Always one of the biggest set of announcements for CES is from Lenovo, with updates to a lot of their lineup being announced every January, as well as some very interesting new products being shown off most years. As we head into CES week, Lenovo is teasing us with some updates to their IdeaPad lineup, including a new 5G model. As tends to be the case, we don’t always have the full spec sheets for these announcements yet, but let’s dig in and see what Lenovo is planning for the start of 2021.
5G is still a buzzword, but it is nice to see the technology coming to laptops as well. Lenovo’s new IdeaPad 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor, and is coupled to the X55 modem to provide sub-6 GHz 5G capabilities for speedier networking in supported locations. Interestingly, the new laptop offers the fastest cellular connectivity, but only has Wi-Fi 5 support when you do connect to an access point. The 14-inch laptop offers a 1920×1080 16:9 display which can hit 300 nits in the sRGB gamut. RAM is up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X, and storage offerings will be up to 512 GB of PCIe SSD.
The IdeaPad, thanks to the 8cx platform, is able to go fanless, which is one of the benefits of the low-powered Arm platform. Another benefit is battery life, with Lenovo claiming up to 20 hours of video playback from just 51 Wh capacity is a strong showing, and the USB-C charging offers Rapid Charge Express. Lenovo hasn’t fixed a price yet, other than to say it will vary by market, and that it will not be released in North America at this time.
IdeaPad 5 Pro and 5i Pro
Back in the x86 world, Lenovo is releasing two new IdeaPad models powered by AMD Ryzen in the 5 Pro, and 11th Gen Intel Core in the 5i Pro. These new laptops have moved to a 16:10 aspect ratio, and will be available in both a 14-inch and 16-inch model. We have seen a lot of laptops make the jump to taller displays in the last year or two, and it is very nice to see Lenovo offer several models with the 16:10 ratio.
Lenovo is utilizing the IR sensor for time-of-flight, instead of just for Windows Hello login, which is a nice touch. The laptop will sense when you get up and walk away, and automatically pause video, as an example. Lenovo is also adding Amazon Alexa Show Mode, which lets you use your PC as an Alexa device when you want to.
The displays are not only 16:10 aspect, but the 14-inch model offers a 90 Hz refresh rate and 400 nits of brightness. The 16-inch offers 120 Hz and 350 nits, which is nice to see in a non-gaming laptop. Both the Intel and AMD models will also offer an NVIDIA MX450 graphics card as a bump over integrated graphics.
The 14-inch model will offer a 56.5 Wh battery, while the larger 16-inch model jumps to a very impressive 75 Wh unit, and all of them feature Rapid Charge Express for quicker charging over USB-C.
On the Intel model, Tiger Lake is paired with up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 1 TB of PCIe storage, and the 16-inch model features a Thunderbolt 4 port. Those opting for the next-generation AMD Ryzen H model lose access to the Thunderbolt 4, but the 16-inch IdeaPad 5 Pro can be outfitted with 32 GB of DDR4, rather than the 16 GB max in the smaller model.
Lenovo has also added a larger trackpad, and updated the keyboard with new keys and backlighting.
These devices, other than the 16-inch AMD powered model, will not initially be in the US market, but availability for all models will be in March, with prices as follows:
- IdeaPad 5 Pro 16” AMD laptop starts at $1149.99 and is to be available starting May 2021.
- IdeaPad 5 Pro 14” AMD laptop (not in the U.S.) available in EMEA March 2021, starts at €799.00
- IdeaPad 5i Pro 16” Intel laptop (not in the U.S.) available in EMEA March 2021, starts at €899
- IdeaPad 5i Pro 14” Intel laptop (not in the U.S.) available in EMEA March 2021 starts at €699