LG Gram 16” VS LG Gram 16” 2-in-1 (2022) Comparison & Review
If you’ve been looking for a performance, lightweight laptop for quite some time now, you’ve probably considered the LG Gram series. Today we have two of them right here, the standard LG Gram 16-inch and the Hybrid 2-in-1 LG Gram 16-inch. These two are spec for spec, with the only difference being their design. So let’s compare and see which might be the one for you.
Now, LG has definitely been expanding on their Gram lineup of laptops since its very first introduction and there are now a plethora of different sizes to suit your needs, from the 13.3-inch all the way up to the light behemoth, the 17-inch. But today we’re focusing on the 16-inch, both of them and so let’s first cover the similarities.
Goes without saying, both of them will sport a 16-inch IPS display in a 16:10 aspect ratio with a Quad HD resolution coming in at 2,560 x 1,600 running at 60Hz. A full-sized keyboard on either of them, complete with a number pad for all you folks who frequently use one, alongside equally large trackpads that simply performs great. Up top, you will also get a Full HD webcam that looks great and sounds pretty great with Windows Hello support. To add on, both will also sport pretty much identical dual 1.5w stereo speakers, which will perform adequately for most scenarios.
As for the internals, we’re looking at an Intel Core i7-1260P, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM running in Dual Channel at 5,200MHz as well as 512GB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage. Both will also sport an 80Wh battery that will easily last you over 10 hours of average, and excellent battery standby life in sleep mode, barely reducing by 5% after 24 hours. 65W charger.
But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. In fact, some of the similarities aren’t fully similar. There are slight differences in the details.
For example, even though they both sport pretty much the same display, the standard Gram 16 has a matte anti-glare coating and doesn’t support touch, while the Gram 16 2-in-1 features Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and supports touch. In addition, the display on the standard Gram 16 can hit a max brightness of 350 nits while the Hybrid 2-in-1 is slightly lower at 300 nits.
And partly because of the difference in finish of the display, the keyboard deck is actually slightly different between the two. While the keys and layouts are exactly the same, complete with a numpad, you’ll realize that the keyboard deck is slightly recessed into the frame for the Gram 16 2-in-1. This actually does translate to a slightly flatter typing experience in terms of posture for the 2-in-1.
But now let’s take a look at the obvious differences.
The port selection on the standard Gram 16 is far superior in our opinion. With both, you’ll get your trusty 3.5mm combo jack, two Thunderbolt 4 ports via USB-C, a standard USB 3.2 Gen2 and a micro SD Card reader. But on the standard Gram 16, you’ll also get HDMI 2.0 and an additional standard USB 3.2 Gen 2.
Next would be the weight and the standard Gram 16 will come in quite a bit lighter at just 1.19kg or 2.64lbs while the Gram 16 2-in-1 will weigh 1.48kg or 3.26lbs.
Which then of course leads to the design itself. One is a standard clamshell type laptop design, while the other is a hybrid 2-in-1 where you can flip the display over and use it like a tablet. The Gram 16 2-in-1 will also come with the LG Stylus Pen included with additional nibs for you to jot down all your notes or get creative with drawing. Now shown here are the laptops in white and black respectively, but they are not mutually exclusive. Both of them do come in either colours, so don’t worry about that if that question is in your mind.
Ultimately, it really depends on your use case, and what you really need a laptop for and what it can do. Once you sort that out in your mind, you probably already know which laptop will suit you better. But before we can say that as the conclusion, we dived deeper and there is a slight difference in performance between the two despite having the same exact specifications. Now using LG Smart Assistant, we have access to a few performance and fan profiles but we’ll just focus on the main two, Normal and High.
So let’s start with Cinebench R23 and to note, we have both the laptops on the desk in a standard laptop position.
In both the Normal and High profiles, you’ll find that the Gram 16 2-in-1 does actually outperform the standard Gram 16 just a little bit, averaging about 5-10% faster in Multi-Core especially in the High profile setting. While on the Normal profile setting, they are pretty much neck and neck.
As for DaVinci Resolve, we ran our usual 10 minute 1080p test project but the trend is opposite here. With the standard Gram 16, we’re looking at about 28 minutes and 48 minutes total render time taken in the High and Normal profile settings respectively, while on the Gram 16 2-in-1, that would be about 29 minutes and 34 minutes respectively. In this instance, both laptops performed pretty much the same at the High profile setting but as for the Normal profile setting, the Gram 16 2-in-1 outperformed the standard Gram 16 by quite a huge margin.
Pretty interesting results we would say and after several testing of the same scenes, it really boils down to a slightly different power and fan tuning on the two laptops.
But the Gram 16 2-in-1 does have a trick up its sleeve, and that’s the fact that you can put in the so-called Tent Mode, which basically frees up the fan and allows it to move as much air as it can.
In this mode, Cinebench R23 scores rise yet further, with the Multi-Core achieving 8,000 the High profile setting. And as for Resolve, the very same project took just about 21 minutes to render. At the same time, while temperatures didn’t change all that much, still averaging about 80 degree celsius under sustained load, the sustained frequency is quite an improvement, jumping from 1.8GHz to 2.2Ghz for the four Performance Cores and about 200MHz improvement for the Efficiency Cores.
But we digress, such scenarios aren’t really realistic for most of you who’re looking at the LG Gram, so let’s talk about light gaming instead.
At 1080p High settings, you’ll find that pretty much both laptops will perform very similarly. You’re going to get great frame rates in CS:GO and Valorant while a more demanding game like Genshin Impact will struggle to hit a steady 60 frames per second. For such games, we would definitely recommend dropping it down to Medium or Low settings instead.
Now if you’re thinking that using the Gram 16 2-in-1 in Tent Mode will increase fps, well, there isn’t much of a difference. There’s only so much you can do with Intel Iris Xe.
Price & Availability
Lastly, we talk about price and this is probably a deciding factor.
Spec for spec, the standard Gram 16 will set you back 2,599 SGD while the Gram 16 2-in-1 will set you back 2,899 SGD. If you’re in the US, the storage option will differ. The standard Gram 16 with 1TB of SSD storage will set you back 1549.99 USD while the Gram 16 2-in-1 with 2TB of SSD storage will set you back 2099.99 USD. The Grams are definitely more on the premium side of things especially here in Singapore.
To sum it all up really shortly, either laptop is going to be fantastic and they will perform admirably. But the line can be drawn depending on your intended use case. If you just need a no-nonsense laptop that can deliver on all fronts, the standard Gram 16 would be the first choice, not to mention the higher brightness capable display, more ports and that extreme lightweight for a 16-inch laptop.
If you require more performance or perhaps you dabble more into the arts, the Gram 16 2-in-1 would be something more up your alley. After all, it is a 2-in-1, it has a touch display and does come bundled with the pen and especially for sustained workloads, it does perform better. If you’re rendering or exporting something, just leave it in tent mode and you’ll get even better performance.
On a personal note, I do quite like the white here. Definitely the colour I’ll choose if I’m buying either one.