5G-enabled PCs: How do the top brands stack up?

5G-enabled PCs

As more mobile operators set to roll out 5G networks on a wider scale, the race to build 5G-enabled PCs is on. The next-generation mobile network has opened up a slew of opportunities for enterprises and consumers to increase performance and productivity, through 5G-enabled devices, including personal computers.

Though COVID-19 has delayed the initial stages of 5G commercialization globally, many enterprises are looking forward to integrating 5G-enabled PCs into the IT infrastructure as they aim to migrate workloads to the Cloud for successful remote collaboration and scalability. 

While smartphones have dominated the conversation surrounding 5G, the introduction of Lenovo’s Project Limitless in May 2019 as the world’s first fully 5G-enabled PC marked the beginning of a promising future for the next-generation PC and smartphone ecosystem. 

Globally, PC makers have already kicked off advancements in the 5G domain to enable faster and more efficient computing use cases. This year, the top three computer manufacturing brands have announced their 5G-equipped solutions. Here’s what the 5G-enabled PCs from the key players are expected to offer.

Lenovo Yoga 5G – World’s first 5G PC 

Lenovo collaborated with Qualcomm to introduce the first-ever 5G-enabled PC prototype, Project Limitless, at Computex (Taipei) in May 2019. After exhibiting the completely developed system at CES 2020, Lenovo positioned the 5G-enabled PC within its popular product line, Yoga, as Lenovo Yoga 5G.

lenovo laptop yoga 8 5g hero

Source: Lenovo Yoga 5G

Yoga 5G is the first convertible PC with a mobile processor – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx. This ultraportable PC (weighing only 2.86lb) enables lightning-fast download speeds of up to 4 GB per second (10 times faster than a 4G data connection). Also, it boasts of incredible battery life of up to 24 hours a day. Here are the key features incorporated by the Lenovo Yoga 5G.

1. 5G that supports mmWave spectrum

Yoga 5G, integrated with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, includes an eSIM option that improves reliability. It is reportedly the first computing device to support both Sub-6 GHz as well as mmWave spectrums. In fact, this model’s wireless 5G connectivity leverages 9 built-in antennas that enable mmWave support.

2. Quiet like a smartphone with fanless design

This 5G-enabled PC from Lenovo boasts of a fanless design that provides users a smartphone-like experience in PC. Also, Yoga 5G utilizes a software-enabled intelligent temperature control feature that adjusts PC performance based on the user’s activity.

3. AI technology that increases performance

Powered by an integrated AI engine within the 8cx platform, Lenovo Yoga 5G is based on an All-Ways Aware AI technology. It enables an adaptive computing experience to boost performance and optimize battery life.

4. Enhanced security

Lenovo Yoga 5G attracts consumers and enterprises alike due to its security features that include Windows Hello and IR camera-based login options.

Dell Latitude 9510

Introduced in January 2020, the Latitude 9510 5G PC is reportedly Dell’s smallest, lightest, and most intelligent business PC. The first 5G PC in the Latitude 9000 series will be available in two variations – traditional clamshell, and convertible.

Dell Latitude 9510 Convertible

Source: Dell Latitude 9510 Convertible

Exhibiting download speeds of over 900 Mbps, Latitude 9510 comes at a lightweight of 3.08lb that complements its slim design. The 5G-enabled PC from Dell will offer the following:

1. Mid-band 5G spectrums

5G connectivity in Dell Latitude 9510 leverages Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Dell integrates its 5G antennas in the speaker regions to improve transceiver operation regardless of the PCs’ aluminum chassis. This will support mid-band 5G spectrums. Although, it may not efficiently serve the mmWave spectrum.

2. Carbon blade fans to prevent overheating

The high-speed data access and high power utilization attributed to 5G can cause device overheating issues. To combat overheating, Dell 9510 utilizes a combination of active and passive cooling. Not only this, but the inbuilt carbon blade fans along with adaptive thermal management functions also enable noiseless operation.

