CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G
Graphics: Integrated Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU
Display: 14-inch (1920x1080 pixels) touchscreen
Cellular modem: Foxconn T99W175 5G
SIM Card: Nano-SIM Card Verizon 5G
Materials: Aluminum, Magnesium
Ports: 2x USB-A, 1x Type-C, headphone jack, nano-SIM
Dimensions: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
The first 5G laptop is finally here — almost. The Lenovo Flex 5G, first announced in January at CES, is going on sale from Verizon starting this Thursday (June 18). Oh, and Lenovo claims the portable will last up to 24 hours on a single charge.
The $1,399 Lenovo Flex 5G runs on a 5G variation of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx chipset. This platform was first released in 2018 to help bring LTE to laptops, and other laptops running the 8cx chipset include the Samsung Galaxy Book S, which became available in January.
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That 5G connectivity appears to have been hard to pull off for Lenovo, at least in the Flex 5G's 2-in-1 form factor. In a press release, Lenovo noted that its engineers and designers had to shrink "the 5G antennas to fit into a slim chassis while enabling and maintaining 5G coverage regardless of how a user flips and folds the device into its laptop or tablet mode." The success, it turned out, came by a new patented 5G antenna system that supports both mmWave and Sub-6 GHz standards. Lenovo claims this is made possible by "the industry’s smallest 5G module."
Expect to surf the world's 5G networks (where you can find them) with the Flex 5G (or the Yoga 5G as it's known outside of the U.S.). Lenovo has worked with EE in the UK, Sunrise in Switzerland and CMCC in China for international support.
The Lenovo Flex 5G is made of aluminum and magnesium, runs on a Snapdragon 8cx 5G processor with an integrated Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU. The laptop features pretty ordinary specs, otherwise, with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage, and 1080p 14-inch touchscreen display.
The Flex 5G's 360-degree hinge allows for tent and display in tablet mode, in addition to the standard laptop mode. A pair of USB-A ports plus a USB-C port eliminate the need for adapter dongles. At 3 pounds, Lenovo's laptop is neither light nor heavy.
That Snapdragon chip inside the Flex 5G makes it an ARM-processor powered PC, meaning it will include all the possible risks of other Windows 10 ARM laptops, such as the compatibility and performance issues we saw in the Surface Pro X and the HP Envy x2.
Those are the same challenges that Apple faces as it works toward the MacBook ARM, which will require a lot of leg work from developers. That could be why rumors suggest Apple will only announce a move to ARM later this month, to give itself a full year to transition to the new chips.
You'll be able to buy the Lenovo Flex 5G through Verizon starting this Thursday. If paying the full $1,399 price at once gives you pause, you'll be able to break that payment up into monthly installments of $58.33. Your purchase comes with a one-year Microsoft 360 Personal subscription.