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LG Gram vs. MacBook Air- Is Lighter Always Better?

Notebooks nowadays become lighter and lighter despite being more powerful with every generation. This is great, given the fact that laptops are meant to be carried around. LG launched its new laptop, the LG Gram. This is the first laptop LG will sell on American territory. Until now, Amercian customers could only buy other electronic devices manufactured by LG. The LG Gram, like its name suggests, is thought to be one of thelightest laptops on the market. Given the fact that the 14- inch version of the LG Gram is lighter than the 13- inch MacBook Air, it might be one of the lightest in its category.But does it offer the same specs as the MacBook Air, or the smaller weight is due to the lack of several features?

LG Gram, 14- inch

The LG Gram comes with a 14- inch IPS LCD display. It has a full HD resolution, which is not that impressive in its price range. Other devices in its category nowadays feature QHD displays, some of them Retina displays, that are really hard to beat clarity- wise. Also, the display of the LG Gram is not touchscreen which is another downside of this device. Many users prefer to have a touchscreen on their laptops to make work easier and faster. And they can get it from other devices for the price they have to pay for the LG Gram.lg-gram-microusb

 

The body of the LG Gram is incredibly light, being made from carbon magnesium and lithium magnesium alloys. Due to these materials the body of the LG Gram also has a lot of flex, which might be a reason of concern for a big number of users. It doesn’t really offer a premium feel, at least not the kind expected for this price. The keyboard also flexes and it isn’t backlit. This will probably be a turn off for a big number of customers. The design of the LG Gram is a minimalist one. It resembles the Apple MacBook in this way. A lot, to be honest. The LG Gram’s most deistinctive feature is probably its weight. The 14- inch version of the LG Gram only weighs 2.16 lbs, which is under 1 kg. Other measurements are also smaller than the ones of the MacBook Air. To be precise, the measurement of the LG Gram are 12.8″ x 8.9″ x 0.5″.

The LG Gram comes in two versions, a 14- inch one and a 13- inch one. The 14- inch LG Gram also comes in two versions. One of them is powered by a fifth-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz, that can be overclocked to 2.70 GHz. The other, more powerful version is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 processor that can be overclocked to 3.00 GHz. Both versions comes with with 3MB shared L3 cache. It also comes with Intel HD Graphics 5500 integrated graphics card. The LG Gram includes 8 GB DDR3L onboard memory and 128 GB SSD storage for the i5 version and 256 GB SSD storage with the i7 version of the laptop.LG-Gram-image-1-520x345

The 14- inch LG Gram comes with a 1.3 MP HD webcam and Wolfson DAC Hi-Fi sound. Unfortunately, according to reports, when the charger and headphones are simultaneously connected to the LG Gram, users will experience ambient electric buzzing which is quite unforgivable for a device in this price range. One good feature of the LG Gram is that it has a number of ports. It offers HDMI (Standard), USB 3.0, Micro-SD, Headphone Out, RJ45 Ethernet and DC-In ports and connectors. The LG Gram comes with Windows 10 and offer every feature the Windows OS has to give. This really makes it a great device which is both easy and fun to use.105579-lg_gram_l

And now we get to the most disappointing feature of the LG Gram. It seems that one of the causes the LG Gram is so light is that they really saved weight with the small battery. Although the 34.61 Wh is supposed to ensure up to 7.5 hours of battery life, it actually can’t offer more than 5 hours of regular use. It makes no sense to install such a small battery in the device which could have been the most portable 14- inch laptop on the market. LG really got it wrong here and took away the main feature of its LG Gram: its portability. This is quite unacceptable given the fact that the 14- inch LG Gram’s price starts at $999.99 and goes up to $1399.99.

Here is a list of specs for the 14- inch LG Gram.

  • Processor: 2Ghz Intel Core i5 (Turbo up to 2.70GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache.     2.4GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo up to 3.00GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache.
  • Memory: 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory.
  • Hard Drive / Storage: 128GB SSD (i5) 256GB SSD (i7)
  • Display and webcam: 14-inch IPS LCD, FHD (1920 x 1080), 1.3MP HD Webcam
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (802.11 agn/ac, 2×2), Bluetooth 4.0 + LE (Low Energy)
  • Audio: DTS Sound, Wolfson DAC Hi-Fi sound, 1.0W x 2 / Internal Mic
  • Ports and connectors: HDMI (Standard), USB 3.0, Micro-SD, Headphone Out, RJ45 Ethernet, DC-In
  • Battery: 2Cell (Li-Polymer, 4555mAh / 34.61 Wh), up to 7.5 Hours (MobileMark 2014)
  • Dimensions and weight: 8″ x 8.9″ x 0.5″, 2.16 lbs

 

MacBook Air (13- inch, 2015)