3. AI technology to increase responsiveness and security

The built-in AI functions alongside 5G connectivity in Dell Latitude 9510 play a crucial role in improving user experience. This model’s AI software, Dell Optimizer, utilizes Intel’s Adaptix technology for learning user preferences and increases system responsiveness. It improves battery performance by applying adaptive battery performance settings (0% to 80% within 1 hour). Also, the technology enhances the sign-in process by using proximity sensors.

4. Wi-Fi 6 alongside 5G

Dell Latitude 9510 is the first PC to feature both emerging technologies – 5G and Wi-Fi 6. 5G enables secure on-the-go operations in the PC and Wi-Fi 6 enables smooth in-office connectivity.

HP Elite Dragonfly G2

HP’s first 5G-enabled PC, Elite Dragonfly G2 is a convertible business device. The 5G-enabled PC would include Wi-Fi 6 as well as Tile – a Bluetooth device tracker.

HP Elite Dragonfly

Source: HP Elite Dragonfly

HP Elite Dragonfly G2, reportedly, is amongst the most portable and lightest business PCs with a 2.2lb starting weight. HP has used recycled materials, including ocean plastic, to build over 82% of the device’s mechanical parts. Here’s what the 5G-enabled HP laptop has to offer:

1. Sub-6 band 5G to cover a large geographic area

HP Elite Dragonfly G2 will feature Qualcomm’s X55 modem for enabling both LTE and 5G. The 5G technology in Dragonfly PCs leverages 4 x 4 antennas with smart signal technology to boost antenna performance. This HP PC will provide 5G support up to the Sub-6 GHz, but it will not cover the mmWave spectrum.

2. Sure View Reflect to boost privacy

Physical shutters for built-in cameras in Elite Dragonfly G2 protect users from malicious surveillance. Furthermore, the 5G-enabled PC has introduced an optional privacy screen, HP Sure View Reflect. This enables a narrow privacy angle and makes the screen viewable only to the user.

3. AI to detect and curb cyber threats

HP DragonFly addresses cyberattack challenges by increasing security with its AI technology – HP Sure Sense. This technology can detect threats in real-time and prevent ransomware activity.

5g enabled pc comparison

Source: Netscribes

Other contenders expected to enter the 5G-enabled PC domain

Microsoft

Microsoft is yet to make any official announcements about its 5G-enabled PCs. However, the company’s prior association with Qualcomm indicates that it may introduce a 5G version of Surface PCs soon. The version would possibly leverage Qualcomm’s modem for high-performance enterprise use.

Apple

With no indication of introducing a 5G-enabled PC yet, Apple may either leverage Qualcomm’s Snapdragon modem or develop an in-house modem technology in the future to integrate 5G into its Mac portfolio.

Samsung

Samsung inclines towards “mobile-only” as the next step in its computing evolution and has introduced the world’s first 5G-enabled tablet – Galaxy Tab S6 5G at CES 2020. The company has also developed an in-house 5G modem, Exynos 5123, which it is unlikely to leverage in its PCs.

MSI

MSI introduced a 5G-compatible desktop, MEG Aegis Ti5, at CES 2020. This is the first time any gaming desktop will be featuring 5G technology.

The way forward

5G network displays a potential of connectivity that will be more responsive, stable, and secure as compared to 4G and Wi-Fi. This translates into opportunities for PC makers, cloud providers, MNOs, and enterprises to monetize from new 5G use cases. 

While 5G deployments have undergone a temporary deceleration recently, the significance of reliable connectivity has also been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enterprises continue to remain informed, engaged, and operational through this adversity on account of connectivity. 

At this pace, 5G innovation will emerge as the next-generation wireless technology that empowers new user experiences and connects new industries. 

Netscribes’ 5G-Enabled PCs Competitive Intelligence Report uncovers various technical barriers, opportunities, and market landscape for 5G-enabled PCs. Besides, our in-depth analysis discusses factors influencing 5G-enabled PC adoption, and challenges associated with the 5G integration in PC devices.

To discover the latest insights on 5G-driven market trends, contact us.

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