Best 5G laptops in 2020

Most 5G laptops are catered towards people on the go. If you’re a professional who needs a reliable device at your side while away from a stable Wi-Fi connection, or if you simply want to be on the move with drop-of-the-hat access to the full potential of your machine, we have picked a selection of the best 5G laptops out there, both available now and coming soon.

No, the best 5G laptops don’t come with a faraday suit to protect you from the “harmful mind-control waves” conspirators think they run on. The greatest 5G laptops also lack a little tinfoil hat to keep the government out of your innermost thoughts — contrary to the viewpoint from the exciting world of my in-laws, anyway. Rather, in the real world, most of the following laptops come with “useless” stuff like an essential charger or stylus pen.

In all seriousness, 5G networks are still in their infancy, so too is the market for 5G laptops. Don’t allow that to fool you into thinking that what is currently available holds no value outside of their roaming connectivity potential. Many of the laptops on this list have so much more to offer than their ability to connect to the latest cellular network.

What are the benefits of a 5G laptop?

In a world where Wi-Fi generally reigns supreme, you might find yourself asking why you’d ever even need to consider picking up a 5G laptop. You may even own a 4G compatible device and feel that it does the job well enough, so why bother? After all, 2020 was supposed to be the year 5G was to really kick things off, and yet, some of the roaring hype for the service has dwindled into more of a background conspiracy-laden fizzle.

The unstable nature of 2020 is, of course, one of the reasons why 5G hasn’t become more of a prominent fixture in our technological lives by now. Between delays on coverage expansion and people being actively discouraged from roaming at all, there’s less demand for 5G than perhaps it deserves.

However, there is more to 5G than simply roaming access. As coverage expands and more areas are able to access the network, the potential of the service will become more apparent. The current mainstream 4G network has a ceiling of speeds up to 100 megabits per second while 5G is capable of up to 10 gigabits per second (theoretically), which is a hundredfold improvement over 4G’s speeds. 

To put those numbers in context, the average broadband speed in the US, according to speedtest.net, is 53.44 megabits per second. That means, in at least some areas, 5G may actually have the potential to leapfrog ahead of conventional internet connections, delivering lightning-fast downloads, gaming, and streaming to your home wirelessly.

While the majority of our highlighted laptops won’t allow you to install and run the latest AAA games, you could reliably stream games to your device thanks to 5G speeds and the current trend of cloud-based game streaming services. And when you’re on the move, you can turn even the most business-focused laptop into a gaming notebook all through the cloud.

A 5G laptop is, if nothing else, future-proofing yourself with an alternative option for connecting to the internet. 5G has the potential to last a decade, so this choice will afford you on-the-go and (eventually) at-home internet at speeds you won’t be able to deny.

What are the best 5G laptops?

One of the best 5G laptops right now is the Dell Latitude 9510 5G. Its 10th Gen Intel CPU and 16GB of RAM makes this business laptop a solid performer and one that never has to leave your side thanks to its superb battery life, which is just shy of 18.5 hours. It’s a true all-day always-connected device, but it will hit your pocketbook for around $2,477.

However, the best 5G laptop for you will depend on a few things. First of all, consider how much usage you require from the device while you’re on-the-move, how much you want to pay, and how long you’ll be willing to wait to pick one up.

If you’re looking for a 5G laptop that’s a little more affordable, but will still cover your needs, check out the Lenovo Flex 5G 2-in-1.  It’s close to matching the Latitude 9510’s incredible operating time with nearly 17.5 hours of battery life, but it trades in a more powerful CPU for a price that will set you back only $1,499.

We have also highlighted two laptops that aren’t yet on the market, but are expected to arrive sometime in 2021. These are the powerful all-rounder Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G and the business-focused HP Elite Dragonfly G2. Both laptops were expected to arrive this year but have met delays along the way. From what we know about them, however, they’re both set to be powerhouses of this category. So if you’re in no rush to upgrade to or purchase a 5G laptop, it may be worth holding out a little longer before making your final decision.

The Best 5G LaptopsDell Latitude 9510 5GLenovo Flex 5G 2-in-1Lenovo X1 FoldHP Elite Dragonfly G2Samsung Galaxy Flex 5G

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)1. Dell Latitude 9510 5G

Display: 15-inch (1080p w/ Non-Touch Option) | CPU: Intel Core i7-10810 vPro | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Weight: 3.7 lbs | Size: 13.4 x 8.5 x 0.3~0.6 inch | Battery Life: 18.25~ hours

Record-setting battery life

Slim design

Solid Performance

No 4K or discrete graphics

Pricey

Remember that phrase “Time is money”? Well, Dell does too, and if you want to be the owner of a laptop that’ll give you around 18.25 hours of battery life, it expects you to pay top-bloody-dollar for it. The Dell Latitude 9510 sits pretty atop our list of the laptops with the best battery life, and it also sits pretty as the best 5G laptop you can currently pick up.

The Latitude’s slim, sleek design and bright near bezel-less 15-inch, 1080p display gives it enough personality to not fade into the background of the average 2-in-1 laptop design. It also feels sturdy when placed in tent or tablet mode without the hinges stiffening up.

