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[Article] Light as air: The LG gram 13, 14, and 15 review

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Old 07-07-2018, 12:40 AM   #1
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[Article] Light as air: The LG gram 13, 14, and 15 review

It has taken a while but LG's updated gram notebooks with Intel 8th-gen Core processors are finally here. Find out in our review if they are worth upgrading to.

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Old 07-07-2018, 04:26 PM   #2
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As a feedback, I always feel HardwareZone's reviews are not at all comprehensive, or to be brutally honest, very shallow. Somehow every review I read, there seems to be critical factors not being reviewed. Each one seems to want to quickly jump into the benchmark numbers.

In this case, I feel it will be helpful if things like thermals and screen quality are being analyzed, instead of taking everything from the spec/ marketing materials of the manufacturer. Reviews should help people make the choice whether it is worth the money or right fit for me. People who are interested will end up searching elsewhere for more information.

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Old 10-07-2018, 12:34 AM   #3
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Hi watzup_ken,

Thanks for your input, but allow me to add some inputs on your feedback as I disagree with some of your points.

You're no stranger to our reviews and way before anyone else made temperature/power a regular aspect in component reviews, HWZ made that a criteria more than 15 years ago.

Likewise, we've evaluated several aspects of each product category to determine what's necessary and how it's reported. Pummeling numbers and comparisons overdose isn't the way to go either and there needs to be a balance between them.

Every review will definitely answer the key aspects when purchasing products - Design, Features, Performance and Value. We don't just play lip service by lifting marketing info and specs; instead we highlight what they have/claim/boast, but we also give our inputs if it works or not / if it matters or not.

So let's take this review for example... why did we jump in to the benchmarks?

Because this is the 3rd iteration of the LG Gram which we've covered it in great lengths in the previous rounds. As such, we've run down exactly what's different this time round - which is the new processing platform. There really isn't much else different if you've been following its progression.

For everything else you need to know in detail:-
LG Gram (1st gen):- https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...-inch-notebook
LG Gram (2nd gen):- https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...ks-you-can-buy
LG Gram (3rd gen) hands-on:- https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...gram-notebooks

Having established that, we're in the prime position to not repeat what's already said and done because we've laid the groundwork.

If you're concerned about image quality, yes, we've touched upon that in the 2nd gen Gram which has improved upon the 1st gen Gram considerably:-
https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...ks-you-can-buy

It's not perfect, but there's nothing of high concern to mark down the notebook or make a repeat mention in the coverage of the 3rd gen this time round.

Do we point out if the screen is of a concern when we review notebooks? Yes we do such as seen here in other recent reviews:-

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...vo-legion-y520

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...dows-ultrabook

Thermals are mostly not a concern with ultrabooks and thus we don't emphasize it in benchmarks. We do readily report internal and skin temperatures for gaming notebooks that run considerably hotter than ultrabooks given their usage needs:-
https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...-portability-6

If we didn't report numbers, does it mean we don't look into temperatures? No, we do. We point out where notebook performance is choking because it's throttling:-
https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...-portability-2

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...-i7-vs-core-i5


Where it's noisy that you might want to take note because it eats into your notebook usability and experience:-
https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...ers-would-want

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...dows-ultrabook

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/revi...conclusion-936

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feat...vo-legion-y520


Last but not least, if you have been following our performance findings you'll know that not all notebooks perform as expected due to their config, cooling system being inadequate, etc. and our performance findings focus to establish if you're really paying for the expected performance. So in our findings we've established two things - single-channel memory + the product's thermal profile configuration that limits its performance. So much to the point that there's not much of a reason to get a Core i7 gram notebook and we recommend getting the Core i5 version. The Dell XPS 13 is the true performance leader of a well optimized product that's geared for maximum performance in a small form factor.

How can we determine these findings if we're not thorough, careful and thoughtful of the prospective buyers?

I feel we've covered all that's needed and anything that's of concern will surely be marked down by us.

Hope this explains why this particular review (and that too a review of all 3 versions) wrapped up in this manner without spending too much time repeating other aspects that have been established by the previous edition.