Apple’s new MacBook air was released in the spring in two versions: a 13- inch version and an 11- inch version. In this article we are going to analyze the 13- inch model. The MacBook Air has a pretty disappointing 13.3- inch 1440 x 900 pixels resolution display. We say it is disappointing because we are in 2015 and the majority of  similar devices come with at least a full HD display, like the Lg Gram for example. Others feature QHD displays which are far more better. It is similar to the LG Gram due to the lack of a touchscreen. The MacBook Air doesn’t have one, and it has aquite thick bezel, unlike the LG Gram.

macbook_air_13_c_1158_0 13-inch-macbook-air-2015-100579803-medium

Just like we stated before, the MacBook Air and the LG Gram look extremely similar. The LG Gram copies the minimalist design of the Apple MacBook Air. Although the design didn’t change much in the past few years it still strikes us as being quite elegant due to the rounded edges an the thin body. Speaking of the body of the MacBook Air, it is entirely made of aluminium. This not only looks well, it relly offers its users a premium feel when they work on the MacBook Air. The size of the MacBook Air is similar to the one of the LG Gram. It measures 12.8” x 0.68” x 8.94“ which is a little bit bigger than the LG Gram. Despite the fact that the display of the LG Gram is a larger one. The MacBook Air is also heavier than the Lg Gram, weighing 2.96 lbs. Even the 11.6- inch Apple MacBook Air is heavier than the LG Gram. What is definitely better in the MacBook Air in comparison with the LG Gram is the backlit keyboard and the wrist rest which are both premium parts of the device.

As far as hardware goes, the Apple MacBook Air comes with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 which can be configured to 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz). In function of the chosen version, the MacBook Air comes with 3 MB or 4MB of shared L3 cache. The onboard memory of the MacBook Air in its basic form is less than the LG Gram’s. The MacBook Air only includes 4 GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory. This is configurable to 8 GB though, so it can get to the same size as the LG Gram. The storage of the MacBook Air is similar to the LG Gram’s. It can be purchased with 128GB PCIe-based flash storage  or 256GB PCIe-based flash storage. In addition, the MacBook Air also offers the possibility to configure it  to 512GB flash storage. All this is paired with Intel HD Graphics 6000 integrated graphics card.apple_macbook_air_13-inch_early_2015_2apple-macbook-air-2015-02

The MacBook Air comes with a 720p FaceTime HD camera. It also features Stereo speakers, Dual microphones, Headphone port, Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone. As for the ports, the MacBook Air has two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps), a Thunderbolt 2 port (up to 20 Gbps), a MagSafe 2 power port and an SDXC card slot. The MacBook Air came out of the box running on OSX Yosemite, but now has the possibility to upgrade to OSX El Capitan which is a better version of the previous operating system. Of course, it’s still not the Windows 10, but MacBook users might prefer this over the Windows 10 the LGGram features.

The battery of the MacBook Air shouldn’t even be compared to the one in the LG Gram. The Apple device’s battery is a built-in 54‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery which can ensure up to 12 hours wireless web use, up to 12 hours iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days standby time. This is quite a difference in comparison with the super- weak battery of the LG Gram. In the case of the MacBook Air the starting price of $999.00 seems a little bit more fair. The price tag for the 256 GB version of the MacBook Air is $1199.00, which is still more affordable than the LG Gram.

  • Processor: 6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache.

Configurable to 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) with 4MB shared L3 cache..

  • Memory: 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory. Configurable to 8GB.
  • Hard Drive / Storage: 128GB PCIe-based flash storage / 256GB PCIe-based flash storage. Configurable to 512GB flash storage.
  • Display and webcam: 3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1440 x 900), 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Wireless: 11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology.
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, Dual microphones, Headphone port, Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone
  • Ports and connectors: Two USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 port , MagSafe 2 power port, SDXC card slot
  • Battery: Built-in 54‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery, up to 12 hourswireless web, up to 12 hours iTunes movie playback, up to 30 days standby time
  • Dimensions and weight: 8” x 0.68” x 8.94“, 2.96 lbs

 

Lighter is obviously NOT always better

Although the light weight of the LG Gram seems pretty appealing at first glance unfortunately it disappoints on other extremely important features. Of course, it has a better display than the MacBook Air and it is thinner and lighter and not lastly I runs on Windows 10 which is preferred over OS X Yosemite or El Capitan by many of the customers. But these feature probably won’t compensate for the use of worse materials. The plasticky feel of the LG Gram will never offer users the same feel as the aluminium body of the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air also offers the possibility of more storage and RAM. And of course there is the much better battery life of the MacBook Air which actually turns the heavier device into the more portable one. Isn’t that unexpected?

Given their similar price range I would guess that the majority of people would choose the MacBook Air against the LG Gram. I certainly would, although I personally prefer Windows 10 over the OS X in any of its versions. If you had to choose, which one would you opt for?

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About Calin Andreescu

I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.

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