Notebookcheck

LG Gram 15 (i5-8250U, FHD) Laptop Review

Half the weight of the XPS 15. How light can a 15-inch notebook get? The LG Gram 15 dares to be the lightest in the world at just over 1 kg, but the system is not without some missing bells and whistles commonly found on most other Ultrabooks.

As its name suggests, the LG Gram series emphasizes lightweight and portability to a stronger degree than other competing Ultrabooks. The end result is a very light system that offers the familiar core basics of an Ultrabook without the extra weight in an attempt to cater to students and frequent travelers.

Our unit today is the 15.6-inch Gram 15Z975 equipped with a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, and FHD IPS display for about $1100 USD. Note that a newer redesigned Gram 15Z980 model is also available with the Core i7-8550U CPU, double the RAM, NVMe SSD, integrated Thunderbolt 3 interface, MIL-STD 810G certification, larger battery capacity, and other upgrades that we will visit at a later date. For this review, we will focus on the Gram 15Z975 and the inevitable cutbacks LG had to make in order to offer a 1.1 kg 15.6-inch notebook without resorting to slower, passively cooled CPUs.

Competition in the 15-inch space is fierce. Common alternatives include the Dell XPS 15, Spectre x360 15, Acer Swift 3, Asus ZenBook Pro UX550, Huawei MateBook D, Samsung Notebook 9 NP900, and the Lenovo Yoga 720. With the exception of the Samsung, all the above laptops are significantly heavier than our LG, slightly pricier, and come with more overall features.

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LG Gram 15Z975 (Gram Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 1200 MHz, DDR4, 22.20.16.4708
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1200 MHz, Single-Channel, 10-10-10-28
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, Capacitive, ID: LGD052A, Name: LG Philips LP156WFA-SPC1, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, Card Reader: MicroSD reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.2 x 359 x 229 ( = 0.6 x 14.13 x 9.02 in)
Battery
60 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 1 W stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, USB Type-C to RJ-45 adapter, Warranty card, Quick Start guide, LG Power Manager, LG On Screen Display, DTS Audio, Reader Mode, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.09 kg ( = 38.45 oz / 2.4 pounds), Power Supply: 318 g ( = 11.22 oz / 0.7 pounds)
Price
1100 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Gram 15Z975 utilizes a "nano carbon" magnesium alloy chassis with a uniform matte surface from top to bottom. It's a subdued traditional design that incorporates no notable "gimmick" such as HP's piston hinges, Lenovo's watchband hinges, Dell's carbon fiber surfaces, or other marketable keywords that notebook purists may appreciate. Still, the darkened gray appears a bit dull compared to the brighter and more unique Ultrabooks currently available.

As light as the chassis may be, its rigidity is inferior to every other 15-inch Ultrabook we've tested with the possible exception of the Samsung Notebook 9. The lid is especially easy to twist and warp from its front two corners and down its center, respectively. The extra-narrow bezels and lack of an edge-to-edge glass overlay both contribute to a flimsier screen. Similarly, the base is also more susceptible to twisting and warping around the palm rests and keyboard compared to systems like the XPS 15 or Spectre x360 15. The flexibility of the Gram 15 can be partly attributed to the very thin chassis material that makes the notebook feel hollow, fragile, and not nearly as sound as competing models. It's here that the major drawback to such a lightweight design becomes apparent.

The weak hinge is just barely strong enough to prevent teetering when typing and it unfortunately becomes looser at wider angles. The lid still teeters when first opening the system from a closed position and we would have definitely preferred a more rigid hinge as a result. 

Other than its weak impression, the construction quality of our Gram test unit is excellent with no defects or unintended gaps between materials. Twisting the lid or base moderately will cause minor audible creaking that we don't consider to be a manufacturing issue.

The light weight of the Gram 15 is the main selling point of the notebook. At just under 1.1 kg, the LG weighs about the same as a Surface Pro with Type Cover and is quite literally almost half the weight of the XPS 15 while offering the same 15.6-inch screen size and very nearly the same dimensions. Even the smaller 15.0-inch Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N, which is one of the lightest Windows notebooks available when considering the size, is slightly heavier than the Gram 15. The weight advantage is immediately noticeable compared to other more popular 15-inch Ultrabooks as we're not talking just a few grams difference here and there, but several hundred. Users will have no issues carrying or handling the notebook with one hand - just be sure not to ding the fragile edges or corners against other objects.

