Lenovo launched its Yoga 5G in what is likely to be the first of a series of laptops with 5G built in. The Yoga 5G will also be an experiment in how carriers can sell laptops with its wireless plans.
Yoga 5G will be sold via Verizon's My Verizon App and online for $58.33 a month for 24 months, or $1,399. In the US, Lenovo's 5G laptop will be available June 18 with other markets following later in the year.
The company is to market first with a 5G laptop, which was outlined at CES 2020 along with the ThinkPad X1 Fold. The device, the Lenovo Yoga 5G globally and Lenovo Flex 5G in the US, runs on Qualcomm's 8cx 5G platform and is integrated with carriers Verizon, EE, Sunrise and CMCC for coverage in US, Europe and China.
Matt Bereda, vice president of global consumer marketing at Lenovo, said the Lenovo Flex 5G in the US starts as a consumer device, but there will be business versions with VPNs and other enterprise must haves. "5G will be a benefit because users won't have to hop between Wi-Fi networks," he said. "We believe 5G will disrupt industries including manufacturing, healthcare and education."
Bereda said 5G is likely to be a big laptop feature. "Once everything has moved to 5G, hopping Wi-Fi will be a thing of the past," he said. "Carriers are excited and this is the first big push into PCs for telcos."
Lenovo Flex 5G is a convertible that runs on Windows 10, offers a 24-hour battery life and is designed for consumers, but has multiple remote work perks such as on-the-go collaboration, streaming and video conferencing.
According to the company, Lenovo engineers and designers had to shrink the 5G antennas to fit into a slim chassis while keeping coverage. The Lenovo 5G module supports both mmWave and Sub-6 GHz coverage in both laptop and tablet modes and has nine built-in antennas.
Bereda said Lenovo Flex 5G isn't a replacement for the smartphone, but Verizon's installment plans may become a key distribution channel for laptop sales to consumers and businesses. Verizon was already a partner for Lenovo's Yoga C630 4G-LTE device.