Lenovo Flex 5G assessment: The most primary 5G pc affords crazy battery life, as neatly as compromises

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The Flex 5G delivers blazingly rapid 5G speeds and very ultimate battery life, nonetheless its Snapdragon 8cx processor will salvage you relief.



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The Lenovo Flex 5G is the first pc capable of tapping into 5G networks—Verizon’s, in this case—and unleashing cellular download speeds that will leave your Wi-Fi router within the mud. Even higher, the Flex 5G’s battery will closing you all day, after which some.

The Flex’s crazy battery life comes at a sign, though. This 14-trail, 2-in-1 pc ($1,400 at Verizon) guidelines the scales at nearly three kilos, while its Snapdragon 8cx 5G CPU chugs one day of some on a typical foundation computing duties. We had been less than impressed with the Flex 5G’s shallow keyboard. Finally, you’ll wish to elevate into consideration Verizon’s silent-sketchy 5G protection space (in barely 36 cities thus far), as neatly as the slew of competing 5G laptops which would perchance be poised to head on the market.

This assessment is allotment of our ongoing roundup of the finest laptops. Trot there for recordsdata on competing products and how we tested them.

Flex 5G Configuration

Lenovo affords a enormous range of Flex-branded 2-in-1 laptops, at the side of 14- and 15-trail fashions with 10th-gen Intel Core i3 and i5 Comet Lake CPUs. But with its Snapdragon 8cx processor (officially identified as the Snapdragon 8cx 5G) and integrated 5G networking capability, the Flex 5G stands alone in Lenovo’s Flex lineup and has no 5G competitors—within the mean time.

The Lenovo Flex 5G will grief you relief $1,400, otherwise you would possibly perchance perchance well perchance bound with Verizon’s two-yr, $58.33 installment understanding. Moreover the sign of the pc itself, you’ll wish to elevate into consideration Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband Connected Tool Notion, which costs $30 per month with an present line,or $90 per month without one.

The Flex 5G gained’t be the sole 5G pc for for primary longer. A veritable avalanche of competitors used to be announced earlier this yr, at the side of 5G variations of the Dell Latitude 9510, the HP Elite Dragonfly G2, and Lenovo’s possess ThinkPad X1 Fold, a foldable pc that knocked our socks off one day of a transient fingers-on this summer season. Extra as of late, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy E book Flex 5G powered by Intel’s mark-unique 11th-gen CPU. Acer is prepping the 5G-capable Trek 7, a 2-in-1 pc running on the next-generation model of the (already outdated!) Snapdragon 8cx 5G that sits internal the Lenovo Flex 5G.

So while the Lenovo Flex 5G at the moment stands as the finest—and handiest—option for anybody who needs for a 5G pc, possibilities will have many extra picks within the months forward. That truth alone must give these entertaining about the Flex 5G a moment of waste, unless you genuinely, genuinely wish to be the first to your block to possess one.

With that preamble out of the capability, listed below are the specs for the Lenovo Flex 5G:

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X
  • Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 680
  • Storage: 256GB UFS
  • Point out: 14-trail 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen, rated at 400 nits’ brightness
  • Webcam: 720p webcam
  • Connectivity: Two SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps (beforehand identified as USB 3.2 Gen 2) Form-C ports, one combo audio jack
  • Networking: Verizon 5G (mmWave and sub-6GHz), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Biometrics: IR facial recognition, fingerprint reader
  • Battery capability: 60 watt-hour
  • Dimensions: 12.65 x 8.46 x 0.58 inches
  • Weight: 3 kilos (measured), 3.6 with energy brick

While 5G is the headliner as far as the Flex 5G’s specs are alive to, let’s address any other details first (we’ll have loads to recount about 5G quite later), starting with that Snapdragon chip.

Qualcomm’s Arm-primarily primarily based Snapdragon 8cx processor used to be in the beginning touted as a viable different to extra primary X86-primarily primarily based Intel chips. It packed in roughly the same performance as Intel’s U-sequence Core i5 CPUs and delivered amazingly long battery life.

The truth is a tiny bit extra advanced. Our assessment of the Snapdragon 8cx-powered Samsung Galaxy E book S showed decent ends in multimedia and graphics performance (the latter courtesy of the 8cx’s Adreno 680 CPU), nonetheless disappointing ratings in picture modifying and (crucially) day-to-day productivity. You’ll review the details in our Efficiency allotment.

The 8cx’s Arm structure also has crucial implications for the forms of Windows apps you are going to—and gained’t—be in a situation to walk.

The 32-bit Windows programs encoded for X86 (as the huge majority of Windows apps are) can walk on an Arm pc ensuing from the magic of emulation, nonetheless 64-bit X86 apps can’t. While many of primarily the most neatly-favored day-to-day programs—you perceive, Microsoft Space of enterprise, Edge, Google Chrome, and Firefox—enact have 32-bit variations on hand, Adobe Inventive Cloud is a vital exception. Most AAA games can be out of the place a query to too, no longer that the 8cx’s integrated Adreno 680 graphics core would have a prayer of running any of them smoothly.

Earlier than making the soar to a Snapdragon-powered pc appreciate the Lenovo Flex 5G, make obvious that that your must-have programs—in particular the arcane ones, now to no longer point out your organization’s VPN—have both 32-bit X86 variations on hand, or 64-bit variations which would perchance be compiled for Arm.