Magnesium alloy chassis feels light and flimsy
Magnesium alloy chassis feels light and flimsy
Hinge opened to maximum angle of ~150 degrees
Hinge opened to maximum angle of ~150 degrees
384 mm / 15.1 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.9 kg4.19 lbs380 mm / 15 inch 255 mm / 10 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2.2 kg4.93 lbs363 mm / 14.3 inch 245 mm / 9.65 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2 kg4.4 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 15.2 mm / 0.598 inch 1.1 kg2.4 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17 mm / 0.669 inch 2.1 kg4.56 lbs347.9 mm / 13.7 inch 229.4 mm / 9.03 inch 15.4 mm / 0.606 inch 1.2 kg2.67 lbs

Connectivity

Surprisingly, the Gram 15 is able to incorporate most of the essential ports in spite of its light weight. Its 3x USB Type-A ports in particular is notable as more and more Ultrabooks are dropping this particular feature in favor of thinner form factors. Nonetheless, it would have been great to see a full-size SD reader and USB Type-C charging instead of the proprietary AC adapter port. It's worth noting that the latest Gram 15Z980 refresh has updated the USB Type-C Gen.1 port on our 15Z975 to Thunderbolt 3 for an even wider range of connectivity options.

Port positioning is excellent as all ports are evenly spaced, easy to reach, and not too close to the front with at least one USB port on either side.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, HDMI, USB Type-C Gen. 1
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, HDMI, USB Type-C Gen. 1
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Right: MicroSD reader, 3.5 mm earphones, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Kensington Lock
Right: MicroSD reader, 3.5 mm earphones, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Kensington Lock

SD Card Reader

Transfer rates from the integrated spring-loaded MicroSD reader are about 85 MB/s for both read and write to be very similar to the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N. Note that our Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2 MicroSD test card is rated for a maximum transfer rate of 90 MB/s and that a potentially faster card may return faster numbers.

A fully inserted MicroSD card protrudes by about 1 mm for safe carrying and easy ejecting.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
120.5 MB/s ∼100% +43%
LG Gram 15Z975
 
84.34 MB/s ∼70%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
 
68.72 MB/s ∼57% -19%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +195%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
 
86.49 MB/s ∼34% +1%
LG Gram 15Z975
 
85.57 MB/s ∼34%

Communication

WLAN and Bluetooth 4.2 are provided by the common Intel 8265 module capable of theoretical transfer rates of up 867 Mbps. We experienced no recurring connectivity issues when connected to our Linksys EA 8500 test router.

WAN and GPS features are not available on the series.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
668 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼97% +1%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
639 MBit/s ∼96%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼100% +12%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
471 MBit/s ∼89%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
465 MBit/s ∼88% -1%

Accessories

Included extras are a warranty card and USB Type-C to RJ-45 adapter. A cleaning cloth or carrying sleeve would have made the out-of-box experience even better.

Maintenance

The bottom is secured by 8 Philips screws hidden underneath circular covers and the rubber footing as detailed by iFixit here. These covers and footing require a sharp edge or a small pair of tweezers to remove since they are glued very tightly to the case. Otherwise, the internals are relatively easy to access.

We would have expected the RAM, storage, and WLAN modules to be soldered in order to reduce weight, but they are all surprisingly removable and upgradeable.

(Source: iFixit)
(Source: iFixit)

Warranty

The standard one-year limited manufacturer warranty applies. Owners can register their purchases and file repair requests online directly through the manufacturer. LG's online store currently holds no stock of the Gram series for customers in the US.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The backlit keyboard (~31.8 x 10.8 cm) is a standard QWERTY layout with NumPad, half-sized Arrow keys, and a recessed Power button on the top right. Tactile feedback is noticeably spongier compared to the XPS 15, Samsung Notebook 9, Lenovo Precision keyboard, and the Spectre x360 15. Perhaps a more rigid underlying base for the keyboard could have made for a firmer typing experience. On the bright side, feedback feels uniform from corner to corner and is quiet due in part to the spongy keystroke.

The NumPad keys are narrower and more tightly grouped than the main QWERTY keys to save on space. Along with the small Arrow keys, the NumPad can feel cramped as a result.

Touchpad

The trackpad (10.3 x 6.9 cm) is smaller than the trackpads on the XPS 15 (10.5 x 8.5 cm) and Samsung Notebook 9 (11.0 x 8.0 cm). Its surface is completely smooth for an easier glide in contrast to the the slightly roughened palm rests or outer lid. We experienced no issues with jumping cursors, sticky fingers, or delayed responses.

