The folks at LG have just released info about a brand new model to complete their already impressive “gram” ultrabook lineup. This one will be called the LG gram 13Z970, and is the most compact of all three variants (13 compared to 14 and 15.6 inches).
While there isn’t much innovation to talk about concerning its hardware, there are words to be said about the design and its features. So far, LG have been reserved in releasing much needed technical information about this laptop, but we can still make some assumptions based on previously launched models, such as the 13Z960.
With this iteration, LG have modified the exterior looks, but not by much. For instance, when compared to the 13z950 model I’ve reviewed back in 2015, we notice slight alterations in the way its corners have been designed. In the case of this model, the 13Z970, the overall aspect is more rectangular.
However, what has remained unchanged is the color choices. The same white-black duo is present here, with the chassis and keyboard being all-white, while the screen bezel is painted in a contrasting black. This works especially well, considering we’re talking about a small factor notebook. It’s simple and noteworthy.
I believe it’s worth starting the in-depth analysis with the one thing that puts some distance between the LG gram 13Z970 and its competition: portability. They’ve managed to make this model even lighter than the previous one: it weighs just 2.07 pounds (or 940 grams). Combine that with dimensions that suggest a smaller frame than what we’d expect (12.1″ x 8.3″ x 0.6″) and we have a true travel companion on our hands.
It’s truly amazing how much lighter this device is, even when putting it side to side with a 13.3″ ASUS or Dell ultrabook. Also, battery capacity has been improved. The LG gram is now fitted with a 60Whr battery pack (compared to a 35 Whr on the 2015 model), so a full charge should easily last for 10-11 hours of moderate use.
If I were to stop my review here, I’d declare that we have a real champion in front of us. A mobile champion, to be precise. You’ll be able to travel on long international flights without needing to recharge it even once. And, because it doesn’t weigh much, you won’t notice the extra weight it adds to your luggage.
Hardware-wise, the LG gram hasn’t evolved much. It has had its components updated to match the current technological standards. Therefore, users will benefit from a late-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of system memory that comes on a single memory module and a 256-gigabyte Solid-State Drive.
LG hasn’t mentioned yet whether the LG gram 13Z970 is equipped with a free memory slot, because the single channel 8GB DDR4 RAM remains conspicuously lonely. Still, the standard memory will prove sufficient for almost all users.
Graphics and display
The LG gram 13Z970 doesn’t a have a dedicated video card, so gamers should look elsewhere if they want an ultraportable game-ready laptop. It comes with an Intel HD Graphics 620 unit, which will render HD and 4K content well, and even support multi-monitor setup without hiccups.
Its screen is brilliant, as was the case with previous models. The 13-inch screen features a IPS LCD FHD (1920×1080) display, which will output vivid, rich colors and improved viewing angles.
Interface and connectivity
Here’s where LG have decided to really please the audience. They haven’t made any concessions with the availability of ports. Here they are:
- 1 x USB-C port
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 1 x HDMI-out
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x microSD
Connectivity-wise, we see standard equipment being used: 802.11ac wireless with built-in Bluetooth technology.
OK, so the LG gram 13Z970 is not necessarily a big step forward for the world of ultraportable devices, but it’s a small step in the right direction nonetheless. LG has improved on an already fine laptop in critical areas (such as battery life and interface options), while maintaining the same design and build quality, not to mention performance stats.
I believe this is a wonderful device that’s well suited for travel junkies, digital nomads, home users or arts students. It’s light, fast, stylish… basically the embodiment of youth.