Interesting on from the CPU, the Lenovo Flex 5G’s 8GB of low-energy RAM is satisfactory (even supposing 16GB would had been even higher), as is the 256GB SSD (even supposing you’d be higher off relegating media to the cloud). The 14-trail full-HD touchscreen promises to be rather appealing, while the integrated Qualcomm Adreno 680 GPU must give a limited boost over Intel’s competing UHD integrated graphics. While the Flex 5G’s cellular pork up (at the side of both the ultra-rapid mmWave and slower nonetheless extra frequent sub-6GHz variations of 5G) grabs the final headlines, the pc’s Wi-Fi 5 networking feels a tad within the relief of the instances as the unique Wi-Fi 6 unprecedented features momentum.

Create

Groundbreaking though it must be from a cellular networking standpoint, the Lenovo Flex 5G’s assemble is in any other case familiar.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The Lenovo Flex 5G, seen from the rear. Peek familiar?

From its pedestrian “iron gray” aluminum magnesium shell and nearly featureless flat lid to the twin 2-in-1 hinges that rotate for pill, kiosk, and tented tabletop employ, the Flex 5G cuts a slim, nondescript figure. There’s one delicate innovation: a notch at as soon as above the webcam makes it more straightforward to pry the pc commence with your fingertips.

The Flex 5G does genuinely feel quite heavy for a 14-trail pc. Clearly, that extra heft entails a 60 watt-hour battery, which (as we’ll review in a tiny bit) earns its retain after which some.

Point out

The Lenovo Flex 5G’s 14-trail, full-HD (1920×1080) prove is pleasingly sparkling and appealing, with a specified most of 400 nits that used to be readable outdoors beneath an umbrella on a sunny day. The contact-enabled prove does have a modern enact, on the opposite hand, so glare is often a instruct in train sunlight.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The 2-in-1 Lenovo Flex 5G might perchance perchance perchance merely additionally be tented on a desktop, otherwise you would possibly perchance perchance well perchance swivel its prove the final capability round for pill employ.

Viewing angles on the Flex 5G’s IPS prove are unsurprisingly solid, dimming handiest a tiny bit when viewed from off-middle vertical or horizontal angles.

The Flex 5G’s contact prove reacted smoothly to my taps and swipes. A stylus is non-vital—you would possibly perchance perchance well perchance snap up the battery-powered Energetic Pen for $45 from Lenovo.

Keyboard, trackpad, speakers, and webcam

I’ll appropriate gash to the hurry here: I wasn’t an infinite fan of the Lenovo Flex 5G’s keyboard. The most primary caps themselves sit down awfully low within the Flex 5G’s chassis, making the keyboard genuinely feel appreciate it’s nearly flat. Streak distance didn’t genuinely feel that groovy both. On the plus aspect, I did appreciate the tactile, rubberized genuinely feel of the Flex’s internal flooring, at the side of the palmrest.

The Flex 5G’s touchpad did a nice job, scooting the cursor round with on the least jitter. The touchpad used to be also adept at rejecting fraudulent inputs: Even after I brushed my palms backward and forward on the trackpad’s flooring, the cursor no longer frequently budged.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The Lenovo Flex 5G’s keycaps sit down uncomfortably low within the pc’s keyboard.

The twin upfiring speakers on the Flex 5G sound moderately factual, cranking out crisp, detailed sound, albeit with tiny within the technique of low-frequency response. The speakers on the Flex are optimized for Dolby Atmos, an audio layout that can declare immersive 3D audio from as few as two drivers. We’re seeing—and hearing—Atmos in extra and further laptops and even smartphones (iOS has natively supported Dolby Atmos since 2016). The waste is spectacular for a pc, even supposing you’re silent frequently higher off using external speakers or a tight pair of cans.

The video produced by the Lenovo Flex 5G’s 720p webcam looks to be like about as blotchy as you’d seek recordsdata from, even supposing the Flex 5G’s video images watch a tad extra washed out and herky-jerky than the norm. The pc does method with an IR digicam for facial recognition, which I faded nearly exclusively—and somewhat successfully—one day of my making an are attempting out. The Flex also has a fingerprint reader whilst you happen to’d quite register to Windows with your fingertip.

Ports

The Lenovo Flex 5G comes with exactly two USB ports, and they’re both SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps Form-C connectors, located on the pc’s left aspect.

Ben Patterson/IDG

The left aspect of the Lenovo Flex 5G boasts a pair of SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps Form-C ports.

On the factual aspect of the Flex 5G is the energy button, a combo audio jack, an airplane mode change, and … that’s it.

Ben Patterson/IDG

No USB Form-A for you! (We appreciate the airplane mode slider, though.)

So, what’s lacking? USB Form-A ports for starters, so that you’ll want a USB-C hub (now we have some ideas) whilst you happen to would snatch to employ the Flex 5G with a wired mouse or printer with legacy connectors. There’s also no memory card reader or HDMI port, even supposing you would possibly perchance perchance well perchance continuously join a 4K video show to certainly one of many USB-C ports in DisplayPort Alt mode.

Proceed studying for the Flex 5G’s benchmark outcomes

  • The Lenovo Flex 5G’s decreasing-edge bandwidth is candy within the event you are going to bag it, given the present limits of 5G networks.. Its battery life is superior. But its Snapdragon 8cx processor will salvage you relief.

    Pros

    • Blisteringly rapid 5G recordsdata speeds
    • Vivid FHD prove
    • Incredibly long battery life
    • IR facial recognition and fingerprint reader

    Cons

    • Middling productivity performance
    • Tiny Verizon 5G protection
    • No USB Form-A ports
    • Shallow keyboard

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