The integrated mouse keys along the bottom edge of the trackpad are softer and spongier than the same clickpad on the Yoga 910. There is strong auditory feedback when pressed, but tactility is poor and could have been firmer.

Clatter is relatively quiet if you can get used to the soft key feedback
Clatter is relatively quiet if you can get used to the soft key feedback
An ideal camera angle is difficult because of poor positioning
An ideal camera angle is difficult because of poor positioning

Display

Current Gram 15 SKUs are limited to the FHD IPS touchscreen with no matte or higher resolution options. As noted earlier, the Gram is one of the few touchscreen-enabled notebooks that do not utilize edge-to-edge glass protection and it instead relies on thin glossy plastic. As a result, the screen feels fragile when tapping with a finger when compared to your typical Android tablet or convertible notebook. The forced glossy panel is also disadvantageous for reducing glare since brightness levels are only average.

LG provides the LP156WFA-SPC1 IPS panel for its own Gram notebooks with excellent contrast levels, no pulse-width modulation, and average black-white response times. This exact panel is found on no other 15-inch notebook in our database and it is likely unique to the Gram series. Subjectively, text and images appear crisp and free of color grains that often plague matte panels. Very slight uneven backlight bleeding is present along the bottom edge of our unit, but it is minimal at worst and never distracting.

Minimal uneven backlight bleeding
Minimal uneven backlight bleeding
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
Subpixel array (141 PPI)
282.1
cd/m²
282.5
cd/m²
285.6
cd/m²
274.1
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
252.9
cd/m²
266.9
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
ID: LGD052A, Name: LG Philips LP156WFA-SPC1
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 285.6 cd/m² Average: 276.2 cd/m² Minimum: 18.52 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 273 cd/m²
Contrast: 1241:1 (Black: 0.22 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.77 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 8.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
76.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 50.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 1.7
LG Gram 15Z975
ID: LGD052A, Name: LG Philips LP156WFA-SPC1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
BOE NV156FHM-N48, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
IGZO IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
ID: BOE06E8, Name: BOE HF NV150FHB-N31, IPS, 15, 1920x1080
HP Envy 15-as133cl
Chi Mei CMN15D8, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
BOE06B4, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
-22%
-58%
-22%
-22%
-29%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35.2 (19.6, 15.6)
42 (22, 20)
-19%
57.2 (27.2, 30)
-63%
40.8 (20.4, 20.4)
-16%
44.4 (16, 28.4)
-26%
45 (23, 22)
-28%
Response Time Black / White *
25.6 (14.8, 10.8)
32 (17, 15)
-25%
39.2 (23.6, 15.6)
-53%
32.4 (17.6, 14.8)
-27%
30 (6.4, 23.6)
-17%
33 (18, 15)
-29%
PWM Frequency
21000 (80)
961.5
208.3 (99)
1000 (99)
996 (90)
Screen
-2%
13%
30%
-11%
8%
Brightness middle
273
248
-9%
370.1
36%
565.6
107%
262.3
-4%
255
-7%
Brightness
276
237
-14%
356
29%
524
90%
240
-13%
240
-13%
Brightness Distribution
89
79
-11%
87
-2%
88
-1%
83
-7%
91
2%
Black Level *
0.22
0.21
5%
0.37
-68%
0.49
-123%
0.24
-9%
0.16
27%
Contrast
1241
1181
-5%
1000
-19%
1154
-7%
1093
-12%
1594
28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.77
4.98
-4%
5.3
-11%
2
58%
5
-5%
4.74
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.76
8.41
22%
9.9
8%
5
54%
20.6
-91%
7.68
29%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.6
4.26
50%
4.6
47%
2.5
71%
3.2
63%
3.44
60%
Gamma
1.7 129%
2.37 93%
2.31 95%
2.21 100%
2.45 90%
2.43 91%
CCT
6678 97%
7149 91%
6284 103%
6896 94%
6817 95%
7064 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
50.2
38
-24%
88.3
76%
61.2
22%
40.5
-19%
38
-24%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
76.9
58
-25%
100
30%
97.5
27%
63.5
-17%
60
-22%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-12% / -5%
-23% / 1%
4% / 21%
-17% / -13%
-11% / 2%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 77 percent and 50 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. Colors are deeper than on the mainstream Acer Swift 3 and Envy 13 notebooks, but costlier models like the Samsung Notebook 9 or XPS 15 can cover essentially all of sRGB for potentially more accurate colors. The Gram is a comfortable middle-ground in terms of color reproduction, though certainly not accurate enough for professional graphics work where full sRGB is desired.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs, XPS 14 FHD
vs, XPS 14 FHD

