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.

IdeaPad 5G

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 1920x1080 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

Source: Lenovo

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  • yeeeeman - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    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

    Lol, base variants are cheaper with Intel. Hahaha
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    'Starts at' is the key point. What's the CPU on the lowest end models? Dual-core Intel vs Quad-core AMD? Reply
  • Xajel - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    Probably because the AMD variant will start with Ryzen 5 or 7, AMD won't release Ryzen 3 until later. Intel on the other hand will release i3, i5, i7 and even i9. Reply
  • ikjadoon - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    I feel a bit silly buying a 16:9 laptop in late 2019. I swore I'd wait until the market adopted 16:10 or 3:2, but the damn Christmas sales...

    All the 16:10 panel factories have come online, apparently: an excellent move, quite overdue, and I'm a little giddy that it's here almost non-chalantly.

    As they've been shrinking bezels, this was nearly a required move: we can't keep shrinking the keyboard deck & touchpad. The screen has got to grow larger if the bezels shrink: we're as cramped as we can be on 13.3", thank you very much.

    So, then, I think it is time to begin the next crusade: 16:10 and 3:2 desktop monitors.
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    "nonchalantly" -- when your fingers type faster than your head... Reply
  • RSAUser - Friday, January 8, 2021 - link

    Wouldn't want 16:10 on a 27/32" monitor, anything 24" and under definitely though. Reply
  • scineram - Monday, January 11, 2021 - link

    Well, I would only buy a 27" 16:9 display because it is of similar height as 24" 16:10. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    Wow. Starting prices of AMD laptops is higher than Intel's. When was last time it happened? Reply
  • fishingbait - Thursday, January 7, 2021 - link

    I hate to rain on the parade but if it is using the X55 and isn't Wi-Fi 6 compatible, then it is using the Gen 1 Qualcomm 8CX. The Gen 2 Qualcomm 8CX uses the X60 5G modem and supports Wi-Fi 6. Also, Gen 1 8CX is based on the Snapdragon 855, which was used in the Samsung Galaxy S10/Galaxy Note 10 and the Microsoft Surface Duo. The Gen 2 8CX is based on the Snapdragon 865, which was used last year's flagships like the Galaxy Note 20 and S20 and Fold 2.

    So the IdeaPad 5G better not cost too much as it is based on 2 year old tech. The Gen 3 8CX should come this year and will have at least a single Cortex X1 core, Wi-Fi 6 support and an integrated 5G modem instread of a separate one, plus will be on a 5nm process. (If this year's 8CX doesn't have at least 2 Cortex X1 cores however I will be extremely disappointed.)

    Basically, absolutely no one should buy the IdeaPad 5G unless it is very cheap. They should wait on Windows laptops later this year from Microsoft, Samsung and LG that are going to have the Gen 3 8CX. At the very least by last year's Surface Pro X and clones that used the Gen 2.
    Reply
  • erinadreno - Friday, January 8, 2021 - link

    I think both variants of 8cx uses 855 as base (8cx gen 2 still uses kryo 495 core) according to Qualcomm. But I agree that nobody should buy WoA device unless they absolutely need Windows and ARM environment. Reply

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