LG unveiled its new line of Gram laptops at CES 2017, featuring extended battery life, faster charging, and a lightweight body. If they can live up to the hype, they could be great options for business travelers.
The increased machine life is due to the laptops' 60W battery, the highest capacity in the industry, according to a Windows press release. Users can also expect faster charging rates for the Gram: Plugging the machines in for just 20 minutes will get you up to three hours of use, the company said on its Korean news site, while one hour of charge will get you up to 10 hours of use.
The Gram laptops are built with Windows 10, and include a fingerprint reader allowing users to take advantage of Windows Hello.
LG introduced the Gram laptops in the US in 2015, as a competitor to the MacBook with a similar sleek silver design. LG focused on increasing use time and decreasing weight for the 2017 models based on customer demands, the Korean press release stated.
The 2017 models also include a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor and feature more storage, with up to 512 GB SSD and max 16 GB DDR4 Dual Channel Memory, according to the Windows release.
The newest models come in three different screen sizes: 13.3", 14.0" (both weighing about 2.1 pounds), and 15.6" (weighing 2.4 pounds).
Battery life also varies by model: The 13.3" promises 24 hours of battery life, based on MobileMark 2007 results, while the 14" model is rated at 23 hours, and the 15.6" at 22 hours.
However, experts remain skeptical that the Gram can achieve its lofty battery claims.
"Third party testing is required for all claims around battery life—period," said JP Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst with Forrester. "So we will have to see, basically. Battery life is always on users' wish lists, but the LG device would be going up against other Windows laptops as much or more than it would compete with Macs."
When the Gram was released in 2015, many reviews noted its high price tag, and a battery life of under six hours. Therefore, the newer models would have had to make many improvements to reach the 24 hour battery life claims.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced. It will be available dark silver, shiny white, and metal rose colorways.
Additionally, LG unveiled an expanded lineup of audio products at CES this week, including a new SJ9 sound bar and new LOUDR sound systems.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- LG announced its new line of Gram laptops this week at CES 2017, which the company claims feature up to 24 hours of battery life.
- The new models come in three different sizes, and are all under 2.5 pounds.
- Experts question whether or not the laptops will reach the stated battery life goals, and that the machines will need to be tested by a third party.
- Microsoft, Intel partner on Project Evo to bolster efforts in AI, security, mixed reality (TechRepublic)
- Meet Alice, the Microsoft Cortana-based AI chatbot who aims to make you look stylish (ZDNet)
- Windows Server 2016: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft expands Cortana support, features in new Windows 10 'Redstone' build (ZDNet)
- Microsoft's AI can now understand speech better than humans (TechRepublic)
- CES Special Coverage (CNET)