You only need to watch a few carrier commercials to know that 5G is the next big thing in wireless, delivering speeds that rival broadband in places where Wi-Fi often can’t reach. It is compatible with existing 4G LTE networks, and despite its increased speeds, 5G could theoretically consume less power and resources than previous wireless networks. (You can learn more in our guide: What is 5G? Your guide to the current generation of wireless connections.)
All sounds good, though, and we’re still in the early days of the 5G revolution, with carriers having to create an entirely new infrastructure to support it – limiting its availability in many markets. That didn’t stop the explosion in new 5G smartphones, a trend that’s starting to spread to other portable devices like laptops. As we discussed in our list of the best 4G laptops, there are still plenty of options when it comes to laptops that can include cellular modems, as the vast majority of mobile devices rely on Wi-Fi networks to connect you to the Internet.
also: Best cheap 5G phones
Given its novelty in the market, this is especially true when it comes to the 5G network. The first systems were launched last year, and many questioned whether it was too early to take advantage of emerging networks that could support 5G speeds. But more 5G laptops will appear in 2021, with additional models expected next year and beyond. Many may choose to wait until then, but there is definitely a market for 5G laptops today, whether your job requires the fastest mobile connection or you’re just the type of person who needs the latest and greatest technology. If you’re in this market, our list of six laptops that offer built-in 5G modems will come in handy. Pricing ranges from $500 to over $2,500, including 2-in-1 versions for those who want a hybrid device, 5G laptops should keep you connected at top speeds, even when you’re not connected.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 5G
The best 5G laptop
Specifications: 13.3 inches (1920 x 1200 pixels) | CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 | RAM: 16 GB | storage: 512 GB | Weight: 2.7 lbs | Battery life: 16.5 hours
If you don’t need 2-in-1 versatility, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13 5G may be the perfect choice between the performance of the Latitude 9420 and the low price point of the Spin 7. Available from AT&T for more than $1,000 less than Dell . It comes with the same Core i5 CPU, but doubles the memory and quadruples the storage.
At 13.3 inches, the screen is a little smaller and the resolution is a little lower but it’s still HD. Not to mention the build quality that the ThinkPad line is known for, not to mention its portability (2.7 pounds) and battery life (16.5 hours). Put it all together, and this just might be the best all-in-one 5G laptop option right now, as long as you or don’t mind becoming an AT&T mobile customer.
- ThinkPad quality
- Great battery life
- Priced over $1,000
- Currently only available through AT&T
Samsung Galaxy Book Go 5G
Cheap 5G basic laptop
Specifications: 14 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 | RAM: 4 GB | storage: 128 GB | Weight: 3 pounds | Battery life: 18 hours
The Galaxy Book Go would be your cheapest option for a 5G-capable Windows laptop, running for less than $600 in compatible AT&T or Verizon versions. It keeps its price down with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chip, which makes up for base performance with a 5G modem and excellent battery life (18 hours, according to Samsung).
Other specs on this device are slim (4 GB RAM, 128 GB storage), but the 14-inch screen offers a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. It’s also extremely portable at just 3 pounds, but should offer added durability thanks to its shock-resistant construction.
- Windows 5G cheapest option
- Good battery life
Acer Spin 7
Lucky Number for 2 in 1 with 5G
Specifications: 14 inch touch screen (1920 x 1080 pixels) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 | RAM: 8 GB | storage: 512 GB | Weight: 3.1 lbs | Battery life: 29 hours
The Acer Spin 7 is a more advanced version of the Galaxy Book Go concept – at nearly three times the price. It’s also based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G Compute Platform for processing and 5G connectivity, but it offers a lot for its $1,600 price tag.
For starters, the Spin 7 is a 2-in-1 rather than a traditional clamshell laptop, meaning the 14-inch HD display has touchscreen functionality that can be leveraged via the digital stylus that Acer includes. It also comes with twice the RAM of the Galaxy Book Go and much more storage space (512 GB). The larger built-in battery boosts the claimed battery life to a whopping 29 hours between charges while adding a bit more weight and thickness to the Spin 7’s chassis than the Galaxy Book Go.
- 2 in 1 design
- Amazing battery life
- Snapdragon processor platform is a bit slow
- very expensive
Dell Latitude 9420 . 2-in-1 Dell Latitude 9420
Energy and 5G – at a cost
Specifications: 14 inch touch screen (2560 x 1600 pixels) | CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 | RAM: 8 GB | storage: 128 GB | Weight: 2.8 lbs | Battery life: Unlisted
Unlike the Acer Spin 7, the Latitude 9420 2-in-1 uses a more popular and powerful Intel Core i5 processor for business users who need performance and convenience. As a result, the 5G modem is an expensive addition, and requires an update to the LCD touch screen as well as the Qualcomm 5G modem.