Further analyses with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal an inaccurate average gamma of 1.7 compared to the target 2.2 for sRGB. Grayscale and colors are subsequently inaccurate with the color teal being the least accurate of all the primary and secondary colors. Our calibration attempts improve both gamma and grayscale significantly and we recommend an end-user calibration to get the most out of the display. Colors still grow increasingly inaccurate at higher saturation levels due to imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 45 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 15.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 29 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9354 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best because of the glossy panel. The backlight is nowhere near as powerful as on a MacBook Pro or Samsung Notebook 9 and glare is inevitable. As usual, we recommend avoiding direct skylight if needing to work for extended periods. Viewing angles are otherwise very wide as expected from an IPS panel with no major color shifting and only slight brightness/contrast changes from extreme angles.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

CPU options are limited to Intel's ULV Core ix series with no dedicated GPUs as the graphics chipset would have added significantly more weight. Users looking for Ultrabooks with more graphics horsepower may want to consider the Acer Swift 3 with Vega 8 graphics or the heavier HP Spectre x360 with GeForce options.

 

Processor

The Core i5-8250U in the Gram 15 performs slightly slower than where we expect the processor to be. The HP ProBook 470 G5 with the exact same CPU, for example, is 16 percent faster in multi-threaded loads according to CineBench R15. The discrepancy can be attributed to performance throttling as shown by our CineBench stress test loop results below. Our already low initial score of 532 points drops steadily over time to an average of 495 points after a handful of repetitions to represent a performance drop of about 7 percent. In short, maximum Turbo Boost benefits are short-lived on the LG and generally unreliable for stressful tasks.

Despite the throttling, CPU performance is still well above the last generation ULV Kaby Lake family in multi-threaded tasks due largely to its doubled processing units. Users jumping from the i5-7200U to the i5-8250U in the Gram 15 will observe a jump of almost 60 percent in multi-threaded performance. Meanwhile, the competing Ryzen 5 2500U is  surprisingly comparable to the i5-8250U, though the AMD solution is unfortunately still scarce in the notebook market.

See our dedicated page on the Core i5-8250U CPU for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
177 Points ∼81% +24%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
164 Points ∼75% +15%
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼74% +13%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
154 Points ∼71% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼67% +2%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼66% +1%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼66%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
137 Points ∼63% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
131 Points ∼60% -8%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼59% -10%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
118 Points ∼54% -17%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
108 Points ∼50% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼17% +43%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
673 Points ∼15% +30%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
603 Points ∼14% +16%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
574 Points ∼13% +11%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
521 Points ∼12% 0%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
519 Points ∼12%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
514 Points ∼12% -1%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
397 (min: 337, max: 397) Points ∼9% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
367 Points ∼8% -29%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼7% -37%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
294 Points ∼7% -43%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
257 Points ∼6% -50%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
2.01 Points ∼82% +23%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.88 Points ∼77% +15%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
1.84 Points ∼75% +13%
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.84 Points ∼75% +13%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.65 Points ∼68% +1%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.63 Points ∼67%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.61 Points ∼66% -1%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
1.53 Points ∼63% -6%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
1.52 Points ∼62% -7%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.47 Points ∼60% -10%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
1.28 Points ∼52% -21%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.21 Points ∼50% -26%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.21 Points ∼19% +42%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
7.24 Points ∼16% +25%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
6.75 Points ∼15% +17%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
6.46 Points ∼15% +12%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.28 Points ∼14% +8%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5.92 Points ∼13% +2%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
5.79 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
4.39 Points ∼10% -24%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼8% -37%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.4 Points ∼8% -41%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2016
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.23 Points ∼7% -44%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
2.81 Points ∼6% -51%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
6531 Points ∼60% +19%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
6183 Points ∼57% +13%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
6126 Points ∼57% +12%
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5952 Points ∼55% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
5595 Points ∼52% +2%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
5560 Points ∼51% +1%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
5480 Points ∼51%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5433 Points ∼50% -1%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
4999 Points ∼46% -9%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
4134 Points ∼38% -25%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
4103 Points ∼38% -25%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22380 Points ∼34% +32%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
21455 Points ∼33% +27%
HP ProBook 470 G5
Intel Core i5-8250U
19724 Points ∼30% +16%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
17971 Points ∼28% +6%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
16942 Points ∼26%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
16554 Points ∼25% -2%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
14400 Points ∼22% -15%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
13779 Points ∼21% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
12799 Points ∼20% -24%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
11292 Points ∼17% -33%
HP 250 G4 T6P08ES
Intel Core i5-5200U
8672 Points ∼13% -49%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
473.575 s * ∼6% -58%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
467.287 s * ∼6% -56%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
433 s * ∼5% -45%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
338.4 s * ∼4% -13%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
331.085 s * ∼4% -11%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
299.068 s * ∼4%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
251.078 s * ∼3% +16%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
684.933 Seconds * ∼3% -9%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
655.742 Seconds * ∼3% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
654.006 Seconds * ∼3% -4%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel Core i5-8250U
630.784 Seconds * ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
594.092 Seconds * ∼3% +6%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
505.9 Seconds * ∼2% +20%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8722
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16942
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5480
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
41.11 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.79 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.63 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
43.45 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
519 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
143 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our Gram 15 slightly slower than the Acer Swift 3 (8250U, GeForce MX150) but above last year's ThinkPad 25 (7500U, GeForce 940MX). Systems with dedicated GeForce Pascal graphics will still outclass the LG.

