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LG Gram 16 2-in-1 review: Thin, light, and long-lasting

LG Gram 16 2-in-1 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.

LG Gram 16 2-in-1
MSRP $1,500.00

Score Details

DT Recommended Product

“The LG Gram 16 2-in-1 isn’t overly powerful, but speed and battery life are where it excels.”

Pros

  • Solid productivity performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Thin and light
  • Very good display
  • Attractive minimalist design

Cons

  • Not a creator’s large-screen laptop
  • Some bending and flexing

LG’s Gram laptops are focused on one primary trait. They’re meant to be lightweight, and the larger they are, the more different that makes them from the rest of the field.

Contents

  • Design
  • Performance
  • Display
  • Keyboard and touchpad
  • Battery life
  • Pricing and configurations
  • Our takeShow 2 more items

Take the new LG Gram 16 2-in-1, for example. While most laptops in the 15-inch to 17-inch range focus on performance, with fast CPUs and discrete GPUs, the LG Gram 16 2-in-1 uses processors like Intel’s 12th-gen Core i7-1260P that are usually aimed at thin and light machines with smaller displays. That makes it best for productivity users looking for a larger machine —  not so much for those editing video all day.

I reviewed the LG Gram 16 2-in-1 with a Core i7-1260P, Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics, and a 16-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS display. Pricing is still being determined, but the Gram 16 2-in-1 starts at $1,500 and runs to $2,100. That makes it a premium laptop that competes with the best mainstream 16-inch machine. In general, it’s indeed a lightweight large-screen laptop that provides solid productivity performance — but you need to know what you’re in for.

Design

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The LG Gram 16 2-in-1 is comprised of a magnesium alloy chassis and aluminum lid, which accounts for its light weight of just 3.62 pounds. That’s significantly less than other 16-inch, 360-degree convertible 2-in-1s, such as the MSI Summit E16 Flip at 4.4 pounds and the HP Spectre x360 16 at 4.45 pounds. The LG and MSI are equally thin at 0.67 inches, while the HP is thicker at 0.78 inches. For a sizable convertible 2-in-1, the LG Gram 16 2-in-1 is undoubtedly easier to carry around than most.

However, the magnesium alloy has one weakness that typically shows up in LG’s Gram laptops. It’s not as rigid as the aluminum used in the Summit E16 Flip and the Spectre x360 16. The Gram 16 2-in-1 has some bending in the chassis bottom and flexing in the keyboard deck, whereas the other 2-in-1s do not. Even the aluminum lid is a bit flexible.

While LG submits the Gram 16 2-in-1 to military standards testing for robustness, it simply doesn’t feel as solid as its primary competition. That doesn’t mean it’s not well-built, but if you’re looking for a laptop that feels like it costs $1,500 or more, then the Gram 16 2-in-1 will disappoint. The hinge is just the tiniest bit stiff, requiring a second hand to hold down the bottom of the chassis right as you approach directly upright, and it holds the display firmly in place in clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes.

Aesthetically, the Gram 16 2-in-1 is also very conservatively designed. It’s a solid “Obsidian Black” color throughout, with a subdued logo on the lid that’s barely visible. Its angles are minimalistic, giving it a straightforward and streamlined appearance. That compares to the intricate, rose gold edges of the Spectre x360 16 and MSI Summit E16 Flip. The Gram 16 2-in-1 isn’t a standout in the looks department by comparison, but it’s not a bad-looking laptop either. LG made some small display bezels, which provide a modern look and minimize the overall chassis size.

Connectivity is minimalist as well, with a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 drop-jaw port and a microSD card reader on the right. The left side houses the two USB-C 4 ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, as well as the 3.5mm audio jack. Wireless connectivity is provided by an Intel AX211 card providing Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support.

Performance

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There’s no doubt that the Core i7-1260P is a fast CPU for productivity tasks. It’s a 12-core (four Performance and eight Efficient), 16-thread processor running at 28 watts, making it the faster of Intel’s offerings for thin-and-light laptops. In our limited testing of the CPU so far, it’s exceeded its Intel 11th-gen counterparts by a fair margin and competes strongly against AMD’s Ryzen 7 5000 series in all but multithreaded, CPU-intensive tasks. In the case of the LG Gram 16 2-in-1, that means it beats the Ryzen 7 5800H in the Lenovo IdeaPad Sim 7 16 Pro in Geekbench 5, but falls well behind in the CPU-intensive Cinebench R23 rendering benchmark and in our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265.

The LG Gram 16 2-in-1 is a productivity powerhouse.

