Vlad Savov of the Verge did a quick review of the Gram in his announcement of today’s news and notes that this device seeks to one up the dominant ultrabook on the market, the Macbook Air, in terms of display with an impressive looking 1080p IPS. But other than its display, the Gram falls short of being a hands down winner compared to the MacBook Air. Savov comments that the construction is a little flimsy in comparison to the Macbook Air’s aluminum unibody design. Also, the Gram comes with Windows 10, but does not feature a touch screen or Intel RealSense camera to best utilize some of the new features in Microsoft’s latest OS.
The Gram does weigh in at less than a kilogram (980 grams or 2.16 lbs to be precise) and has a slim profile. But it is also shipping without the latest Skylake generation of processors from Intel and is instead going with the 5th generation Broadwell Core i5 and i7 chips. The Gram is currently listed on Amazon for $999 for the 14” base model with a Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage and $1,399 for the more top of the line Core i7 model with 256GB of storage. The official Microsoft Store listing has not been posted but will probably have comparable, if not identical pricing. For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Signature Edition, it is their line of PCs sold without bloatware pre-installed in order to boost performance both in terms of speed and battery life.
While LG certainly knows how to build impressive displays, the Gram may face steep competition from other similarly priced ultrabooks. For example, the Dell XPS 13 comes the same gen processor but with more features like a higher resolution screen, touch enabled, and better battery life. Not to mention the slew of Skylake powered devices set to be unveiled as the PC manufacturers and sellers gear up for the holiday season. Ultrabooks may also face an uphill battle in this next commercial cycle as the 2-in-1 form factor continues to grow in popularity with Apple recently unveiling its own version of the concept Microsoft pioneered, and with Microsoft’s rumored Surface Pro 4 set to be shown off for the first time next week on October 6th.Further reading: LG Gram, Microsoft, Microsoft Store