Subjectively, we experienced no notable software issues during testing. Navigating across the OS is smooth as one would expect from a SSD-based PC.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 - Score
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7300HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4406 Points ∼57% +30%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4119 (min: 4106, max: 4190) Points ∼53% +21%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3802 Points ∼49% +12%
LG Gram 15Z975
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3391 Points ∼44%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3035 Points ∼39% -10%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2814 Points ∼36% -17%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3557 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4651 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4736 points
Help

Storage Devices

Internal storage is limited to a single M.2 2280 slot with no NVMe options. Our particular test unit is equipped with a 256 GB SK Hynix HFS256G39TND SSD with transfer rates not unlike most SATA III SSDs. Sequential read and write rates top out at 555 MB/s and 264 MB/s, respectively, which is noticeably faster than the smaller 128 GB SSD in the Acer Swift 3 from the same manufacturer. Nonetheless, the lack of NVMe is somewhat disappointing given the 4-digit price point of the notebook.

See our growing table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM 5
CDM 5
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
LG Gram 15Z975
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Hynix HFS128G39TND
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
AS SSD
-20%
203%
269%
-127%
Copy Game MB/s
179.79
112.33
-38%
539.5
200%
648.34
261%
Copy Program MB/s
141.2
97.89
-31%
411.54
191%
497.88
253%
Copy ISO MB/s
197.53
130.26
-34%
1272.4
544%
1684.56
753%
Score Total
1003
854
-15%
2810
180%
3906
289%
1455
45%
Score Write
339
204
-40%
1022
201%
928
174%
68
-80%
Score Read
442
437
-1%
1206
173%
2011
355%
960
117%
Access Time Write *
0.232
0.273
-18%
0.034
85%
0.03
87%
4.391
-1793%
Access Time Read *
0.08
0.101
-26%
0.034
57%
0.043
46%
0.04
50%
4K-64 Write
246.71
114.09
-54%
788.85
220%
673.57
173%
40.26
-84%
4K-64 Read
366.5
355.32
-3%
961.61
162%
1708.65
366%
736.09
101%
4K Write
67.57
77.46
15%
112.15
66%
124.12
84%
1
-99%
4K Read
26.24
29.84
14%
41.34
58%
48.71
86%
44.3
69%
Seq Write
248.48
124.01
-50%
1206.58
386%
1298.57
423%
271.55
9%
Seq Read
488.13
514.68
5%
2026.09
315%
2533.21
419%
1800.26
269%

* ... smaller is better

SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 555.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 264.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 314.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 264.6 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 463.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 264.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 22.86 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 89.06 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated UHD Graphics 620 provides no significant improvements over the HD Graphics 620 found on 7th generation ULV Core ix CPUs. Thus, even the aging GeForce 930MX is almost 60 percent faster than our LG Gram while the new Vega 8 in the competing AMD Ryzen 5 2500U can be over twice as powerful according to 3DMark benchmarks. This isn't generally a problem as the Gram is not meant for gaming and it is still able to stream 4K UHD video without issues, but there's no denying that Intel's HD Graphics series could use an update on future Core ix revisions.

