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Lenovo's Yoga 5G laptop packs nine antennas and Snapdragon power

The first Windows-on-ARM laptop with 5G is ready for millimeter waves.
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When Lenovo announced at Computex last year that its Project Limitless laptop would be the world's first 5G PC, the company was indeed ahead of its competition. As of today, though, Lenovo has fallen slightly behind. HP and Dell have both already announced 5G-capable PCs that not only support the latest connectivity standards, but look good, to boot. Lenovo's Yoga 5G, meanwhile, still looks as staid as the prototype I checked out -- just with a sturdier, more metallic build.

Gallery: Lenovo Yoga 5G laptop hands-on | 6 Photos

But the Lenovo Yoga 5G is quite different from the HP and Dell 5G-ready laptops announced at CES this week. First, it's powered by a Snapdragon 8cx chipset, which has so far only shown up in the Samsung Galaxy Book S and sort of in the Microsoft Surface Pro X. That means the Yoga 5G will run Windows on ARM, unlike the Intel-powered machines I mentioned. That's a drawback, since the ecosystem still suffers from issues like unclear app compatibility and glitches.

Still, the Yoga 5G has some interesting features. Specifically, it packs nine antennas for stronger 5G signals, and will support both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave technologies that are crucial to the network. There's also eSIM capability built in. To be clear, though, few carriers have deployed mmwave service, nor have they supported eSIM at a widespread level, so this is more of a future-proofing technique.

Having built-in connectivity tends to drain a notebook's battery, but Lenovo says the Yoga 5G will still last up to 24 hours on a charge. There's also a "software-enabled intelligent temperature control" system that adjusts performance depending on what you're doing to keep the laptop cool, though we haven't seen that in action yet.

The rest of the specs here are pretty straightforward. The Yoga 5G has a vivid 14-inch full HD screen that hits up to 400 nits of brightness, which was sufficient for the demo room we were in. Since it is a Yoga-branded laptop, it's also got a 360-degree hinge so you can use it as a 2-in-1. An onboard fingerprint scanner enables more convenient logins, as well as an IR camera above the display.

The Yoga 5G will be available this spring, starting at $1,499, but you may also want to consider the price of a data line when calculating how much to spend. Given the number of 5G laptops that are proliferating, though, it's probably wise to wait a little longer before buying one.

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