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The first 5G laptop is here — Lenovo unveils the Flex 5G

(Image credit: Lenovo)

The first 5G laptop supporting Verizon's Ultra Wideband network has arrived. Lenovo announced today the Flex 5G, a portable 2-in-1 laptop supporting both mmWave and sub-6Ghz bands for the fastest mobile internet speeds around. Lenovo is launching the Flex 5G alongside its service provider partners, which includes Verizon in the US. 

It's been a long road for 5G, the cellular technology promising low latency, high capacity and increased bandwidth. Now that it's finally here, we're getting an idea of what advantages it will bring to laptops. And according to Lenovo, the 5G technology inside the Flex 5G is 10 times faster than 4G LTE. 

Looking past its cellular connectivity, the Flex 5G is an ultraportable laptop powered by an ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chip with Adreno 860 graphics. While this chip won't offer the same performance as rival Intel or AMD processors, it should enable long battery life of "up to 24 hours." Let's take a deeper dive into the world's first 5G Ultra Wideband PC.

Lenovo Flex 5G price and release date

The Flex 5G will be the first 5G Ultra Wideband PC to enter the market when it arrives on June 18 in the US. You'll be able to purchase the Flex 5G from Lenovo or Verizon's website and get a one-year Microsoft 365 personal subscription. 

As the first of its kind, the Flex 5G is a pricey notebook. It will cost $1,399, which can be paid in installment at Verizon for $58.33 per month for 24 months.

So, how much will 5G cost you? Verizon is unveiling a new 5G Ultra Wideband Connected Device plan for $30/month for exiting customers or $90 month without a line. It will get you unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband access and access to a 5G Ultra Wideband hotspot. 

Lenovo Flex 5G design

We expect to receive a Flex 5G review unit in the coming weeks. Until then, we can only comment on what we see in the photos Lenovo provided. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Based on those images, the Flex 5G looks like a sleek 2-in-1 laptop with a portable design that reminds me of the Ideapad 730S. It's what we call a bendback 2-in-1, so the screen flips when you want to enter tablet mode. You can also prop it up like a tent if you prefer to view content without a keyboard in the way. 

The Flex 5G has a dark iron-gray finish and a minimalist aesthetic. There are subtle Lenovo tags on the lid and the deck, these being the only design elements that stand out against the aluminum/magnesium surfaces. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

At 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches and 3 pounds, the Flex 5G is portable for a 14-inch laptop. 

Lenovo Flex 5G specs

The Flex 5G has a 14-inch, 1080p touchscreen display that gets up to 400 nits in brightness. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Powering the Flex 5G is a low-power Snapdragon 8cx chip with an integrated Adreno 680 GPU. It's worth reiterating that you shouldn't expect the same speeds from this chip as what you'd get from an Intel or AMD processor. The 8cx is meant for ultraslim devices that need cellular connectivity for working on the go. You'll get blazing-fast internet speeds with 5G but a heavy workload will slow down the Flex 5G.

Other specs include 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Lenovo rates the battery life at 24 hours, which would be an impressive runtime if it holds up in our real-world testing. ARM-based chips like the 8cx are typically efficient so we're not entirely skeptical of Lenovo's claims. Either way, we'll determine the real-world endurance once we get the Flex 5G into our labs.

5G connectivity

Lenovo admitted that adding a 5G chip into such a slim, flexible laptop was no easy feat. The company says its engineers and designers had to shrink the 5G antenna by creating and patenting a new antenna system that fits within the slim chassis. Lenovo says it's the smallest 5G module around, and it supports both mmWave and Sub-6 Ghz for fast speeds and reliable connectivity.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Verizon says the Flex 5G, using its network, can download files at up to 2 gigabits per second, or twice as fast as some of the quickest home Wi-Fi speeds. 

Using its Snapdragon X55 5G modem, the Flex 5G can connect to Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network out of the box and will connect to the low-band 5G when it launches later this year. When 5G isn't available, the Flex 5G switches to 4G or Wi-Fi to keep a steady connection. 

Outlook

(Image credit: Lenovo)

As the first to offer 5G connectivity, the Flex 5G is an exciting laptop that could kick off a new era of laptops that rely on mobile connectivity for on-the-go computing. We're a bit weary of the Snapdragon chip inside the Flex 5G, but the laptop isn't meant to be a workhorse; it's a portable device for connecting to the internet without being tethered to your home Wi-Fi.  

We're looking forward to getting the Flex 5G into our labs to see just how quickly the internet moves when it's being driven by a 5G connection. You can expect a review of the Flex 5G in the coming weeks.