See our dedicated page on the UHD Graphics 620 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2918 Points ∼13% +131%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1968 Points ∼9% +56%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1800 Points ∼8% +42%
HP ProBook 470 G5
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 8250U
1888 Points ∼8% +49%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1681 Points ∼7% +33%
Asus Transformer 4 Pro (i7-7500U, HD620)
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1370 Points ∼6% +8%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1265 Points ∼6%
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5200U
1248 Points ∼6% -1%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1196 Points ∼5% -5%
Teclast Tbook 16 Power
Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), Z8750
363 Points ∼2% -71%
1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
3602 Points ∼7% +137%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
2401 Points ∼5% +58%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1980 Points ∼4% +31%
HP ProBook 470 G5
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 8250U
2376 Points ∼5% +57%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1675 Points ∼3% +10%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1517 Points ∼3%
Asus Transformer 4 Pro (i7-7500U, HD620)
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1419 Points ∼3% -6%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1257 Points ∼2% -17%
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5200U
1147 Points ∼2% -24%
Teclast Tbook 16 Power
Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), Z8750
408 Points ∼1% -73%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2460 Points ∼6% +167%
HP ProBook 470 G5
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 8250U
1660 Points ∼4% +80%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1315 Points ∼3% +42%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
923 Points ∼2%
Asus Transformer 4 Pro (i7-7500U, HD620)
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
328 Points ∼1% -64%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
16285 Points ∼9% +110%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
10486 Points ∼6% +35%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9349 Points ∼5% +20%
HP ProBook 470 G5
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 8250U
9050 Points ∼5% +17%
Asus Transformer 4 Pro (i7-7500U, HD620)
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
7894 Points ∼4% +2%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
7760 Points ∼4%
Acer TravelMate P257-M-56AX
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5200U
6590 Points ∼4% -15%
HP 250 G5 SP X0N33EA
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
6314 Points ∼3% -19%
Teclast Tbook 16 Power
Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell), Z8750
1767 Points ∼1% -77%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
HP ProBook 470 G5
NVIDIA GeForce 930MX, 8250U
59831 Points ∼8% +48%
LG Gram 15Z975
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
40357 Points ∼6%
3DMark 11 Performance
1668 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
52051 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7121 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
864 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 4928237.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 1710fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU can be observed operating at 2.6 GHz for only the first 30 seconds or so until core temperature reaches 80 C. Eventually, processor clock rates slowly decline before stabilizing in the 2.0 GHz to 2.3 GHz range with a fluctuating core temperature between 75 C and 80 C as shown by the screenshots below. While clock rates are still well above the 1.6 GHz base, the unsteady Turbo Boost performance may upset the small subset of users who desire maximum clock rates out of a ULV CPU. The initial higher boost in CPU performance is reflected upon our CineBench R15 loop test from above.

Stressing both the CPU and integrated GPU will throttle the CPU down to just 1.3 GHz with a steady core temperature of 75 C. Such a behavior is typical of Ultrabooks and the LG Gram is no different in this regard.

Running on battery power will not throttle the CPU or GPU. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores 5771 and 1504 points, respectively, compared to 5729 and 1517 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress (first few minutes)
Prime95 stress (first few minutes)
Prime95 stress (>20 minutes)
Prime95 stress (>20 minutes)
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.0 - 2.3 -- 75 - 80
FurMark Stress -- 898 75
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.3 798 75

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution consists of a single fan and heat pipe. The heat pipe is shorter in length compared to most notebooks likely to save on weight.

The notebook fan is silent during low loads like word processing and remains almost inaudible during video playback. Running the first benchmark scene of 3DMark06 will bring the fan up to 32.5 dB(A), which is still very quiet and unobtrusive. When compared to other 15-inch models like the Swift 3, Envy 15, or Notebook 9, the LG is slightly quieter and with a more lethargic fan.

Longer periods of gaming or extreme stress will induce a maximum fan noise of 37.2 dB(A). This is a bit louder than expected from an Ultrabook with no dedicated GPU, but still generally unobtrusive and far less noisy than the more powerful XPS 15.

LG Gram 15 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
LG Gram 15 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
Dell XPS 15 9550
Dell XPS 15 9550

Noise Level

Idle
29.2 / 29.2 / 29.2 dB(A)
Load
32.5 / 37.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.2 dB(A)
LG Gram 15Z975
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Envy 15-as133cl
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A7E630
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Noise
-4%
-13%
-2%
-7%
-6%
off / environment *
29.2
30.5
-4%
28.4
3%
28.3
3%
30
-3%
31.8
-9%
Idle Minimum *
29.2
30.5
-4%
29
1%
28.3
3%
32.5
-11%
31.8
-9%
Idle Average *
29.2
30.5
-4%
29
1%
28.3
3%
32.5
-11%
32.1
-10%
Idle Maximum *
29.2
30.9
-6%
32.2
-10%
28.3
3%
32.5
-11%
32.1
-10%
Load Average *
32.5
35.7
-10%
47.1
-45%
38.3
-18%
38.7
-19%
33
-2%
Load Maximum *
37.2
35.6
4%
47.1
-27%
38.3
-3%
32.5
13%
34.8
6%
Witcher 3 ultra *
52