Doesn't mean when a review is short, we don't give it necessary dues.
This is the optimization of what's needed to be conveyed from our combined years of testing products and that too of a product line we've covered every version since its debut. Just like working smart, one should also report smart and not pour into every detail for every review. Sure, there might be some gaps occasionally, but that's simply answered by dropping us a question and we'll fill you in to our best ability. When and if these queries are repeated - we'll try to make it a staple in our future reviews

Let us know if you're looking for anything else, specifically if you're intending to buy one and you would like certain finer details. Reviews can't cover A to Z of every product and it's best filled up by further specific queries as floated by the community and even answered by others who own the product. For example, durability and reliability can never be answered at the review site level and only the community has an answer.

As a feedback, I always feel HardwareZone's reviews are not at all comprehensive, or to be brutally honest, very shallow. Somehow every review I read, there seems to be critical factors not being reviewed. Each one seems to want to quickly jump into the benchmark numbers.

In this case, I feel it will be helpful if things like thermals and screen quality are being analyzed, instead of taking everything from the spec/ marketing materials of the manufacturer. Reviews should help people make the choice whether it is worth the money or right fit for me. People who are interested will end up searching elsewhere for more information.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:43 PM   #4
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Hi Vijay, greatly appreciate you taking time to revert on my feedback.

To give you a bit of context why I decided to provide these feedback is because I feel generally people make a decision to buy hardware based on reviews. It is true that people should check out forums and such to enrich themselves more, but you cannot deny the fact that reviews to a large extent influence peoples' buying decision. At least for me, I don't find enough information for me to make an informed buying decision here. You need to consider the fact that the reviewer have the product to try and write the review, while the readers don't and therefore, the review should substantiate with numbers of visuals whenever possible to help people visualize the product. It is like reading a book and the writer says food is very nice. How nice? What about it is nice? So similarly when you say screen is washed out in the Gram 2 review, then I reader will try to find pictures to compare or some numbers to help them visualize the problem. When you say its very noisy, again how noisy? Any numbers to help people visualize? I am saying this because these things are very subjective don't you agree? What I think is very soft may be loud to others. Readers should be made aware when reading the review and given some numbers to gauge say the noise level, the contrast of the screen, etc.

I don't agree that that thermals are mostly not a concern with ultrabooks. In fact it heats up and throttles the most with ultrabooks because of the thin profile and insufficient cooling. Also, I don't know for example at what room temp are you testing the products. If you are testing it at 25 degs while I am in a room that is 30 degs, its gonna make a difference if it throttles/ overheat or not.

Long story short, I feel as reviewers assume people don't need to know certain things because you folks think it is fine. It also makes reviews of specific products like laptop, very inconsistent, i.e. sometimes its 5 pages, some times 4, some 3 and the LG review here 2. Also whenever possible, it will be great with some numbers or pictures to help people visualize the extent of part of the laptop you are reviewing. Reviewers do need to take a step back as experts with hardware and write in a manner that is easy for everyone to understand.

Make no mistake, I am not trying to put you folks on the spot, but I feel I hope to see things improve. When information is thin, it leaves you wanting after reading the review. This will also help you folks improve with more people visiting the site. Cheers!
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:25 PM   #5
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I don't agree that that thermals are mostly not a concern with ultrabooks. In fact it heats up and throttles the most with ultrabooks because of the thin profile and insufficient cooling. Also, I don't know for example at what room temp are you testing the products. If you are testing it at 25 degs while I am in a room that is 30 degs, its gonna make a difference if it throttles/ overheat or not.
Actually, I'd agree with you about covering thermals. With Ultrabooks, temps are becoming a bigger issue, not just because they're thinner, but also because OEMs are free to tune the chips to perform more like a 25W TDP chips (e.g. Dell XPS range).

Combine that with OEMs using different fan/thermal profiles, temps can vary wildly depending on the power draw profile and cooling design in the laptop. Sometimes, undesired overheating can occur during a fast charge phase is combined with a fan profile that has been overly tuned for a quieter experience. Iirc, even Dell's Gore insulation on the XPS15 was nothing more than marketing fluff.

