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5G laptops are coming this year. Here's the first batch from CES 2020

The high-speed, always-connected future for laptops is just around the corner.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
3 min read
Angela Lang/CNET

At CES 2020, 5G is everywhere -- from service and phones to cars and drones. And yes, 5G technology is coming to several new laptops, too, making it possible to stay connected at the fastest mobile wireless speeds available today. 5G is the next-generation wireless technology, 10 to 100 times speedier than your typical cellular connection and with low latency, so things like streaming video or downloads start almost instantaneously. (If you want to know more, check out all of CNET's 5G service and device coverage.) 

While regular consumers can certainly benefit from 5G availability on laptops, professionals whose work depends on being productive anywhere at anytime will get the most from it right now. Because of that, it's not exactly a surprise that the models announced at CES were mostly aimed at business users. But, as the networks and technology mature some, I'm hoping built-in 5G becomes an option in more consumer PCs. Tethering is fine, but there's nothing like lifting your laptop lid and just being connected. 

Dell announced its new Latitude 9510 laptop and two-in-one a couple days before CES kicked off, but that still counts. Both start at just 3.2 pounds (1.5 kg) and have aluminum bodies trimmed to the size of a 14-inch laptop -- but they have 15-inch, 400-nit full HD displays with 100% sRGB color gamut coverage.  

Among its many attributes, such as an unbelievable 30-hour battery life, the 9510 will be available with Wi-Fi 6 and optional 5G service. It'll be available globally on March 26 starting at $1,799 (about £1,375 or AU$2,625).

HP only announced its ultralight Elite Dragonfly business two-in-one back in September, but it's already moved on to its second-gen version, the Elite Dragonfly G2. The G2 will have three key new options when it's expected to be available in mid-2020: An improved Sure View privacy display, built-in Tile support for smart location tracking of the device and the option for 5G wireless.

At CES, Samsung confirmed its MIA Galaxy Book S running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx platform will, in fact, arrive some time before March. The Lenovo Yoga 5G, however, promises to be the first to run on the 5G version of the chip if it arrives when expected this spring at a starting price of $1,499 (about £1,145 or AU$2,185). It'll be known as the Flex 5G in US. 

Lenovo says the Yoga 5G will get up to 24 hours of battery life, which, combined with its 2.9-pound (1.3 kg) weight and bright, 400-nit display, should make this 14-inch two-in-one a great all-day work machine. Also, it supports both millimeter-wave full-band and sub-6GHz 5G networks, which is good because not all networks are created equally.

Watch this: The best laptops from CES 2020

Don't want a conventional laptop? Lenovo's upcoming X1 Fold is a big folding 13.3-inch OLED tablet running on Windows 10 Pro. There's an onscreen keyboard for quick text entry, but if you prefer a physical keyboard for typing, there's a Bluetooth keyboard that can be used separately or magnetically attached to half the display. The X1 Fold will be available midyear, starting at $2,499 (about £1,910 or AU$3,645) and Lenovo said 5G will be an option at an unspecified point in the future.

The best laptops from CES 2020

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Originally published Jan. 9.