LG Gram 14Z90N Laptop Review: Lightweight at the Cost of Performance
The LG Gram 14Z90N addresses just a few of shortcomings on last year’s Gram 14Z980 while ignoring the rest. The welcomed changes include Thunderbolt 3 support, a stronger hinge design, and seemingly stronger key feedback.
Unfortunately, key drawbacks remain such as the dismal processor performance, average display brightness, and the difficult serviceability. Users who may have been looking forward to owning a Core i7 Ice Lake-U CPU will only find a shell of what the processor is capable of when compared to machines with the exact same CPU like the Dell XPS 13 9300. We suspect that the manufacturer had to tone down the performance of the Core i7 in order to meet the low weight goals and limited cooling potential. It’s also disappointing that LG didn’t take the time to up the brightness of the backlight because as lightweight and portable as the system may be, it’s not that great in outdoor conditions where glare becomes prevalent.
The core advantages of the Gram have thankfully transferred over to make the overall package still appealing. The super lightweight, wide port options, quiet fan, crisp and well-calibrated display, and extra-long battery life are all representative of the high ~$1500 USD asking price. If you’re looking for more CPU and GPU oomph, however, alternatives from Dell, HP, Lenovo, or Asus would be your better bet.
Great for light to light-medium office tasks especially when on-the-go. The LG Gram 14 is quite versatile considering the light weight, but just don’t overload it with demanding applications as CPU performance is well below average for a U-class Core i7.