LAS VEGAS — There’s a certain kind of magic you get when keeping things simple. Not only does it prevent something from getting bogged down with unnecessary features, it also gets right to the essence of what a product wants to be. On the Gram 15 laptop, LG has done a wonderful job of sticking to that plan. This sturdy, yet lightweight machine measures just 0.7-inches thick and weighs just 2.16 pounds, making it the lightest 15-inch laptop yet.
Due out sometime in early 2016, the core of this 15.6-inch no-frills laptop is a magnesium body stuffed with your choice of an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, a 1920 x 1080 screen, 8GB of RAM and either a 256 or 512GB SSD.
The screen doesn’t support touch, and there’s no fingerprint reader. Heck, the keyboard doesn’t even feature backlighting, which on a laptop that should cost around $1,100, seems like a pretty big omission. What you do get is a plethora of connectivity options along the side that include four USB ports (three Type-A and one Type-C), a microSD card reader, HDMI, a headphone/mic jack and built-in Hi-Fi audio.
At CES 2016, I got a chance to go hands-on with the Gram 15, and while it’s really just an upsized version of the LG’s Gram 13, it manages to be feel just a little more special than its smaller sibling.
I think it’s because at 15-inches, many companies start to shoehorn too many features in a one system, something LG has clearly tried not to do with the Gram 15.
The magnesium body has very little flex, which is impressive considering the Gram 15’s lightweight body, and the pale champagne gold metal contrasts the black keys in a way that makes you rethink that shade’s typical octogenarian target buyer.
The system's clean lines further emphasize the Gram 15’s simplicity, even causing the somewhat problematic placement of the webcam in the center of the hinge to feel just right. Too bad you’re still going to end up with awkward selfies or video calls where the only thing people will be able to see is the bottom of your chin.
So if you’re the kind of buyer who’s been annoyed by “features” you don’t want, LG’s Gram 15 may be the laptop you’re looking for.