LG takes on Apple MacBook Air with its Gram super-thin laptops

The Windows 10 notebooks are the electronic giant's first to be released in the U.S. The 13-inch and 14-inch models weigh less than the Air and have a starting price of $900.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Hot on the heels of introducing a new Android tablet -- the G Pad X 10.1 -- and with a new "super phone" apparently on the way -- LG is bringing its first laptop line to the U.S., one that hopes to challenge the MacBook Air in the ultra-thin-and-light department.

The South Korean company has dubbed the new family as Gram, because the pair of notebooks -- 13-inch and 14-inch, respectively -- each weighs under a kilogram. In particular, each model tips the scales at just 980 grams, or 2.16 pounds. In comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air comes in at 2.96 pounds -- and 11-inch version is a couple of ounces heavier than the Grams -- though the latest MacBook weighs 2.03 pounds, albeit with a 12-inch display.

LG constructed the Gram using a magnesium alloy chassis, but early hands-ons are finding the build quality a bit lacking, perhaps due to the use of plastic for some of the other hardware. Despite some concessions, the Grams seem equipped with decent specs, using either Intel Core i5 or i7 Broadwell processors and featuring 8GB of RAM, 1,920x1,080 IPS screens (in comparison, the MacBook Air has a 1,440x900 display), 64-bit Windows 10 Home edition, and either 128GB or 256GB SSDs.

The 13-inch Gram is available in white, while the two 14-inch configurations come in a champagne gold-colored exterior. The cheaper 14-inch Gram uses the same i5-5200U CPU and 128GB SSD that are found in the 13-inch version, whereas the pricer one doubles the storage and steps up to a i7-5500U processor. That results in a fairly significant price increase, as the 13-inch Gram costs $899.99 and the Core i5 14-inch edition is $100 more, but the other 14-inch version is $400 more at $1,399.99. The laptops just started being sold at Amazon, though the 14-inch models are out of stock already as of this writing, and should be available this week from the Microsoft Store as a bloatware-free Signature Edition.

Are you looking for an ultra-slim Windows 10 laptop that can compete with the MacBook Air? With its lighter weight and higher-res screen, does the LG Gram look like a suitable rival? (Amazon quickly running out of stock could be a good sign it is.) Let us know your thoughts in the discussion section below, and check out our sister site CNET for a hands-on look at the new laptop.

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