LG Gram 14 review: the (almost) perfect ultrabook

We all want devices that are as compact as possible, so they’re easy to carry around wherever we might need them, but portability often means trade-offs, sometimes major ones. LG has proven over the years with the Gram series that laptops, which many of us need to be able to work in the digital age, don’t have to be heavy or big. We recently had the LG Gram 14 on test for a few weeks, which despite weighing less than 1kg, is a very capable work computer, only good to take everywhere.

LG Gram 14 adopts a very “nice” design

While many laptop manufacturers try to decorate their laptops in ways that make them stand out as much as possible, LG tries to make the Gram series design as simple as possible. So the LG Gram looks like any basic 13-14″ laptop, with a matte-textured black casing and no decorative elements other than the logo on the lid. But the matte texture is both an advantage and a disadvantage: it attracts a lot of fingerprints. Fortunately, the dark colour hides them some, but from certain angles, when light falls a certain way on the case, the fingerprints are very pronounced.

LG Gram 14 back side

Although at first glance it might appear to be a plastic laptop, it’s actually made of magnesium, a material that provides both high strength and low weight. Magnesium has become a material used by many companies to make laptops as compact as possible, and Gram takes full advantage of its benefits.

Despite the fact that we’re dealing with a small-sized laptop that integrates a 14″ screen into the body of a laptop that traditionally had only a 13″ screen with a thicker bezel, LG believes we don’t have to give up connectivity ports either. So we get full-size HDMI, two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm jack on the left side, along with two USB-A ports and a microSD card reader on the right. I would have preferred a “normal” SD card slot for use alongside a camera/video, but perhaps the small size of the computer didn’t allow for it.

All this is included in a computer that weighs 999 grams, or just one gram under a kilogram. However, when you take it on a trip, you’ll also need to take the plug charger, the only other accessory included, which surprisingly isn’t a compact one. We’re dealing with a full-sized 65W charger with a permanently attached USB-C cable and a detachable “figure-eight” plug that plugs into the socket. Given that there are already phone chargers with comparable power and much smaller size, and that other manufacturers offer more compact chargers with similar laptops, I would expect a laptop called “Gram” to offer something more portable.

Despite its small size, the Gram 14 doesn’t lack much

Every time I test a Gram series laptop, I can’t get used to the fact that they’re so light at all. Even though it looks exactly like a normal ultrabook, when you pick the laptop up from your desk, you feel like something is missing from the inside. But this laptop isn’t missing anything at all.

We’re dealing with a full-size keyboard with large buttons and a satisfying travel in use, which provides very good tactile feedback in writing, along with a full-size trackpad. I would have preferred a larger trackpad though, especially since in this price range the MacBook Air (M1 or M2) have much larger trackpads. Fortunately, we’re dealing with a quality trackpad, with a very nice touch texture that allows for comfortable finger glide and the ability to press all over its surface with a satisfying click.

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LG Gram 14 keyboard

The 14″ screen is IPS, but it’s not one for gaming. It is thus limited to 60 Hz and offers Full HD resolution in 16:10 format (1,920 x 1,200 pixels), which provides more vertical space, especially useful in productivity applications. Documents and tables will display more lines, as will web pages, while using multiple windows simultaneously will be easier. Sure, we’re still talking about a 14″ screen though, so it gets crowded pretty quickly, but you can do a bit more than on a 13″ screen in 16:9 format, for sure. Otherwise, the screen has above-average brightness, well-calibrated colours from the factory, very good viewing angles. Although it allows HDR content playback, it’s not 100% compatible with this playback standard, so it’s not a laptop for those who expect the best picture quality for movies.

Nor is the sound competitive with other computers on the market. The maximum volume is not outstanding, being even low. in my opinion, but at least it doesn’t distort the sound and no case vibration occurs. However, because of the small speakers and enclosures, the sound is not very rich in low frequencies. Being a laptop from a premium brand with a not-so-low price tag, the speakers are still significantly better than what we find on entry-level laptops. It’s clear though that for small size and light weight, some compromises are necessary, and the sound seems to be about the biggest.

LG Gram 14 front

What I liked about this model is that it comes configured with a Windows Hello authentication system that uses the webcam and an infrared camera for automatic authentication via facial recognition. Even though the integrated webcam is of “ordinary” ultrabook quality, which is mediocre at best, the authentication system works flawlessly and you can thus never enter your password on Windows 11 (which comes pre-installed). As soon as it boots up, the laptop recognises you and goes straight to the desktop. The Power button is a little different from the other keys, being lower in height, and I was expecting it to integrate a fingerprint sensor, but that’s not the case. Presumably the design of the key has been changed just to avoid accidental presses.

