The LG Gram Is the MacBook Apple Should Make

The problems with the MacBook Pro just keep mounting. First it was dongle life, then sticky keyboards, and just recently there were reports of the spacebar entering two spaces. R E A L L Y? Now there's a reported Flexgate issue that leads to a banding effect at the bottom of the screen.

Maybe Apple should take a page from LG, which is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market yet is making premium laptops that are superior to MacBooks in several ways.

Take the LG Gram 14 2-in-1, which starts at $1,499. This 2.5-pound system is a half-pound lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,299 to $1,799) and yet comes with a bigger 14-inch display. It's also a touch screen. Apple doesn't make a macOS convertible; the iPad Pro is the closest thing the company has to a 2-in-1, and it's not a very good one.

It gets better — and worse — for Apple. The Gram 14 2-in-1 offers pretty much all the ports you need, including two full-size USB ports, a USB-C port, HDMI and microSD. The MacBook Pro has just two
Thunderbolt 3 ports to start and four on the highest-end model. I just wish the LG had Thunderbolt 3 support as well.

Do you like a keyboard that actually feels good? The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 has a layout that offers 1.2 millimeters of travel, compared to a measly 0.6 mm for the MacBook Pro.

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LG's convertible also wipes the floor with the MacBook Pro when it comes to battery life. The Gram 14 2-in-1 lasted 11.5 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing, compared to 8 hours and 43 minutes for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

If you prefer a bigger screen, the $1,699 LG Gram 17 offers all of the just-mentioned advantages over the $2,399 15-inch MacBook Pro. Amazingly, this thing crams a 17-inch display into a chassis that weighs just 3 pounds. Apple's laptop weighs a full pound more and has a smaller display.

To be fair, the 15-inch MacBook Pro offers gobs more power, thanks to its optional Core i9 CPU, blazing-fast SSD and AMD Radeon graphics. But for most pros on the go who are not hard-core video editors or 3D artists, the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD in the Gram 17 will get the job done.

Plus, the Gram 17 outlasts the 15-inch MacBook Pro on battery life: 12 hours versus 10:20 for Apple's laptop.

If I were Apple, I would be taking a hard look at these LG laptops. They're not just MacBook knockoffs. They're way better.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.