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are generally flat on both sides of the notebook during low loads with no noticeable warm spots. When subjected to extreme processing loads, the hot spots near the rear of the system can be as warm as 41 C. Fortunately, the palm rests and main QWERTY keys never become uncomfortably warm. The low 40 C range during high loads is common on Ultrabooks with ULV CPUs while more powerful Ultrabooks like the Zenbook Pro UX550 or XPS 15 can reach 50 C on their respective hot spots.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 30.8 °C
87 F
41.4 °C
107 F
27.2 °C
81 F
 
 26.8 °C
80 F
34 °C
93 F
22 °C
72 F
 
 22.6 °C
73 F
24.2 °C
76 F
21.8 °C
71 F
 
Maximum: 41.4 °C = 107 F
Average: 27.9 °C = 82 F
29.6 °C
85 F
39.4 °C
103 F
34.2 °C
94 F
26.4 °C
80 F
30 °C
86 F
31 °C
88 F
25 °C
77 F
27.4 °C
81 F
28.2 °C
83 F
Maximum: 39.4 °C = 103 F
Average: 30.1 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  43 °C = 109 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 27.9 °C / 82 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.4 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23 °C / 73 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 24.2 °C / 75.6 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (+4.9 °C / 8.8 F).

Speakers

The stereo 1 W speakers are "tinny" in quality because of poor bass reproduction as shown by our pink noise graph below. Competing Ultrabooks like the Spectre 13 or XPS 15 are much more capable of reproducing lower frequencies than the LG. While the speakers are disappointing, maximum volume is at least satisfactory for home or small conference environments. A pair of headphones are recommended for music and video playback.

LG Gram 15 (White: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
LG Gram 15 (White: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
HP Spectre 13 v011dx
Eurocom Sky X7E2
Eurocom Sky X7E2
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.238.42534.233.63130.932.84031.332.95032.934.6633031.98030.631.610029.729.512527.528.516026.727.120026.327.22502527.431525.427.740024.633.450023.340.663023.646.98002356.1100022.962.1125022.757.6160022.953.3200022.759250022.660.3315022.560.8400022.568.4500022.771.9630022.770.7800022.666.41000022.662.91250022.859.61600022.846.4SPL3577.4N2.332.7median 22.9median 56.1Delta1.312.935.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLG Gram 15Z975Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
LG Gram 15Z975 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.92 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.2% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (2.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.6% lower than median
(-) | mids are not linear (18.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (40.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 99% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 0% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 19%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 98% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 1% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Gram 15 draws about 4 W to 10 W depending on the screen brightness and Power Profile setting when idling on desktop to be comparable to other 15-inch Ultrabooks powered by 15 W ULV CPUS. Gaming or very high loads will demand about 35 W from a small 40 W AC adapter. In comparison, The 15.6-inch Acer Swift 3 with the same CPU draws about 20 W more than our LG when under stressful loads to correlate well with its more powerful 25 W GeForce MX150 GPU.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.18 / 0.42 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.4 / 9.1 / 9.6 Watt
Load midlight 34.8 / 36 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
LG Gram 15Z975
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
8250U, GeForce MX150, Hynix HFS128G39TND, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15
HP Envy 15-as133cl
7500U, HD Graphics 620, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A7E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
2500U, Vega 8, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
7820HQ, Radeon Pro 560, , , 2880x1800, 15.4
Power Consumption
-12%
-32%
16%
-21%
-73%
Idle Minimum *
4.4
3.8
14%
5
-14%
4.6
-5%
5.9
-34%
3.7
16%
Idle Average *
9.1
6.5
29%
11.6
-27%
7.7
15%
8.7
4%
16.2
-78%
Idle Maximum *
9.6
9.1
5%
12.2
-27%
7.8
19%
10.5
-9%
18
-88%
Load Average *
34.8
53.4
-53%
47.8
-37%
30.5
12%
45.7
-31%
58.4
-68%
Load Maximum *
36
55.6
-54%
55.7
-55%
22.7
37%
49.4
-37%
89.6
-149%
Witcher 3 ultra *
51.9
45.8

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The non-removable 60 Wh battery provides about 7 hours of real-world WLAN use to be similar to the XPS 15 when subjected to the same testing conditions. The Dell solution, of course, is equipped with more demanding processors that are offset by the much larger 97 Wh battery. Though not as long-lasting as the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N or MacBook Pro 15 by about 2 hours each, the 7-hour runtime is still respectable considering the overall lower weight of the LG.