Battery life is quite good for the size of this laptop, with over 10 hours of use promised on a full charge for office activities, according to the Windows 11 indicator. However, to achieve this 10-12 or even more hours of performance, you have to give up performance. So you’ll need to choose the most efficient profile, a lower brightness for your screen, and not run apps that might demand too much of your processor. Realistically, I think most people who will use this laptop for work will have enough power for a normal day, even on a higher performance profile. Of course, true peak performance is only achieved when the laptop is plugged in, as is the case with all Windows laptops.

LG Gram 14 power

What I liked, especially in battery use is that the fans are extremely quiet. In a quiet room, the air conditioner sounds louder than the LG Gram 14’s cooling system even during a CPU test that should stress the laptop to the max. And the processor, at full load, doesn’t overheat the case too much, making it completely comfortable for lap use, for example. When the tests are run in the socket, the fans turn on a bit louder, but performance also increases significantly.

While my experience of using this laptop is mostly positive, I can’t help but mention a few issues I have with laptop manufacturers offering pre-installed operating systems. As it comes from the factory, the LG Gram seems to be almost unusable. Not only does LG install a lot of proprietary apps, some really useful and some less useful, but it forces users to use McAfee antivirus, probably the most prevalent “malware” I’ve encountered in recent years. Somehow, this software, from the moment you first boot up your computer after the first setup, makes everything so slow that you can’t even register a right click on your desktop.

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LG Gram 14 trackpad

After uninstalling McAfee, everything works fine, so if you buy an LG laptop or from other brands that force you by pre-installing McAffe, Norton or other similar software, I recommend uninstalling them. Windows Defender is a decent protection solution that runs in the background automatically after uninstalling, and if you want extra protection, there are other antivirus solutions that are much more effective without affecting your computer’s performance.

LG Gram 14’s performance is above the usual expectations from an ultrabook

The LG Gram 14 is equipped with a next-generation chipset, a low-power Intel Core i7-1260P. It’s built to consume on average about 25W, enough to put its 12 cores to work. We’re dealing with 4 high performance cores (P-Cores) with 8 threads of execution and 8 efficient cores (E-Cores), each with one thread of execution. In total, we have 16 execution threads, along with an integrated Intel Xe GPU.

Even though the Gram 14 is not built as a computer for complex tasks, but rather one for the office, thanks to the powerful processor, (quite) fast storage and sufficient RAM, it could also offer the ability to edit photos or edit videos if needed. Of course, these activities wouldn’t compare in performance to what you could do on a more powerful computer, but for some that might be enough.

LG Gram 14 bottom


Cinebench R23

  • Single-Core: 1.445
  • Multi-Core: 6,586


  • SEQ1M Q8T1: Read: 6418 MB/s Write: 2,677 MB/s
  • SEQ1M Q1T1: Read: 3676 MB/s Write: 2,661 MB/s

PCMark 10

  • Overall: 5.071
  • Essentials: 9,469
  • Productivity: 6,556
  • Digital Content Creation: 5,700

It’s important to know, however, that a little configuration is required to access the full power of this computer. LG Smart Assistant software is pre-installed, but at no point are you encouraged to use it. From it, you can choose one of four performance profiles, closely tied to the cooling system. The “Normal” one that comes standard is a very quiet one, but it can only deliver half the processor’s power at a low 1GHz. Thus, only on the High profile, the LG Gram 14 shows its true power. I was surprised though that the fans don’t make much more noise in this mode, but compared to the other profiles, you can at least clearly distinguish their sound. With a little music over, even from the integrated speakers, the noise can be completely covered up.

Also, if you want to use this computer for photo or video editing, also from the LG Smart Assistant you can set the monitor to a pre-calibrated “natural” color profile, which allows colorization to professional standard.


The LG Gram 14 is by no means the perfect ultrabook. Its advantages clearly lie in its light weight and the fact that in a compact form factor it offers pretty much everything you’d need from an ultraportable computer. With a little tweaking here and there, such as choosing a more compact charger or ditching some of the pre-installed software packages that can detract from the user experience, the LG Gram would still come pretty close to the ideal ultrabook.

At the moment, this is one of the best performing, quietest and lightest models in its price range, and for many users these advantages might be enough to make them choose it.

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