LG Gram Ultra PC Is The First LG Laptop For The US: How Does It Stack Up Against The MacBook Air?

LG Gram Ultra PC Is The First LG Laptop For The US: How Does It Stack Up Against The MacBook Air?

The LG Gram line of notebooks is made from Magnesium alloys, contrary to the premium releases that used Aluminum.
(Photo : LG)

LG, an electronics company that is known for its smartphones, TVs and other modern home appliances, is not pegged as a PC and laptop brand that releases to United States consumers. However, the South Korean manufacturer is now venturing into the U.S. market with the LG Gram 14Z950.

The LG Gram 14Z950 or LG Gram should not be confused with the LG Ultra PC, which the company debuted last year during CES 2014. Unlike the Ultra PC, which has a 13-inch screen, the Gram has a 14-inch display. However, do not let the size fool you.

The newer offering, even with the bigger display, is much thinner and lighter than the previous one at just 2.16 pounds. With weight and thinness, it easily beats the 2.96 pounds of the13-inch MacBook Air. The same goes for the price as well.

The 2.2 GHz dual-core i7 version of the MacBook air comes with an 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a $1,424Â price tag. Apple shipped the device with OS X Yosemite. On the other hand, LG Gram's $1,399Â offering comes fitted with an i7-5500u clocked at 2.4 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB of SSD storage and Windows 10.

The price and the specs are about even. However, the material used to build the two is where the noticeable difference comes. While Apple went for the traditional aluminum body for the MacBook Air, LG decided to go with magnesium alloys for the Gram. The alloys used are both light and sturdy. In fact, it is lighter than Aluminum, which is evident when comparing the weight of the two laptops.

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The differences don't end there. While the MacBook Air is advertised at 12 hours, LG's offering is marketed at 7.5 hours. It is also missing a USB Type-C port. Moreover, the Gram does not come with a backlit keyboard courtesy of the thinness, which does not allow any space for LEDs to be fitted into individual keys.

Another drawback of the thinness is the lack of ventilation for proper cooling.

"At idle the system's maximum external temperature was 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit – warm, but not bad. But load spiked that figure as high as 116.2 degrees, making this the second-hottest system we've reviewed this year, just behind the Samsung ATIV Book 9, which hit 119.7 degrees," Digital Trends reports.

However, there is a silver lining to all these dark clouds that bring rain to the LG Gram's debut. A much better option would be the 14-inch i5-5200u version. It has the same 8GB RAM, half the SSD storage capacity at just 128GB but it retails for $999, $400 off the i7 price.