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Reviews

LG Gram Style sacrifices function for fashion

But it looks damn good

The Pros

  • Great looks
  • 120Hz OLED display
  • Lightweight

The Cons

  • Pricier than other Grams
  • Touchpad issues
  • Lacking some ports

LG’s laptop line has been fairly consistent for years, but the company really spiced things up in 2023. Alongside the regular Gram models, LG launched a new Gram Style. On the inside, the Gram Style is basically the same as the LG Gram (2023). Outside, however, it has a fresh coat of paint.

More than a fresh coat of paint, the Gram Style is hands down the best-looking LG laptop, rivalled only by the LG Gram SuperSlim. The Style is one of the best-looking Windows laptops, period.

Unfortunately, in the world of laptops, fashion should be a second thought to function. Looking good is great, but given the choice between looking good and running well, I’ll take the laptop that runs well every time. The Gram Style definitely holds its own, but LG made a few frustrating decisions that ultimately hold the Gram Style back compared to the company’s other laptops and the wider world of Windows PCs.

Specs

If you read my LG Gram (2023) review, the specs below will look pretty familiar to you. Aside from a few small changes, the laptops offer effectively the same specs.

  • Display: 16-inch WQXGA+ 3200 x 2000 16:10 120Hz OLED
  • Processor: 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Dimensions: 355.1 x 241.3 x 15.9mm
  • Weight: 1,230g
  • Camera: FHD IR Webcam with Dual Mic
  • Operating System: Windows 11
  • Battery: 80Wh
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Sensors: Windows Hello face recognition
  • Ports: 2x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen2x1, microSD, headphone jack
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe

Note: These specs are specific to the LG Gram Style I tested. LG offers various configurations and sizes for the Gram Style, which you can view here.

Sleek and stylish

As I said up top, the LG Gram Style looks great. I absolutely love the iridescent colour on the lid and palm rest, which gives the Gram Style a futuristic look. The material attracts fingerprints and smudges, so I’d recommend keeping a microfibre cloth handy for wiping down the laptop if that bugs you.

Like the Gram (2023), LG excels at making Windows laptops that are relatively sleek and light for their size. The Gram Style is no different in that regard, making it a great option for carrying around in a bag. On my weekly trip to the MobileSryup office, I hardly noticed carrying the laptop. I will say the 16-inch model I tested barely squeezed into my backpack’s laptop sleeve, so if you’re eyeing the 17-inch variant, make sure you have a bag that will fit it.

Beyond the fancy colours, the Gram Style is very much an LG laptop. It features the same tactile keyboard that’s good for typing (even if it’s not the best). Update 12/12/2023 at 12:35pm ET: LG confirmed to MobileSyrup that both the iridescent panels and white sections of the Gram Style’s chassis are “made from advanced nano-carbon alloy with magnesium.” The Gram (2023) also uses a magnesium alloy for the chassis.

Thankfully, the Style feels even sturdier than the Gram (2023), which already boasted significant improvement over prior models.

About that trackpad…

LG jumped on the latest laptop trend of blending the trackpad into the palm rest started by Dell with its latest XPS, for better and mostly worse. The better? The Gram Style looks great with the edge-to-edge iridescent slab of a palm rest.

The bad? Actually using the touchpad.

The first issue I had with the touchpad is that it’s not immediately clear where it is. When you do make contact with it, two LED lines appear to mark the left and right edges of the touchpad, which is helpful. I wish there was a way to control these lines, because they don’t stay on particularly long. But, as far as I can tell, LG didn’t include an option to extend how long those LEDs stay on in its add-on software.

Of course, you build up muscle memory about the position of the touchpad over time, so needing the lines becomes less important. However, I did find its palm rejection to be decidedly lacklustre, and I’d often trigger the touchpad while typing, especially when using the laptop on my lap. This is something that I think LG could improve with future versions of the Gram Style, or possibly even on the current version through software updates.

I think there might be larger sensitivity issues with the touchpad too, since even when I was using it, the touchpad registered extra inputs. For example, the three-finger gesture to minimize all windows would often trigger when I used two fingers to scroll.

On the upside, the iridescent material used on the touchpad feels great, and aside from some of my gripes about it, it’s lovely to use when it works well.

Price, performance, and everything else

There isn’t a lot more to say about the LG Gram Style that hasn’t already been said. Performance is on par with the Gram (2023) I tested earlier this year, likely because the laptops have the same internals. If you want to know more about the performance, I’d recommend reading the Gram (2023) review since almost everything I wrote there applies here, too.

I did notice the Style’s battery life was slightly worse than the Gram (2023) I tested, but I think that’s attributable to the Style’s higher resolution 120Hz OLED display – the Gram (2023) had an IPS panel instead. Speaking of the display, the OLED panel on the Style looks great, and the speakers sound pretty good as well.

Worth the money?

As always, whether or not a laptop is worth the money depends a lot on what you need out of it. I will say that, in a direct comparison with the Gram (2023), the Gram Style costs a little bit more despite having nearly the same hardware. Sure, you do get a more stylish design and a slightly better display, but you also lose out on some ports, battery life, and end up with a less functional trackpad.

The Gram (2023) I reviewed started at $2,149.99, while the LG Gram Style I tested costs $2,399.99 when purchased directly from LG, or $2,233.08 on Amazon Canada. (The Style doesn’t appear to be available at Best Buy or Costco at the time of writing.)

So the question really comes down to whether or not the fancy looks and OLED screen are worth an extra $250 compared to the regular Gram (2023). As much as I like the look of the Gram Style, having used both it and the Gram (2023), I don’t think the extra cost is worth it.

Function or fashion

Overall, I really like the LG Gram Style. It’s a strong contender for my favourite laptop of the year, boasting fantastic looks, solid performance, and a large screen in a light package.

At the same time, I don’t think the Gram Style is a great value option when the Gram (2023) exists, or other laptops for that matter. If you want to buy the Style, just know you’re paying a premium for a pretty shell and a slightly better screen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with looking good – just know what you’re paying for.

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If you want to buy the Style, just know you’re paying a premium for a pretty shell and a slightly better screen.

8.5

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