Lenovo recently released its new flagship laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 3. The new model is nearly identical to our previous pick for this best convertible Ultrabook category, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 , which it replaces. In addition to some minor processor and spec updates, both models include a dGPU option as well as traditional wireless connectivity (including NFC), expandable storage options (to 1TB), and long battery life. Both are also compatible with Lenovo’s PowerBridge system of accessories that can give you up to 72 Wh of additional runtime through an external battery pack.
The one area where the two ultrabooks differ significantly is price. On average, we found that the updated ThinkPad Yoga 15 was about $150 more than its predecessor.
That’s not terrible, but the X1 Yoga Gen 3 starts at around $1,855 (its price will no doubt tick down over time like most ThinkPads), while the Yogas started at under $2,300.
If you want a slightly larger display (14 inches instead of the Yogas’ 15-inch screens) and are willing to sacrifice thinness for some expandability options—WiGig for wireless docking compatibility with no dongles is one example—the LG Gram 14 may be worth considering as well.
LG Gram 14 review
The unit came in an all-white box that reminded me very much of Apple’s MacBook boxes. The laptop itself comes with a white palm rest and a silver base, which gives it an air of sophistication that’s unmatched by other laptops under 4 lbs.
At 2.9 pounds and 0.6 inches thick—slightly lighter, but thicker than the X1 Yoga Gen 3 —the LG Gram 14 looks like a high-end Ultrabook (it certainly has the design chops to back up such claims). Its lid can open up to 180 degrees thanks to its rotating hinge, making it easy to use in certain cases.
For example, you can flip the screen around and rest it against the back of the keyboard when you’re working on a tray table or airplane seatback tray, without having to worry about losing your display to gravity.
On the other hand, this design does make it more difficult to open than conventional clamshell-style laptops such as Lenovo’s own ThinkPad X1 Carbon. I also found that its scalloped rear edge could dig into my wrists during extended typing sessions; while not uncomfortable, it was certainly noticeable. I used LG Gram 14 at work for about 2 hours each day over several weeks and never got tired of using it (it’s nice and lightweight). The Lenovo Yoga 920 was even lighter.
That’s a good thing because the LG Gram’s keyboard is less than optimal. I found that its key travel was a bit too shallow for my liking—I prefer 1 to 1.2 mm of key travel for a laptop this size or smaller. The keys have a soft feel and clicky tactile feedback, which I quite like (coming from someone who normally prefers Lenovo’s flat island-style keyboards). It even includes dedicated home, end, pg up and down, and delete buttons above the directional arrow keys, as well as volume controls above the Numpad.
In fact, the entire layout feels spacious enough given how compact the Gram 14 is. The number row along with multiple function keys take up valuable space you could use for a wider trackpad, but that’s the cost of a smaller laptop.
A large clickpad-style touch pad dominates most of its palm rest area; it supports Windows Precision Touchpads and includes an integrated fingerprint reader as well as physical left- and right-click buttons near its top corners. A single horizontal strip at its base functions as a back/forward button when you’re using your finger or thumb to swipe in from the edges (using my thumb on this touchpad was weirdly satisfying).
The LG Gram 14’s display is just as impressive as its design. Its anti-glare IPS panel boasts 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color gamut and a luminance range of 220 nits to 450 nits—sufficient for outdoor use in most cases. The default brightness level was plenty bright at 313 nits, but I had to lower it slightly when working outdoors because text appeared washed out under direct sunlight.
I found colors to be accurate overall, but they lacked the punchy saturation you might see on a more expensive laptop with an OLED or HDR display. However, even though its color gamut is lower than that of pricier laptops like Apple’s MacBook Pro, its brightness level was higher.
The LG Gram 14’s wide viewing angles are particularly welcome for collaborative videoconferences and meetings involving multiple participants. I could easily share content with others by twisting the Gram 14’s screen around—it was awesome to experience how flexible it is.
As mentioned earlier, this notebook can flip around so it acts as a tablet just as well since most of the time you’re holding it vertically with the lid closed anyway.
The touchpad on my review unit performed flawlessly throughout my testing. I appreciate that it supports Windows 10’s Precision Touchpad interface, which made it easy for me to use gestures to quickly switch between open apps or snap windows side by side.
That said, even though the Gram 14 has no dedicated buttons, I found myself pressing the integrated touch-sensitive “Gesture” strip at its base quite frequently when trying to click on something since it was right where my fingers were supposed to be resting.
The Gram 14 comes preloaded with a lot of useful utilities and support software including Adobe Photoshop Elements (which is included in the box) as well as Microsoft Office . It also comes with several LG utilities, such as LG Bridge , which allowed me to save battery life by pausing background app activity with a single click.
LG claims the Gram 14 gets 22 hours of battery life on paper—we’ll see how long it lasts in practice once we publish our full review—but even if it falls short of that claim you’re getting way more endurance than what most premium laptops offer these days since they usually last between 10 and 14 hours.
For connectivity, the Gram 14 comes with a USB-C port (which can also be used to charge it), two regular USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI out port, a combo headphone/microphone jack, and a microSD card reader to boot. That’s pretty much everything you need from a laptop in 2022.
The Gram 14 is a pretty well-rounded machine as far as performance goes as well. It features an Intel Core i7 8550U processor from the latest 8th generation of Intel CPUs, which promises to offer up to 40 percent better performance compared to its 7th gen predecessors while using the same amount of power.
The Gram 14 also has a reading mode that’s apparently optimized for night-time use, but since I work in an office most of the time I wasn’t able to experience it.
Ram and Storage
The Gram 14 features 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, which is pretty much all you need from a laptop in 2022—anything more would be overkill.
It’s no gaming laptop, but it has enough oomph to perform well in most daily productivity tasks without any hiccups. Keep in mind that since this is a thinner notebook the cooling system limits the processor’s boost clock speed to 3.4 GHz instead of 4 GHz, which is what you get on thicker laptops like the Dell XPS 15.
The Gram 14’s bottom surface is made up of two metallic panels held together by Philips head screws, which makes it easy for you to pull apart the laptop and access the RAM, hard drive, wireless card, and battery.
Another benefit of this design is that you can buy an extra 2 TB SATA hard drive (the base model comes with only one) if you think 256 GB won’t be enough storage for your needs.
Although built using premium materials, the Gram 14 is also one of the more expensive 14-inch laptops on the market, which is why it’s only worth considering if you’re looking for a notebook that can last all day long.
You get what you pay for here , so don’t expect it to be cheap even though this is LG’s most affordable 14-inch laptop to date.
The Gram 14 is available from B&H Photo Video for $1500 in Platinum Silver. That’s a pretty big investment no matter how you look at it, but considering what you’re getting in return—premium design and build quality, long battery life, an ultra-light chassis—you could argue that it’s worth paying for if you need a laptop to last all day long.
Also read: LG gram Vs MacBook pro -Who wins?