One of the world’s first 5G laptops, Lenovo’s Flex 5G, goes on sale in the US this Thursday with support for Verizon’s cellular network, starting at $1,399.
Lenovo debuted the Flex 5G in January at CES, where it talked up the device’s support for both millimeter-wave and sub-6GHz 5G technologies. As a result, the notebook can technically work with any 5G US carrier. But for now, it’s limited to Verizon, which has 5G networks up in 35 cities, although large gaps remain in the citywide coverage. (Check out the carrier’s 5G map here.)
As for the Flex 5G, it runs Windows 10. However, the product ditches an Intel processor for a rival chip from Qualcomm called the Snapdragon 8cx, which is capable of supporting a 5G modem. According to Lenovo, the processor can let the laptop run for up to 24 hours on a single charge, but that’s only for offline, local video playback. Theoretically, owners can expect download speeds eight times faster than the carrier’s 4G LTE network, according to Qualcomm.
PCMag’s past experiences with Snapdragon-equipped laptops have been mixed. Although the products can offer amazing battery life, many third-party Windows app were never optimized to run over Qualcomm’s ARM-based architecture, which can lead to computing slowdowns. So stayed tuned for our review when we can better examine the Flex 5G’s processing abilities.
One nice perk about the device is the 360-degree hinge, which lets you flip it into a tablet. In addition, Lenovo slimmed down the 5G antennas inside, enabling the device to connect to cellular networks in both laptop or tablet mode.
In terms of specs, you’re getting a 14-inch laptop with a 1080p touch screen, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of storage and a 720p web camera. The product weighs in at 3 pounds, and is built with an aluminum, magnesium metal casing.
The Flex 5G will also be available on Verizon for $58.33 a month over a two-year period. Customers already on the carrier’s network will pay $30 a month to receive unlimited 5G/4G access. On the 4G side, however, after your data exceeds 15GB, Verizon can throttle your speed in times of network congestion.
Without a Verizon account, you need to pay $90 a month. There’s also a $10 a month plan, which caps your data to 1GB.
Outside the US, the product will be called the Yoga 5G, and will be sold in the UK, Switzerland, and China with support for local carriers.