with which it guarantees much higher graphics performance than previous Intel laptops of this type. The 10 nanometer CPU goes up to 4.7 GHz in boost, with all the advantages of the case in terms of single core performance, and is flanked by 16 GB of RAM that travels at 4266 MHz of clock.

The list price is high, € 1799, but it is already possible to find it at € 1499 on Amazon with a remarkable hardware equipment for a 16-inch laptop that features one screen IPS with 1440p resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio and 3% DCI-P99 color space coverage. The storage space of this model is limited to only 512 GB, but we are talking about a Samsung SSD that promises top-of-the-range speeds for the PCIe 3.0 type. Furthermore, there is also the possibility to expand the storage thanks to the Micro-SD slot and the numerous USB ports.



Double Thunderbolt 4 ports for a laptop that is certainly not aggressive but slender

The LG laptop offers 4 USB ports of which 2 version 3.2 Type-A, positioned on the right together with the Kensington Lock and the Micro-SD reader, and 2 with Type-C Thunderbolt 4 connection, both positioned on the left, which can be used to power the laptop with energy capacity up to 100 Watts. They are also flanked by an HDMI 2.0b output, with support for 8K resolution at 30Hz, and 3.5mm audio output for earphones. Missing is a dedicated ethernet port, however secondary given the presence of latest generation Wi-Fi 6 AX201 and Bluetooth 5.1 connection and taking into account the target this machine is aimed at.

There is also no lack of integrated speakers of 2 Watt each, with DTS: X Ultra support, and the webcam that works quite well even if it is limited to 720p. On the security side, we find the fingerprint reader on the power button, HDD Security, TPM and Kensington Lock as well as a software suite clearly designed in a professional perspective with simplified options for power, silence, color temperature and mirroring on the screen of one LG smartphone thanks to Virtoo software.

LG Gram 16Z90P-GAP75D datasheet

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7 2.8-4.7 GHz TDP 28 Watt
  • Video Card: Intel Iris Xe Max from 96 EU
  • Screen: 16 inch IPS QHD (2560 x 1600) form factor 16:10, 300 night, 60 Hz, DCI-P3 range 99%
  • Memory: 16GB quad-channell 4266MHz memory, CL 36 (up to 24GB max)
  • Storage: SSD NVMe PCIe 3.0 and 512 GB
  • Audio: 2 x 2 Watt speakers with DTS: X and Smart Amp (5 Watt amplification)
  • Battery: 80 WHr - fino a 16,5 ore (MobileMark 2018) - fino a 24,5 ore in playback video
  • Webcam: 720p (HD)
  • Keyboard: white backlight to one area
  • dimensions: length 35.59 cm, thickness 1.68 cm, depth 24.34 cm
  • Materiali chassis: magnesium alloy
  • Weight: 1190 grams
  • Color: Obsidian black
  • Wireless connectivity: WiFi 6 e Bluetooth 5.1
  • I/O postage: 2x USB 3.2 Type-C (100W - alimentazione), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.0b (1080p 240 Hz / 1440p 144 Hz / 4K 60 Hz), Kensigton Lock slod Micro-SD, Jack 3,5mm cuffie/microfono
  • Price: 1499 € on Amazon

design

The reflections on the panel are fascinating, but they could become a problem if you want to use the laptop in bright light

The new LG Gram 16 is decidedly sober, almost anonymous in some ways, but the few inclined lines, combined with the low thickness of 1,68 cm, are enough to streamline the laptop. It is also thanks to the magnesium alloy of obsidian black color which distinguishes the entire chassis and adds good impact resistance to the characteristics of a device designed to be used on the move. It is no coincidence that this laptop enjoys resistance to vibrations, shocks, temperatures, sand, water and salt to an extent that it can boast the military certification MIL-STD-810G.



Among other things, the color tint brings out the written "gram" with a metallic effect placed on the back of the lid, and the backlighting of the membrane keyboard, complete with number pad. The light is white and soft, so as not to compromise in any way the style of a device that plays on a minimalist aesthetic.