I’ll note that LG has a utility, now quite common among laptop manufacturers in general, that can switch thermal modes from low (minimal fan noise and minimal performance), normal (a balance of fan noise and performance), and high (the best performance with the most fan noise). The results in the table below were generated in normal mode. In performance mode, the LG Gram 16 2-in-1’s multi-core Cinebench score jumped to 8,396, and its Handbrake score dropped to 113. Those are more competitive with the Ryzen 7 chip and significantly faster than the 35-watt Intel Core i7-11370H and Core i7-11390H.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7 is another laptop in our comparison group using the Core i7-1260P. In its performance mode, its Cinebench score increased to 8,979 multi-core and its Handbrake test dropped to 101 seconds, making it faster than the LG Gram 16 2-in-1 when speed is of the essence. The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro performed similarly in its default mode to the LG gram 16 2-in-1 in performance mode.

These laptops were fairly tightly grouped in the PCMark 10 Complete benchmark, which gives an idea of lightweight productivity performance. No laptop’s performance mode made much of a difference here, so outside of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Pro, this benchmark didn’t differentiate between machines.

Ultimately, the LG Gram 16 2-in-1 is a productivity powerhouse that will meet the most demanding users’ needs. It’s not as fast for creative tasks, particularly since it lacks a discrete GPU that would speed up applications like Adobe’s Creative Suite. That makes it best suited for non-creators who want a larger display for more efficient multitasking.

Geekbench(single/multi)
Handbrake(seconds)
Cinebench R23(single/multi)
PCMark 10
Complete

3DMark
Time Spy

Fortnite(1080p Epic)
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Core i7-1260P / Iris Xe)
1,682 / 9,035
137
1,524 / 6,314
5,404
1,746
15 fps
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro
(Core i7-1260P / Iris Xe)
1,709 / 9,457
114
1,637 / 8,066
5,585
N/A
N/A
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7(Core i7-1260P / Iris Xe)
1,717 / 9,231
130
1,626 / 7,210
5,760
1,658
12 fps
HP Spectre x360 16
(Core i7-11390H / RTX 3050)
1,506 / 4,938
182
1,547 / 5,562
5,110
3,453
37 fps
MSI Summit E16 Flip
(Core i7-1195G7 / RTX 3050)
1,607 / 6,096
178
1,589 / 5,344
5,681
4,138
52 fps
Acer Swift 3 16
(Core i7-11370H / Iris Xe)
1,613 / 6,119
159
1,568 / 5,806
5,491
1,911
24 fps
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H / RTX 3050)
1,415 / 7,506
102
1,419 / 11,262
6,290
4,223
40 fps

The Gram 16 2-in-1 isn’t a gaming machine given the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. It scored just 1,746 in the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark (1,919 in performance mode) and managed only 15 frames per second (fps) in Fortnite at 1200p and Epic graphics (20 fps in performance mode). That’s at the low end of Intel Iris Xe graphics, which we’ve seen with other Intel 12th-gen laptops. It’s possible that Intel’s graphics drivers still need some work.

Display

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Gram 16 2-in-1 features a 16-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS display that looks bright and colorful out of the box, with true blacks for an IPS display. I enjoyed using it during my testing, although I admit that I’ve been spoiled by OLED displays that are much more stunning.

According to my colorimeter, this is a quality display for a premium laptop — with a couple of weaknesses. First, its brightness is good but not great at 323 nits, which exceeds our 300-nit threshold but is at the low end of our comparison group. Its colors were wider than the premium average at 87% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, but its accuracy was lower than I like at a DeltaE of 2.82 (less than 1.0 is considered excellent, and less than 2.0 is considered good). Its contrast was 1,230:1, higher than our preferred 1,000:1 and good for an IPS displa,y but without the inky blacks that OLED displays provide.

With better accuracy, the Gram 16 2-in-1’s display would be good enough for creators, but as is, it’s best for productivity users and media consumers. I’ll rate the display as very good.

Brightness(nits)
Contrast
sRGB gamut
AdobeRGB gamut
Accuracy DeltaE(lower is better)
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(IPS)
323
1,230:1
100%
87%
2.82
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(OLED)
406
28,380:1
100%
95%
0.87
HP Spectre x360 16
(OLED)
354
24,610:1
100%
97%
0.89
MSI Summit E16 Flip
(IPS)
482
1,140:1
100%
89%
1.12
Acer Swift 3 16
(IPS)
334
1,530:1
100%
77%
1.11
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Pro
(IPS)
420
1,310:1
100%
77%
1.59

Keyboard and touchpad

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The standard island keyboard with black keys and white lettering has less spacing in the traditional portion thanks to a numeric keypad on the right-hand side. The keys are plenty large though, and overall, it’s a familiar layout that shouldn’t cause any issues. However, the switch mechanism is underwhelming, with shallow depth and a harsh bottoming action. It’s not the most comfortable keyboard for long typing sessions, and the Spectre x360 16, for example, has a much better version.

