LG Gram 13Z950 Review

October 5, 2015
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You probably know the brand LG from other electronics but not laptops, right? Well, now this South Korean conglomerate has entered the US notebook market (they’ve been selling laptops around the world for long time, though). Their US firstborn is called LG Gram 13Z950, a compact 13.3″ unit which looks like a contender for Macbooks – although the price is bit lower on this one. Interesting, yes, but is the new LG computer really a good buy? We’ll investigate that further here!

What is it good for?

I would say LG Gram 13Z950 has a pretty strong performance. Its backbone, the Intel Core i5-5200U processor features a standard dual-core design with 2.2GHz clock speed and up to 2.7GHz turbo. For those who are interested more in the benchmark side, this thing gets ~3500 CPU Mark points, pretty much the same than, say, AMD A10-8700P. The memory amount is nice 8GB (one stick, DDR3L 1600MHz type), and it’s not certain if there is a free slot for upgrade – my guess is there is not. Storage drive is a SATA 3 connected 128GB SSD, you will be left with around 100GB actual space after Windows 10 installation files.

This kind of setup is powerful, yes. You have no issues running a web browser with multiple tabs, Spotify and perhaps some fancier piece like Photoshop at the same time – the system will handle all that no problems. For a casual user this might be an overkill, but a power user should appreciate such multitasking capacities for sure.

So, it can also run games?

Too bad LG Gram 13Z950 isn’t good for gaming – the other parts of engine room are stellar, but the graphics section is lacking. There is only an integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics engine, this thing is really meant for other things than hardcore gaming. You can of course run various games but don’t expect them to work with a lot of eye candy. For example, you’ll get an alright ~25FPS using low/normal settings and 720p with games like Grand Theft Auto 5. Of course, less demanding ones will work better, Minecraft for example closer to 50 frames per second played on Full HD resolution.

About the display

It’s a sweet 13.3″ 1920×1080 display in LG Gram 13Z950. A practical use for that resolution, two browser/Word/Excel windows nicely fit next to each other. The panel type is IPS so you shouldn’t need to worry about bad colors or poor viewing angles. It doesn’t feature a touchscreen and there’s no 360-degree hinge on the display, so this model will only work in laptop (no tablet) mode.

What peripherals am I able to connect?

LG Gram 13Z950 is a small notebook, there are not too many ports available, but all the essential connections should be there. You’ll get two USB 3.0 ports to spice up the system and the standard HDMI out can be used to hook up a television or perhaps desktop monitor. DVD drive isn’t included, but a good thing, you can always use an external one. SD card reader doesn’t seem to be available.

Connecting the LG to Internet happens with dual-band 802.11 A/C-type WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 is also at your disposal. In addition, there’s a micro USB port with RJ-45 adapter in case you prefer to use wire.

A 1.3M webcam is installed, shoot a video or two with that or talk with your friends on Skype.

Anything else to keep in mind?

LG Gram 13Z950 is darn thin, only half an inch. A very compact size, yes, and the weight is light too: 2.2 pounds. The 2-cell 34.61Wh battery is supposed to last 7.5 hours, don’t know if you’ll get that much in real life, but crossing the 6 hours mark should definitely be possible.

The laptop material is carbon-magnesium and carbon-lithium. The keyboard doesn’t have backlit keys.


LG Gram 13Z950 indeed reminds me of a Macbook, but difference is in price and operating system. This particular unit doesn’t cost as much as Apple does, but offers a well-supported Windows 10 and appropriate components such as Core i5 processor and the best thing, a 128GB solid-state drive. No software should lag here, but the biggest hurdle would be the graphics engine section. There’s no dedicated graphics card, so gamers wouldn’t enjoy this notebook. Instead, it’s clearly aimed for the non-gaming folks interested in good looks yet powerful performance under the hood. As the value seems to be decent at least, if you think you’re such a power user without the need to play, choosing this sleek LG should be the right thing to do.

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