Very light despite good overall power and a 16-inch screen

Il weight of this LG Gram 16 is just 1190 grams, despite inside the chassis there is a large 80 WHr battery that alone weighs 282 grams. Not bad for a device that is easy to grab and lift with one hand. The weight of the power supply is also contained and contributes to an enviable overall portability for a device that also has a flexible lid to resist shocks and thick rubber studs that guarantee good airflow from the lower dissipation grille.

Il touchpad it is solid and large in size and is comfortable for working in confined spaces such as on board planes or trains, while the only real flaw in the design of this machine is related to the screen that reflects almost like a mirror. To avoid problems in many cases just tilt it, but it is an evident mole in an otherwise excellent framework between build quality, tactile feedback of the materials, all in all thin frames and reduced weight.


Performances

The Intel Core i7-1165G7 is limited to just 4 cores which holds it back in brute power. But the overall scores of the benchmarking, all running in performance mode, are not bad at all, with a GPU that stands out for an excellent score. In general, however, we are talking about a reactive system also on the loading front thanks to the NVMe SSD from Samsung which positively surprised us, with 3396 MB / s in reading and 2960 MB / s in writing.


All this is enhanced by the 16-inch IPS panel with 2560 x 1600 resolution particularly useful for those who edit video or audio with multiple tracks, which guarantees defined and vivid images thanks to the high color coverage, which with the factory calibration reaches 96. % DCI-P3 gamut and 100% sRGB gamut, and good contrast despite the maximum luminance of 300 nits. Unfortunately, the 60 Hz refresh and response times that exceed 40 milliseconds represent important limits when thinking about high-speed first-person shooters, but in the case of less agitated genres, or when watching movies and videos, the experience is more than good. There is also a hint of ghosting. The main problem in games is the type of graphics solution adopted by the laptop. Although pushed to the maximum and performing, so as to approach the GeForce GTX 1050 mobile, the Intel Iris Xe Max GPU still has to undergo several compromises. Nonetheless, the LG Gram 16 is able to cope with graphic adventures, retrogaming, strategy, RPG and some competitive titles, as long as you decrease the resolution.

For the video game tests, we focused on the classic 1080p which allowed us to reach 80 FPS in Overwatch, with the graphics settings at a minimum, and to maintain an average of 71 FPS in the recent Splitgate, in this case with the medium graphics settings. Instead, we had to settle for 30 FPS with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and 39 FPS with Gears 5, but we are talking about titles of a certain technical depth that offer excellent performance even at the minimum of graphic quality. The two 2 Watt stereo speakers cannot work miracles and speaking of premium devices we have seen much better, but the audio sector does not weigh on the budget of a laptop that is also capable of guaranteeing up to 20 hours of autonomy browsing and watching videos, with the brightness set to half the maximum value, and 4 hours when pushed to the maximum; more than enough to play even during a train ride.

Temperatures and noise

Quiet, light and with a good battery life, it is a real laptop

The LG Gram 16 handset is extremely silent and during navigation and office work it hardly breathes. Instead, it makes itself felt during gaming or launching intensive applications, but we are still talking about a reduced airflow with maximum peaks of noisiness 37 decibels despite our tests being carried out with the laptop in performance mode.

Silence, however, has a price and often rhymes with the increase in temperature. During our tests we stayed around 69 degrees with the CPU and 63 with the GPU in light conditions of use, i.e. with movies, text editors and browsers, but we hit 94 degrees with the CPU and 91 with the GPU in games heavier ones, like Gears 5. The area closest to the screen tends to get hot, but the heat touches a few keys and most of the keyboard stays cool.

Comment

Price 1799 € Buy it here

Resources4Gaming.com

8.8

The LG Gram 16 is a responsive and powerful laptop that is not cheap, but stands out for the perfect combination of low weight, high build quality, low noise and long battery life. It's a great laptop for the office and for productivity on the go, and it also guarantees room for maneuver in gaming thanks to the Intel Iris Xe Max GPU paired with a good-sized panel and vibrant colors. Unfortunately, the display is also the source of the main limitations with the refresh of 60 Hz, the very high response times and the lack of an anti-glare coverage.

PRO

  • Exceptional weight-to-power ratio
  • Sharp image and vibrant colors
  • Minimum noise and high autonomy
AGAINST
  • CPU and GPU can reach high temperatures
  • Response times too high for some types of games
  • Almost non-existent anti-glare coverage
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