Monday, 15 March 2021 00:35

LG launches thin and light Gram notebook range in Australia


It has been a while since LG sold notebooks in Australia, but the company is back with what is globally its 2nd-gen Gram range using 16:10 ratio screens with two 14-inch models at 999 grams, three 16-inch models at 1.19kg and a 17-inch model at 1.35kg.

Touting recent research that finds Australian millennials prioritising "work-life" balance and the ability to work from anywhere, accordingly seeking versatile technology solutions to match, this statement could apply to smartphones, the new M1-based MacBooks with their long battery lives, various Intel Core Evo-based notebooks, and also LG's new Gram-branded range.

The name is nothing to do with Instagram, but from memory when it first launched at CES a couple of years ago is to do with the fact these notebooks are quite light when compared to others. For example, the current 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 processor is 1.29kg, while LG's 14-inch model, which comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio making for a taller screen as well, is just under 1kg at 999g.

Of course, Macs run macOS, which doesn't officially run on Windows-based PCs, but with Windows still the dominant operating system in the world, plenty of Windows users don't know what they're missing, and would absolutely be tempted by a Windows-based laptop with bigger than usual screen and lighter than usual weight, meaning it is, for Windows users, a very good combination.

All three models are available to buy from LG's website in Australia from March 15, while local retailers and Amazon Australia will sell them from next month.

So, what else does that research LG quoted say?

Well, the research is very recent, coming from earlier this month (March 2021), and was commissioned by LG Australia. It's called "Power Your Passion", was carried out by CoreData, and surveyed 1,018 Aussies aged between 24 and 40 years old, making them "millennials".

LG tells us the survey "found flexibility and work-life balance are important to Aussie millennials, and that three-fifths (61%) of respondents want to master ‘work-life’ balance, not letting work overly dominate their life and time, compared to earning a substantial salary (57%).

"In addition, more females than males desire this outcome for their working life (71% vs. 50%). Interestingly, those in their 20s are more inclined to follow their passions compared to those in their 30s (65% vs. 56%).

"Following last year's global health crisis, almost three-quarters (72%) of Australians working for a company or employer highly valued the flexibility to work from anywhere.

"In fact, 62 per cent of those working for a company note that either their employer has already considered this, or they want their employer to consider permanently allowing them to work from anywhere beyond the office or from home (a further 21 per cent acknowledge their workplaces were already committed to this)."

Bernadette Jolley, Business Solutions Marketing Manager at LG Electronics Australia said the new range was flexible enough to meet the needs of changing work-life use, and added: "It’s been several years since LG Electronics was in the laptop market in Australia, but we’re back and excited to introduce Australians to the LG gram range this month. It’s truly a versatile solution.

"The LG gram range delivers both work and personal functionality. These products are built to enhance productivity, provide immersive viewing and creation and keep up with on-the-go experiences – such as camping and offsite meetings.”

“In fact, we know over the next year, two in five (44%) Australian consumers are planning to upgrade their laptop, with half of respondents stating faster storage / speed and better battery life as common reasons for upgrading. We’re looking forward to offering a product range with the LG gram that addresses what consumers want,” she added.

According to the research, LG also stated "the top five most commonly cited preferred laptop features include long battery life (81%); fast, powerful processing (79%); slim and light design (60%); durable and sturdy build (58%) and great graphics (41%)."

Note, these models do not have touch screens or stylus support, which the previous generation gram models did. Touch screens are a nice touch, but they add weight, smudges on your screen and add cost. LG did offer 2-in-1 touch screen and stylus equipped models that can turn into a tablet in the US with a 10th-gen Intel processor rather than the latest 11th-gen model, and will presumably offer models with capability once again in the future, but for everyday Windows-based work, a touch screen isn't essential, and this new 2nd-gen range in Australia (and the US) doesn't offer them.

Here's the video of LG's gram launch event in Australia, which is followed by the key features as supplied by LG, along with a chart showing specs and prices:

So, what are the key features being touted by LG for its new gram range? This info, as suppled by LG, includes:

Ultra-light weight
Providing a big-screen experience without sacrificing portability, the flagship LG gram 17 boasts a large 17-inch screen while only weighing 1,350g. Equally transportable, the new LG gram 16 and 14 weigh just 1,199g and 999g respectively.

Sleek design
At just 16.8mm thick, for the 14 and 16-inch and 17.8mm for the 17-inch, the LG gram laptop range have ultra-narrow bezels and a hidden hinge design. As a result of the design, all three models achieve a screen-to-body ratio of 90%.

The four-sided slim bezel design also aids in viewer immersion and contributes to the sleeker look of the product

Long battery life
LG gram models 17Z90P and 16Z90P feature 80Wh high-density batteries, meanwhile the 14Z90P features a 72Wh high-density battery, to ensure long periods of use between charges. Ultimately, freeing users from the need to carry a power adapter with them at all times.

16:10 aspect ratio
The LG gram range heroes the 16:10 aspect ratio display offering more screen real estate than most laptops with a 16:9 ratio. With this aspect ratio more information can be shown on a page without compromising on the LG gram’s compact design and light weight.

Powerful processor
The LG gram laptop range comes equipped with an Intel Evo Platform, powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Iris Xe Graphics and speedy LPDDR4x memory. This means fast performance is achieved for content creation, work productivity, game playing and streaming.

Verified against MIL-STD 810G 2
The LG gram underwent rigorous testing by a third-party laboratory against seven US military testing methods and passed the test for durability.

Maximising creativity and immersion
With WQXGA (2560 X 1600 – LG gram 17 and 16 only) high-resolution, which is twice the resolution of Full HD, the new displays deliver clear and vivid resolution.

The high resolution on the LG gram laptops enable users to perform tasks such as typing, retouching or even coding – like a pro.

Covering 99% (typical) of industry standard DCI-P3 wide colour gamut3, the LG gram accurately represents creative ideas with the colours intended. Also allowing viewers an immersive experience when watching content with picture quality not only displaying vivid colours, but excellent contrast and sharp details too.

Comfortable keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard and touchpad are enlarged for easier typing without compromising on the portability of these compact products. The elevated key stroke at 1.65mm helps relieve fatigue in hands, and the wide touch pad matches the 16:10 display ratio creating uniformity in design and comfortable control even without a separate mouse.

Thunderbolt 4

Thunderbolt 4 allows users to enjoy dual 4K and single 8K display connection to only one Thunderbolt port with stability, scalability and security. Plus, all models boost productivity, offering 100W PC charging, next-generation interface support, and USB4 compatibility.

Immersive Audio Experience

DTS:X Ultra allows users to immerse themselves in 3D Audio Rendering even without headphones or earbuds, so they can enjoy a rich and full audio experience. The LG gram range also comes with smart amp and stereo speakers, delivering realistic and powerful sound.

Pricing for the LG gram laptop line-up will range between RRP $1,799 to $2,9995. More about the LG gram range is here.  

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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