Full Windows systems running on ARM architecture are still pretty rare. But when they do arrive, they tend to come with mobile data built in—after all, they’re basically running on souped-up smartphone hardware. So it is with the Lenovo Flex 5G, the company’s first device with 5G wireless baked in. It’s available from Verizon starting Thursday, June 18th.
The Flex 5G (Yoga 5G in some other markets) seems to be very similar to the Yoga C630, Lenovo’s first Snapdragon-powered laptop which we reviewed last year. It has the same 14-inch, 1080p screen, same “Yoga” convertible form factor, and a very similar chassis and port setup. Inside is a Snapdragon 8cx processor, which includes a 65-bit ARM octa-core CPU and an Adreno 680 GPU, with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM to work with.
Lenovo says that the 60wH battery can last up to 24 hours, and based on my experience with the C630, I believe them. Whether it’ll hold up that long once you start hitting the 5G modem—famously hard on battery life—is another matter. But the press release says this is “the industry’s smallest 5G module,” so maybe it’s also better for longevity. It’s also compatible with both mmWave and sub-6GHz standards.
This isn’t the laptop to buy if you need screaming power, because Windows on ARM still isn’t great at running some desktop programs like Chrome and Photoshop. But if you need insane data speeds without hunting for a hotspot, with some “future proof” options for when 5G coverage goes for more than a few square blocks in the biggest cities, it might be a neat option.
Verizon and Lenovo will sell the Flex 5G for a pricey $1400—almost $500 more than the C630—with an option for a smartphone-style 24-month payment plan. As a bonus, it comes with a year of Microsoft 365 service.