LG’s Gram laptop is larger yet lighter than a MacBook Air

LG's first U.S. laptop weighs in at 2.19 pounds with either a 13- or 14-inch display.

LG is hoping to have your ultralight laptop of choice as it enters the U.S. PC market.

The LG Gram weighs just 2.19 pounds, yet manages either a 13- or 14-inch 1080p IPS display. In other words, it’s lighter than both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, but with the same- or larger-sized display and a higher resolution. (Apple’s 12-inch MacBook still wins out on lightness and display density.)

Other specs include a 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of solid state storage in the base 13- and 14-inch models, which sell for $899 and $999, respectively. For $1399, you can get a 14-inch laptop with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-5500U processor and 256GB of storage. All models have an HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, a Micro-SD card slot, and a MicroUSB port.

On the downside, the Gram has no USB-C ports, and the advertised battery life of up to 7.5 hours is less than the MacBook Air’s 9 hours (for the 11-inch model) and 12 hours (for the 13-inch model). There are no backlit keys either, and LG went with carbon-lithium and carbon-magnesium for build materials, rather than solid aluminum. (Reports from Gizmodo and The Verge claim that the design feels a bit flimsy and creaky.)

For software, the LG Gram ships with Windows 10, and will be available through the Microsoft Store so you can avoid any pre-loaded bloatware. Helpfully, LG is offering a “Reader Mode,” which cuts down on blue light that can mess with sleep cycles. LG says the laptops will launch today, though they haven’t appeared in the Microsoft Store as of this writing.

Why this matters: LG has been making thin-and-light laptops for years, but until now has steered clear of the U.S. market. Its arrival could be welcome news for high-end laptop buyers, as devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 are helping to establish Windows PCs as more than just budget MacBook alternatives. The more options in the $900-and-up price range, the merrier.

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Jared Newman

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