That gives you more than $2,500 for a laptop that still comes with only 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On the plus side, you get a lightweight aluminum system with a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, a QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and peace of mind knowing you’ve purchased a well-developed Dell – Respected Latitude Assortment.
- Includes the latest Intel Core i5 processor
- Dell builds quality and reliability
- Too high price
- Only 128 GB of storage
HP Elite Dragonfly Max
Best Choice 5G 2 in 1
Specifications: 13.3 inch touch screen (1920 x 1080 pixels) | CPU: Intel Core i7-1185G7 | RAM: 16 GB | storage: 512 GB | Weight: 2.5bs | Battery life: 11+ hours
The Elite Dragonfly Max is the Latitude 9420’s slightly smaller opponent in the battle of 5G 2-in-1 business laptops. It’s more expensive than Dell, though you get more for your money for the extra $100. HP is more powerful with a Core i7 chip and offers twice the RAM and a 512GB drive compared to the Latitude’s meager specs.
Like the ThinkPad X13 5G, the Dragonfly Max features a 13.3-inch Full HD display instead of the Latitude’s 14-inch display with higher resolution, although it counters that with 1,000 nits of brightness. For the money you spend, HP will probably include its digital stylus for use with the touchscreen, but the Elite Dragonfly Max packs everything else you need.
- Intel Core i7 processor
- Ultra bright screen
Lenovo Flex 5G
The first to 5G
Specifications: 14 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx | RAM: 8 GB | storage: 256 GB | Weight: 2.9 lbs | Battery life: 25 hours
While AT&T had to wait for the ThinkPad X13 5G, Verizon got its first laptop with Lenovo Flex 5G, the first laptop with 5G connectivity. It still offers Flex 5G for a very similar price to AT&T’s ThinkPad, even though you get a system that’s a year older.
The result is that instead of the new 11th generation Intel Core processor, the Flex 5G is built around the original Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor, an older generation of the chip used in the Galaxy Book Go and Spin 7. You can still expect excellent battery life, but it may seem Performance is a bit poor, especially for a $1,400 laptop.
- Oldest therapist
- high specification price
What is the best 5G laptop?
The best 5G laptop is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 5G due to its battery life, storage, CPU, and price.
How did we pick these 5G laptops?
As with the list of 4G laptops, the number of 5G-enabled models is limited, making it easy to piece our list together. Two laptops on the 4G list—notably the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9—offer configurations with 5G cellular modems, too. But while there are quite a few fourth-generation Chromebooks and Microsoft Surface devices with 4G connectivity, the same can’t be said about 5G today. Because it’s still an emerging technology, 5G in laptops can feel not quite ready for prime time, although you can expect more systems – including those with more mainstream price tags – to offer 5G support over the course of a year. The next two years as carriers roll it out further.
Which 5G Laptop Is Right For You?
If you read through the writings above, you can see that you have two primary options if you want a 5G laptop: a Qualcomm Snapdragon approach or an Intel pick. A Snapdragon-powered system would be cheaper with better battery life, but it wouldn’t offer anywhere near the performance of a laptop powered by an Intel Core CPU. Those who are on the move a lot and need 5G but only need to perform basic computing tasks and surf the web may be fine with Snapdragon-based laptops, but road warriors who rely heavily on productivity software will be better off with enterprise-friendly Intel – Fifth generation laptops.
What other 5G-enabled laptops are also worth considering?
If you don’t need a 5G laptop today, waiting will give you more options in the coming months. Lenovo is preparing the IdeaPad 5G, a 14-inch laptop with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor, as a supposed successor to the Flex 5G which is “soon,” according to the company, despite announcing it at CES back in January. If you need something a little more challenging, Dell just announced a pair of powerful laptops with 5G support, the Latitude 5430 Rugged and Latitude 7330 Rugged Extreme will be available in December.
You may have to wait longer to buy a Microsoft Surface laptop or Apple MacBook with 5G capabilities, however, Microsoft has updated some of its Surface lineup a few times this year — including last month — but hasn’t mentioned 5G support other than the new Surface Duo 2 . Many Surface devices use chips made by Qualcomm, so it wouldn’t be surprising if 5G Surface Laptops were released in 2022. Apple similarly updated its MacBook Air and Pro lineup with new M1 processors, but it hasn’t announced plans for 5G support just yet. .