The touchpad is decently sized, but there’s plenty of space on the keyboard deck for an even larger area. It’s smooth and responsive with Microsoft Precision touchpad support, and its entire surface is clickable with a snappy and quiet response. If it were a little larger, I’d rate it as excellent, but it’s still a very good touchpad.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The display is touch-enabled, and it supports LG’s active pen that’s included in the box. This is a large 2-in-1, however, so using the pen for inking in tablet mode requires resting it on a surface. This isn’t a slate you can easily carry around in one hand while writing with the other. The 16:10 aspect ratio does make for a more natural (i.e., less narrow) writing surface than an old-school 16:9 laptop would provide.

An infrared camera and facial recognition provide Windows 11 Hello password-free login. It worked quickly and reliably during my testing.

Battery life

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Gram 16 2-in-1 packs an 80 watt-hour battery into its thin and light chassis. That’s not the most battery capacity we’ve seen in 16-inch laptops, but this one doesn’t have the highest-powered components, nor a power-hungry 4K+ or OLED display. And LG’s Gram series is known for its excellent battery life, giving me some confidence that the Gram 16 2-in-1 would do well in our testing.

If your workload isn’t too heavy, you may even make it well into a second day’s work before needing to charge up.

And indeed, it did. It lasted for 11.5 hours in our web-browsing test that cycles through a series of popular and complex websites, beating out its closest competitor, the HP Spectre x360 16 (with an OLED display), by nearly two hours. That’s a strong score in this test, though not the strongest we’ve seen. The Gram 16 2-in-1 was more impressive in our video test that loops a local Full HD Avengers trailer, lasting for almost 18 hours and ranking among the longest-lasting we’ve tested. The Spectre x360 16 fell behind by nearly five hours.

In the PCMark 10 Applications battery benchmark that’s the best indication of light productivity longevity, the Gram 16 2-in-1 made it to 16.5 hours, the third-longest result we’ve seen and nearly double the next closest in our comparison group. And in the PCMark 10 Gaming battery test that mainly indicates how hard a laptop works while on battery, the Gram 16 2-in-1 was again the longest-lasting at 2.75 hours.

Overall, the Gram 16 2-in-1 has excellent battery life that promises all-day productivity and then some. If your workload isn’t too heavy, you may even make it well into a second day’s work before needing to charge up.

Web browsing
Video
PCMark 10 Applications
PCMark 10 Gaming
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Core i7-1260P)
11 hours, 31 minutes
17 hours, 58 minutes
16 hours, 39 minutes
2 hours, 46 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes
12 hours, 45 minutes
8 hours, 32 minutes
2 hours, 15 minutes
HP Spectre x360 16
(Core i7-11390H)
9 hours, 47 minutes
13 hours, 3 minutes
N/A
N/A
MSI Summit E16 Flip
(Core i7-1195G7)
8 hours, 1 minute
10 hours, 42 minutes
6 hours, 42 minutes
2 hours, 17 minutes
Acer Swift 3 16
(Core i7-11370H)
8 hours, 42 minutes
12 hours, 56 minutes
9 hours, 32 minutes
1 hour, 48 minutes
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
8 hours, 5 minutes
11 hours, 48 minutes
9 hours, 17 minutes
1 hour, 35 minutes

Pricing and configurations

The Gram 16 2-in-1 will be sold exclusively at Costco, with configurations ranging from $1,500 to $2,100. We don’t have details yet on specifications, pricing, or availability, but we’ll update this review once we receive more information.

Our take

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The LG Gram 16 2-in-1 succeeds in its primary objective of providing a thin and light large-screen convertible 2-in-1 that’s great for productivity work. It’s fast enough to tackle demanding productivity workflows and it’s a long-lasting machine, making it great for getting work done on the go. However, it’s not a great option for creators, due to its integrated graphics and a display that’s not accurate enough for precision creative work. But that’s OK, because there’s value in using a large-screen laptop for productivity and media consumption.

Are there any alternatives?

Probably the best direct competitor at this time is the HP Spectre x360 16, which offers a superior OLED display and a more elegant design. It’s not as fast at productivity tasks, but thanks to its discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, it’s faster at gaming and at running creative apps that can use the GPU.

The MSI Summit E16 Flip is also another option. It has an excellent 16-inch 16:10 IPS display of its own, and although it’s still running an Intel 11th-gen CPU, it provides solid productivity performance. Like the Spectre x360 16, it has an RTX GPU and so is a better laptop for gamers and creators.

If a clamshell laptop is more up your alley, then the Dell XPS 15 OLED makes for a solid alternative. It has a better build quality and a luscious display, and it provides much better performance in creative apps and gaming thanks to its updated 45-watt Intel 12th-gen CPU and RTX 3050 Ti graphics.

How long will it last?

Although the Gram 16 2-in-1 demonstrates some bending and flexing, it’s built of quality materials and will withstand typical laptop abuse. It’s well-equipped with the latest components and should last for years of productive work. The industry-standard one-year warranty is disappointing, as usual.

Should you buy it?

Yes, if your workflow is mostly productivity tasks and you want a large convertible 2-in-1 that doesn’t weigh a lot.

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