Charging from near empty to full capacity is very slow at about 3 hours with the included AC adapter whereas most other Ultrabooks can recharge fully in 1.5 to 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 58min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 15min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 11min
LG Gram 15Z975
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
8250U, GeForce MX150, 49.7 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 97 Wh
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 66 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
8550U, GeForce 940MX, 42 Wh
HP Envy 15-as133cl
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
Battery Runtime
17%
-15%
27%
-63%
-33%
Reader / Idle
1078
831
-23%
1642
52%
280
-74%
573
-47%
WiFi v1.3
435
511
17%
434
0%
604
39%
105
-76%
408
-6%
Load
131
103
-21%
116
-11%
80
-39%
72
-45%

Pros

+ good range of ports; HDMI, USB Type-A, USB Type-C, MicroSD reader
+ expandable RAM and M.2 2280 storage
+ narrow-bezel, magnesium alloy design
+ sharp IPS display; deep contrast
+ relatively quiet fan noise
+ very lightweight

Cons

- forced glossy display; no higher resolution options
- very flexible lid and base; fragile impression
- no Thunderbolt 3 (Gram 15975 SKU only)
- weak speakers and bass reproduction
- subpar outdoor visibility; heavy glare
- unsteady Turbo Boost performance
- no edge-to-edge glass protection
- poor color gamma out of the box
- keyboard keys could be firmer
- soft trackpad; weak feedback
- average backlight brightness
- awkward camera placement
- no full-size SD reader
- hinge could be firmer
- very slow charging
- no dGPU options

Verdict

In review: LG Gram 15Z975
In review: LG Gram 15Z975

Similar to how the "world's thinnest notebook" must sacrifice certain aspects of the design to reach the desired marketing blurb, the "world's lightest Ultrabook" carries its own set of unique drawbacks. The LG Gram 15 may be incredibly light, but owners will be giving up a laundry list of features that would have otherwise been present on "standard weight" Ultrabooks.

The most notable drawback is its weak chassis. The narrow-bezel display lacks reinforcement from an edge-to-edge glass panel and is thus very flexible compared to most Ultrabooks. The magnesium alloy base feels thin and hollow compared to the thick and hefty skeleton of the XPS 15. These cutbacks reduce the overall weight of the system at the cost of rigidity.

On the performance front, there are no discrete GPU options and the processor is unable to maintain maximum Turbo Boost for very long. Other setbacks appear unrelated to the low weight of the system such as the relatively dim backlight, average hinges, soft keyboard keys and trackpad, awkward camera placement, and the lack of Thunderbolt 3. When taken as a whole, the LG Gram experience feels cheaper and of lower quality compared to heavier and more solid alternatives like the XPS 15, Spectre x360 15, or Yoga 720. The updated Gram Z15980 supposedly addresses many of these issues, but a full review on the newer model will be needed to assess the changes.

There are a couple of bright spots despite the disadvantages. Fan noise is generally low, both storage and RAM are surprisingly upgradeable, there are a fair amount of ports, and the price of entry is a few hundred dollars less than flagship Ultrabooks from more well-known competitors. If a light 15-inch Ultrabook is a necessity, then we recommend checking out the Samsung Notebook 9 instead of the Gram 15Z975 as the Samsung is almost as light while offering a firmer keyboard and much brighter display for improved outdoor visibility.

The lightweight Gram 15 encourages frequent traveling and outdoor use, but everything from the relatively dim display, spongy keyboard, poor webcam positioning, and more fragile chassis make the LG difficult to recommend.

LG Gram 15Z975 - 01/22/2018 v6(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
66 / 98 → 67%
Keyboard
71%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
49 / 81 → 61%
Weight
74 / 20-67 → 100%
Battery
89%
Display
78%
Games Performance
56 / 85 → 66%
Application Performance
86 / 92 → 93%
Temperature
94%
Noise
95 / 95 → 100%
Audio
40%
Camera
37 / 85 → 43%
Average
71%
78%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG Gram 15 (i5-8250U, FHD) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-01-22 (Update: 2018-01-22)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.