Laptop Mag Verdict
At just 2.5 pounds and with over 13 hours of battery life the LG Gram 16 is a dream laptop for anyone that wants to travel light while keeping a big 16-inch display.
13+ hours of battery life
Vibrant 16-inch display
Solid day-to-day performance
Display could be brighter
Weak audio experience
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Price: $1,299 (starting); $1,699 (as reviewed)
CPU: Intel 12th Gen Core i7-1260p
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS
Size: 14 x 9.5 x 0.66 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
The LG Gram 16 is a classic case of not judging a book by its cover, or a laptop by its lid, as at first glance it’s an unassuming traditional clamshell with a silver metallic finish, that is until you pick it up. For a moment you’ll feel like Thor lofting Mjolnir, as there’s simply no way picking up a 16-inch laptop should feel that effortless.
The Gram 16 weighs a mere 2.5 pounds, that’s lighter than Air (the MacBook Air M2 at 2.7 pounds to be specific). And while its almost impossibly lightweight frame would be an amazing trick by itself, the Gram has more up its magnesium alloy sleeve with over 13 hours of battery life, a gorgeously vibrant display, and impressive performance.
If you’re a student or a frequent traveler that wants to keep things light without having to squint at a 13-inch display, the Gram 16 may be just the laptop you’ve been looking for.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) price and configuration options
Our $1,699 review unit doubles the storage in the base model to 1TB, but otherwise mirrors its specs exactly.
While those are the retail prices, you’ll typically find our model for $1,449 or less, which is getting into more comfortable territory. A 2.5-pound laptop with a 16-inch display isn’t going to come cheap, so if you want extreme portability with a large display, the Gram 16 is worth the investment.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) design
The LG Gram 16 is one of those laptops that you first pick up and start looking around for the cameras because clearly someone is pranking you with an empty laptop casing. Unfortunately, my frequent pitches for laptop-based prank shows keep getting rejected, so what’s actually happening is that LG’s engineers are just very good at their jobs
The magnesium alloy construction of the Gram 16 means that not only will it have you questioning that whole “law of gravity” thing, but it’s also incredibly durable, meeting MIL-STD-810g requirements. So yes, this laptop is the sort of thing a frequent traveler only dreams of —you won’t notice the weight in your laptop bag, but when you forget it’s in there and drop the bag, your laptop will still be fine. The alloy also helps the thermal performance of the laptop, so it doesn’t constantly spin up fans, which has battery benefits that we’ll get to later.
Opening the lid you are greeted by that massive 16-inch display with nearly invisible bezels; there is no wasted space on this laptop. If you are thinking you need even more screen real estate, then good news, LG thought of that too. The LG gram +view external monitor matches the Gram 16 size and resolution exactly so it’s the perfect companion when you need a dual-screen setup on the go. Below that screen is a full-size keyboard with a number pad and an expansive touchpad, once again you are enjoying the benefits of a larger laptop without the weight.
I didn’t really speak to the aesthetics of the design yet, primarily because the size and weight are far more captivating. The design is simple and utilitarian with just “gram” centered on the lid. There’s a slight taper to the edges that make it pleasant to hold, but it’s a laptop that will look at home in any environment. It’s available in either Obsidian Black or the Silver of our review unit.
Breaking the size down by the numbers, the LG Gram 16 is 14 x 9.5 x 0.66 inches and 2.5 pounds. That’s a featherweight compared to the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (14.1 x 9.9 x 0.6~0.7 inches, 4.6 pounds). While competitors closer to its weight class like the MacBook Air M2 (12 x 8.5 x 0.44 inches, 2.7 pounds) and Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (12.3 x 8.5 x 0.59 inches, 2.4 pounds) only offer 13.6- and 14-inch displays, respectively.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) ports
The LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) has a robust selection of ports considering its diminutive size and weight. On the left side you get a full HDMI 2.0 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a combo headphone/mic jack.
On the opposite side, you’ll find a microSD card slot, a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A ports, and a Kensington security lock slot.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) display
The LG Gram 16’s 2,560 x 1,600 pixel 16-inch IPS display with its 16:10 aspect ratio is among the best I’ve seen outside of an OLED panel. Whether you are watching a video, surfing the web, or working on spreadsheets, it will elevate it all (as much as possible for a spreadsheet anyway).