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Old 13-07-2018, 04:51 PM   #6
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Old 25-07-2018, 01:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for the clarification watzup_ken, that certainly helps.

We spend a great deal of time all through the whole process of reviewing, and well before even the product has been launched - so a blanket feedback of 'shallow' was like throwing us under a bus unnecessarily.

But your follow-up had more focus on what you would like to see more and that helps.

Unlike most of our other full-fledged reviews, we tried to make this one compact because the 2018 model is very similar to the 2017 edition. Hence for those who needed more detail, we'll gladly point them to the earlier review.

There's a lot else that each writer has to deal with, so time is precious and we aim to be efficient for our review and reporting process. Noted on the clarity and illustrations where possible. Do drop in queries along the way for future reviews - that too helps to signal what readers were curious to know.

Lastly, moving on to the thermals department - we totally agree and as of late, we've been monitoring more temp related readings even for ultrabooks. My earlier response was with regards to Ultrabooks of the past... but these days, as notebooks are getting notably slimmer and lighter, processors like Core i7 are being crammed in such bodies, and we do see more cases where thermal throttling is becoming a problem from achieving its full potential - just like the recent Core i9 that further exacerbates this matter.

So yes, let us gather more stats and once we've the necessary comparison base, we'll be reporting more temp stats for non-gaming notebooks too.

Cheers.

Hi Vijay, greatly appreciate you taking time to revert on my feedback.

To give you a bit of context why I decided to provide these feedback is because I feel generally people make a decision to buy hardware based on reviews. It is true that people should check out forums and such to enrich themselves more, but you cannot deny the fact that reviews to a large extent influence peoples' buying decision. At least for me, I don't find enough information for me to make an informed buying decision here. You need to consider the fact that the reviewer have the product to try and write the review, while the readers don't and therefore, the review should substantiate with numbers of visuals whenever possible to help people visualize the product. It is like reading a book and the writer says food is very nice. How nice? What about it is nice? So similarly when you say screen is washed out in the Gram 2 review, then I reader will try to find pictures to compare or some numbers to help them visualize the problem. When you say its very noisy, again how noisy? Any numbers to help people visualize? I am saying this because these things are very subjective don't you agree? What I think is very soft may be loud to others. Readers should be made aware when reading the review and given some numbers to gauge say the noise level, the contrast of the screen, etc.

I don't agree that that thermals are mostly not a concern with ultrabooks. In fact it heats up and throttles the most with ultrabooks because of the thin profile and insufficient cooling. Also, I don't know for example at what room temp are you testing the products. If you are testing it at 25 degs while I am in a room that is 30 degs, its gonna make a difference if it throttles/ overheat or not.

Long story short, I feel as reviewers assume people don't need to know certain things because you folks think it is fine. It also makes reviews of specific products like laptop, very inconsistent, i.e. sometimes its 5 pages, some times 4, some 3 and the LG review here 2. Also whenever possible, it will be great with some numbers or pictures to help people visualize the extent of part of the laptop you are reviewing. Reviewers do need to take a step back as experts with hardware and write in a manner that is easy for everyone to understand.

Make no mistake, I am not trying to put you folks on the spot, but I feel I hope to see things improve. When information is thin, it leaves you wanting after reading the review. This will also help you folks improve with more people visiting the site. Cheers!
Actually, I'd agree with you about covering thermals. With Ultrabooks, temps are becoming a bigger issue, not just because they're thinner, but also because OEMs are free to tune the chips to perform more like a 25W TDP chips (e.g. Dell XPS range).

Combine that with OEMs using different fan/thermal profiles, temps can vary wildly depending on the power draw profile and cooling design in the laptop. Sometimes, undesired overheating can occur during a fast charge phase is combined with a fan profile that has been overly tuned for a quieter experience. Iirc, even Dell's Gore insulation on the XPS15 was nothing more than marketing fluff.

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Old 25-07-2018, 10:55 PM   #8
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Hi Vijay, apologies for sounding harsh. I apologize for the choice of word used, i.e. shallow.

As always, I truly wanted to provide feedbacks with the intent of improving things here. Peace.
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