LG finally made its debut in the world of premium mobile computing this autumn by introducing the company’s first ultrabook series titled “gram”. They’ve launched a 13 inch version (the one I’m reviewing today) and two 14 inch models with similar hardware specs and I’m excited about all of them.
The model I’m writing about today is the 13.3″ LG gram 13Z950. Released only a couple of days ago, it has already gathered stellar reviews around the internet and I couldn’t agree more. What we have here is truly a big step forward in an industry often suffocated by minor increments and compromises.
First thing I noticed about the LG gram 13Z950 is the apparent sturdiness of it. Although small, lightweight and thin, it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. On the contrary, the chassis isn’t made out of plastic, but out of a special magnesium alloy. Why magnesium instead of aluminium like we see on the Apple ultrabooks? As this site explains, magnesium is roughly a third lighter and has better mechanical and anti-corrosive properties, so it makes sense to use it in a device that weights under a kilogram.
Build quality aside, the LG gram features a spectacular combination of hardware specs, designed to fulfill the most demanding expectations from power users, not uncommon for higher end ultrabooks. Considering its size, weight and tech specs, I’d say this is the most versatile ultrabook to buy for around $900.
It has a dual core Intel Core i5-5200U processor, with 3 megabytes of L3 cache. This rather common processor is great to use for a host of tasks including heavy multitasking, browsing the internet, editing photos or illustrating art and so on. In a day-to-day usage scenario, this processor will handle just about everything you can imagine.
Also, the LG has 8 gigabytes of system memory on board, and a blazing fast solid state drive with 128 gigabytes of available storage space. This combination means the device will boot up Windows almost instantly and will provide a smooth user experience, without delays or system freezes.
Connectivity is also on par with the high standards already set by now. According to LG’s downloadable spec sheet, the gram 13Z950 has a dual band 802.11ac wireless receiver, perfect for streaming videos and audio over the internet. It even has Ethernet capabilities, a rarity among ultrabooks.
The screen features a 13.3 inch Full HD IPS display with brilliantly vivid colors and great viewing angles. A nice feature is the Reader Mode, which adjusts screen brightness and changes colors when reading articles or books so that the battery will last longer while keeping your eyes from becoming tired. This is especially useful when being stuck in an airport terminal or while researching new topics that require increased attention over longer periods of time.
The battery life itself isn’t that spectacular compared to a more expensive ultrabook, like the Dell XPS 13, but it’s about on par with the Lenovo Yoga 3. A full charge will last up to 8 hours of normal use, which is enough to last for a day’s worth of work without having to charge it. It doesn’t go the extra mile to provide upwards of 10 hours, but that’s OK, considering its size and weight.
Portability is probably its best strength. It weights just 2.1 pounds, a half pound lighter than the aforementioned Dell XPS 13! It’s so light, you won’t even notice it in your bag. Furthermore, it’s incredibly thin, measuring just .5″ in width. However, thanks to the magnesium alloy chassis, the LG gram 13Z950 feels like a very durable and resistant laptop in a nice, understated and elegant skin.
|Product||LG gram 13Z950|
|CPU Name||Intel Core i5-5200U|
|CPU Type||Dual Core|
|CPU Speed||2.2 GHz up to 2.7 GHz|
|CPU Cache||3 MB|
|Installed Memory||8 GB|
|Maximum Memory||8 GB|
|Memory Type||DDR3L SDRAM @ 1600 MHz|
|Total Memory Slots||1 slot|
|Storage Capacity||128 GB|
|Storage Type||Solid State Drive|
|Storage Technology||SATA III|
|Screen Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen Technology||Backlit LED|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics Processing Unit||Intel HD Graphics 5500|
|Graphic Card Type||Integrated|
|AUDIO & VIDEO|
|Audio Technology||HD Audio|
|NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION|
|Wireless LAN||Dual Band, 2×2 802.11ac|
|USB Ports||2 x USB 3.0|
|Multi Card Slot||Yes, SDXC|
|LAN (RJ45)||Yes, with adapter|
|Pointing Device||Touch Pad|
|Keyboard||Island Style Standard Notebook|
|Battery Type||2-Cell Lithium-Polymer|
|Battery Capacity||35 Whr|
|Maximum Battery Life||Up to 8 hours|
|Other Features||Reader Mode
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||11.9″ x 8.4″ x 0.5″|
Scores, Pros and Cons
- Great hardware equipment
- Superior build quality
- Impressive Full HD display
- Excellent portability (light and thin)
- Adequate battery life
- Relatively small storage space
Considering the brand new LG gram 13Z950 is a premium laptop for under $1000, I’d say it’s one of the best new releases this year, easily. For that money you get premium build materials, great portability, good battery life and great performance ratings. I think LG has boldly stepped over the established brands and managed to pull off a 2015 must have!
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