Lenovo unveils new IdeaPad laptops with 5G, Intel and AMD processors, and Alexa Show Mode

The pre-CES 2021 news rolls on.

Ahead of CES 2021, Lenovo has unveiled a new lineup of IdeaPad laptops for 2021. There’s the new IdeaPad 5G that leans into the portability factor of a laptop, the IdeaPad 5i Pro that offers an impressive spec list, and the IdeaPad 5 Pro that exclusively uses AMD chipsets.

IdeaPad 5G

Lenovo’s making the biggest deal around the IdeaPad 5G, and it’s clear why: it’s powered by the Snapdragon 8cx 5G processor. That means the device gets 5G connectivity and an ARM-based chipset, two things that are relatively rare in the laptop world. The Snapdragon X55 gives you sub-6GHz connectivity, and the SIM slot on the right side of the machine should make adding a data connection to the device relatively easy. Of course, if 5G isn’t available in your area, the machine will buck back to 4G LTE.

Lenovo includes a 14-inch Full HD display on the IdeaPad 5G, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. The company touts its “bouncy” keyboard included on the machine along with Dolby Audio Plus front-facing speakers, IR camera for Windows Hello, and up to 20 hours of usage thanks to the 51WHr cell onboard. To charge, there’s a USB-C port compatible with Rapid Charge Express.

If you wanna save a little cash, you can get the IdeaPad 4G/LTE which comes with a Snapdragon 8c and no 5G modem.

IdeaPad 5i Pro and IdeaPad 5 Pro

While the IdeaPad 5G is a bit experimental, the IdeaPad 5i Pro and 5 Pro aren’t. They offer traditional laptop designs with beefy spec sheets and upgraded screens.

Both machines offer either a 14-inch or 16-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, a first for the IdeaPad lineup. Lenovo’s been using 16:9 for years and years, so it’s nice to see them finally add some extra vertical screen room. The 14-inch models have a 2.8K resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and 400 nits of brightness, while the 16-inch models have a 2.5K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate and 350 nits of brightness. (I assume endurance is the reason behind the odd spec configuration on the 16-inch model.)

The new IdeaPads also come with identical designs with two finishes: Cloud Grey or Storm Grey. They’re also pretty light with the 14-inch weighing in at 1.45kg and the 16-inch at 2kg. You get Windows Hello security thanks to the IR cameras at the top, intelligent power management to increase performance or improve battery life thanks to Lenovo’s Vantage software, the same “bouncy” keyboard with optional backlighting, a larger trackpad than previous generations, and Dolby Atmos audio.

Under the hood is where the biggest differences lie between the IdeaPad 5i Pro and the 5 Pro. The former comes with 11th-gen Intel processors up to an i7, while the IdeaPad 5 Pro gets AMD chips. Lenovo doesn’t specify which chips other than the “next-gen AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors (coming soon)” in its press release, so I assume we’ll have more details in the near future. You also get up to Nvidia MX450 discrete graphics and 1TB of PCIe M.2 SSD storage on both machines. The IdeaPad 5i Pro gets 16GB of RAM while the 5 Pro can be configured wit up to 32GB if you get the 16-inch model.

Rounding things off, the 14-inch variants of both IdeaPads have 56.5WHr batteries while the 16-inch models have 75WHr batteries. Both are compatible with Rapid Charge Boost.

Alexa Show Mode

Across all three new IdeaPads, Lenovo includes the Show Mode from its Alexa-enabled tablets. The software transforms your laptop’s screen into what could be compared to an Amazon Echo Show. You can ask Alexa questions, open apps, play music, control smart home appliances, and more. Lenovo says it’ll launch the feature in Q2 201 on these new IdeaPads in addition to the Yoga Slim 9i, Yoga 9i, Yoga 7i, and Yoga AIO 7.

Pricing & Availability

Lenovo hasn’t said how much the IdeaPad 5G will cost just yet or when it’ll launch, but we do have some insight into the other two models. The 14-inch IdeaPad 5 Pro will start at €799, the 14-inch 5i Pro will start at €699, and the 16-inch 5i Pro will start at €899. Unfortunately, none of those machines are expected to make it to North America. The only one Lenovo has confirmed will make it to North America is the 16-inch IdeaPad 5 Pro which will start at $1,149.99. That model will launch in May, while the other three will launch in EMEA in March.

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