I tested this out by watching the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The sharp and vibrant display captured every detail and I felt like Namor was about to come bursting through the panel as the blinding blue rays cascaded across the screen.
The colorimeter in the lab agreed with me, as the Gram 16 reproduced 118% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. This was eclipsed by the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (139.3%), but the Gram vastly outperformed the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (69.5%), the MacBook Air M2 (75.9%), and the mainstream category average (98.1%).
|DCI-P3 color gamut percentage|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon||139.3%|
|LG Gram 16||118%|
|MacBook Air M2||75.9%|
|Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1||69.5%|
The Gram 16’s brightness test results weren’t bad at 332 nits, but I would prefer to see something closer to 400 nits for a laptop that is so well-suited for travelers. Only the Inspiron 16 came in below the Gram at 307 nits. The mainstream average (341 nits), IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (369 nits), and the MacBook Air M2 (489 nits) all outshone the Gram to varying degrees. It’s worth noting that the anti-glare coating on the Gram’s display gives it an assist in combating bright environments, so while I’d love a brighter display, anything short of direct sunlight doesn’t present much of an issue.
|Display brightness (Nits)|
|MacBook Air M2||489|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon||369|
|LG Gram 16||332|
|Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1||307|
The Gram delivered an average performance of 0.27 on our Delta-E color accuracy test (lower is better). The MacBook Air M2 (0.2) was far better, but LG edged out the Inspiron (0.28) and the Slim 7 Carbon (0.32).
While it doesn’t dominate every category, LG struck an excellent balance with the Gram’s display that make it an excellent match for a variety of use cases from lightweight content creation to productivity, and of course watching videos.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) keyboard and touchpad
The LG Gram 16 features a backlit chiclet keyboard with a dedicated number pad. The key travel is impressive for such a slim laptop at 1.65mm, but it does feel a bit cramped with a small left-shift key and narrow number pad keys. The lack of separation between the keyboard and the number pad could lead to the occasional number sneaking into your writing by accid3nt. The expansive touchpad works well, although it’s off-center to accommodate the number pad.
At 86 words per minute with 98% accuracy in the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I was just 1 wpm off my average. The keys bounce back quickly, which combined with the excellent key travel makes for a comfortable typing experience. For better or worse, the Gram 16 also has a very noisy keyboard. It sounds similar to a mechanical keyboard when typing, which some people will love, but if you’re typically working with others around it could irritate them.
The touchpad dominates the lower half of the deck at 5.2 x 3.3 inches and is responsive when swiping or clicking. I had no difficulties using typical Windows gestures like pinch to zoom or two-finger scrolling.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) audio
The Gram 16 features a pair of bottom-firing speakers that are given a boost with DTS:X Ultra support. That’s not exactly a recipe for success in an era of top-firing quad-speaker systems, but it was better than I anticipated for such a wafer-thin laptop.
I listened to “Made You Look” by Meghan Trainor because I have a TikTok-obsessed teenager and that song was omnipresent for a while. The bubblegum pop filled my medium-sized (12’ x 18’ feet) testing room at full volume and the lyrics remained crisp and clear. The steady percussion in the background lacked any kick whatsoever though, which isn’t surprising given the physical limitations of the hardware in the Gram.
If you are looking to actually enjoy your music then pick up a pair of wireless headphones with the Gram, but for watching a video or just having some ambient music in the background it will get the job done.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) performance
The Intel Core i7-1260P processor in the LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q), paired with 16GB of RAM, is enough to fly through any productivity work or web excursions you might throw at it, and it could even handle some photo editing.
I loaded up 32 Google Chrome tabs including two YouTube videos running simultaneously at 4K and a YouTube Music tab playing the film score playlist that I often listen to while I work. I then proceeded with my typical workflow, which is a blend of Google Docs, Google Sheets, our custom CMS for publishing to our website, and jumping between all those tabs as I research and write. None of this presented the slightest issue for the Gram 16. I never noticed any hiccups in the audio or visual stuttering as I moved between tabs and windows.
The Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test showed off the Gram’s prowess with a multi-core score of 8,431. Only the MacBook Air M2 (Apple M2, 8,919) outperformed it, while the mainstream average (6,998), Inspiron 16 (Intel Core i7-1260P, 6,757), and IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, 6,241) were left in the dust.
|Geekbench 5.4 score|
|MacBook Air M2||8,919|
|LG Gram 16||8,431|
|Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1||6,757|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon||6,241|
Our Handbrake video editing test requires the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p shows, and it shows why I’d recommend sticking to photo editing with the Gram, as it took 17 minutes for it to finish the conversion, good enough for dead last. The Air M2 (7:52) finished first, followed by the Slim 7 Carbon (8:51), and the Inspiron 16 (11:27).
The Gram wins back performance points with its blistering fast SSD. In our 25GB mixed-media file transfer test, it averaged 1,506.9MBps, which was more than double the mainstream average (720.61MBps), and over 700MBps faster than the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon (799.99MBps) and Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (802MBps).
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) battery life
The battery life on the Gram 16 is fantastic, all the more impressive for a laptop this thin and light. In our Laptop Mag battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Gram didn’t come to a stop until 13 hours and 8 minutes in.
That’s well beyond the mainstream laptop average (8:51) and the Slim 7 Carbon (9:56), however, it was up against some heavy hitters with the Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (13:28) and Air M2 (14:06) managing to overtake it. It’s worth noting that it’s 2 pounds lighter than the Inspiron and I’m still not entirely convinced that Apple Silicon doesn’t bend space and time to allow those chips to deliver the kind of battery life they do.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) webcam
The Gram 16’s 1080p webcam was better than I had hoped. I’m no longer immediately excited to see that a webcam is 1080p, but the Gram 16 delivers a sharp image that held up pretty well even when I stuck to simple overhead lighting. It also supports Windows Hello facial recognition login thanks to its IR camera. No privacy shutter on this one, so if you are concerned with that you’ll need to pick up a separate webcam cover.
While it won’t beat an external webcam, the Gram 16’s built-in camera won’t embarrass you when joining a video conference.
LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) software and warranty
The LG Gram 16 ships with Windows 11 installed and that includes the typical encumbrance of bloatware like McAfee Livesafe antivirus, Cyberlink apps, streaming services, and social media apps. I recommend a cleansing burn of the bloatware to uninstall anything you won’t actually use right away before you forget.
While I have Google Assistant devices littered about my home, I don’t mind the Alexa functionality built into the Gram 16. If you’re an Amazon Echo house you’ll absolutely love it.
LG gives you a variety of its own software to help enhance your Gram 16 experience. That includes Smart Assistant for adjusting the Gram’s performance, Virtoo for wirelessly connecting your phone to your laptop, and Glance by Mirametrix.
That last one requires a bit of explanation, it can trigger a privacy guard if it detects someone else looking at your screen, privacy blur if it notices you aren’t looking at the display, it can even move your cursor or a window between the laptop and the Gram +view portable display. If you’re someone that works in public or in an office with confidential materials those could be crucial extras. For some users, this will raise privacy concerns with the camera always on even though it is strictly
The LG Gram 16 comes with a one-year limited warranty.
If your laptop wish list includes a big screen, a thin-and-light chassis, and long battery life, I might have told you to keep dreaming in years past, but the Gram 16 checks all of those boxes in bold. While it comes up just shy of qualifying for our laptops with the best battery life, the fact that it does so at just 2.5 pounds with a 16-inch display and a powerful core i7 CPU is nothing short of astounding.
The Gram 16 should earn a spot among our best ultrabooks and best 16-inch laptops, but a few things keep me from elevating it even further. The display brightness is merely good enough, not great. The audio quality from the bottom-firing speakers is similarly fine, but not notable. Finally, while I appreciate the full keyboard with a number pad, the slightly cramped keys can be irritating and would take a little time to adjust to.
If those seem more like quibbles than serious concerns, you’re right. Overall I loved my time with the LG Gram 16 and as long as you aren’t looking to do any gaming or heavy content creation, this slim laptop is ready for anything. Just remember to check whether you actually put it in your laptop bag, it’s so light you might forget it.
Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.