The Latitude 9510’s price tag makes it a little give-and-take at times, a perpetual balancing of good and bad. It sports a powerful 10th Gen Intel CPU that delivers above-average performance, but it lacks discrete graphics or a 4K resolution. Its speakers caught us off guard with how well they performed, but its webcam failed to impress us in a similar way. 

The lack of discrete graphics can limit the laptop’s usefulness for gaming, but the 5G speeds that the 9510 harnesses make cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now, Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now much more reliable.

See our full Dell Latitude 9510 review.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)2. Lenovo Flex 5G 2-in-1

Display: 14-inch (1080p) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx | GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 680 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 2.9 lbs | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Battery Life: 17.5~ hours

Great battery life

Lightweight, premium design

Bright and vivid display

App compatibility issues

Pricey

Lenovo’s Flex 5G is the first laptop to truly enter the 5G market, and it seems to have set all of its focus on delivering a fantastic out-and-about experience. The Flex 5G is lightweight, its screen is bright and it boasts an impressive 17.5 hours of battery life that’ll leave you feeling confident about leaving the house without dragging a charger along with you.

It seems like all the right decisions were made while making the Flex as portable as possible, but we couldn’t help but feel a little let down by the decision to not include an AMD or Intel processor. Instead, Lenovo opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx CPU that faltered at times when attempting to run certain apps, and left the Flex feeling a little sluggish.

While its price to performance ratio is a little concerning, the Flex 5G  is the cheapest in our selection of 5G ready laptops, with a $1,499 price tag. It won’t compete very well alongside similarly priced AMD or Intel-powered contemporaries, but Lenovo’s goal here seems to be to deliver a sleek, minimalist and reliable 2-in-1 laptop. You’ll be able to take the Flex 5G with you anywhere and not feel constrained.

See our full Lenovo Flex 5G review.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

Display: 13.3-inch OLED (2048 x 1536) | CPU: Intel Core i5-L16G7 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Weight: 2.2 lbs | Size: 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.45-inch (unfolded); 6.2 x 9.3 x 1.1-inch (folded) | Battery Life: 6~ hours

Innovative design

Superb build quality

Flexible OLED display

Poor battery life

Pricey even before extras

It’s another first for Lenovo, delivering the world’s first foldable personal computer in the ThinkPad X1 Fold. Designed to take a bit of a battering and not fall apart like Humpty Dumpty in the back of a rally car, the X1 Fold is durable and built with quality in mind. Its foldable display is protected by chunky bevels, and its multi-link torque hinge does an amazing job not triggering the deep-rooted PTSD within you from the first time you attempted to bend a CD in half and nearly peppered yourself with plastic shrapnel. And thanks to the hinge, we can sleep better knowing that the vivid and crisp 13.3-inch OLED display is safe.

The costly $2,500 ThinkPad X1 Fold doesn’t come 5G ready, so you’ll have to secure that feature at an additional cost when ordering. This pushed the price up another £220 / $299, which is a sting considering you’ll possibly be wanting to fork out for additional accessories, like the X1 Fold’s Mini Keyboard and Mod Pen stylus, that also doesn’t come packaged with the device.

It’s a hefty sum to put down if you want to be a part of what is, in all fairness, a remarkably well made first entry into the foldable laptop market. But that price only seems larger when you’re made aware of the 6-hour battery life, especially after looking into the previous two entries in this list. The X1 Fold as a concept is fantastic. As a completed build? It’s an impressive technical accomplishment, but as a replacement to your laptop? At the moment, that one might be a bridge too far.

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold review.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)4. HP Elite Dragonfly G2

Display: 13.3-inch (1080p/4K) | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3/i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8/16GB | Storage: 128GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD | Weight: 2.2 lbs | Size: 12 x 7.8 x 0.6-inch

Good battery life

Lightweight, premium design

Bright and vivid display

A host of security features

Weak audio

The original HP Elite Dragonfly was a 4G LTE-focused laptop that received a 4.5-star rating in our review last year, and it was held back mostly for its reliance on an 8th Gen Intel processor. However, when the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 was unveiled at CES 2020 sporting a 10th Gen Intel CPU, a 4K display, a built-in 5G modem, and Tile tracker — it left some people’s heads thrown back so far you’d be amazed Pez didn’t fire out of their necks.

Retaining the beautifully elegant design of its predecessor, the Dragonfly is a clash of eye-catching blue and chrome that’s impossible not to admire from any angle. A number of security features also follow from the previous iteration, including a fingerprint scanner and IR camera for facial recognition. And for the first time, the Dragonfly will come with the aforementioned Tile tracker, which allows you to track your device even while powered off.

Unfortunately, due to delays caused by the coronavirus, HP had to push back the release of the Dragonfly G2 to 2021. But if you can hold off for just a short while longer, you’ll be rewarded with a much improved, 5G-ready laptop that wants to position itself as one of the most versatile business notebooks on the market.

See our full HP Elite Dragonfly (2020): hands-on review.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)5. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G

Display: 13.3-inch (1080p) | CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 / Intel Core i5-1135G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB SSD | Weight: 2.7 lbs | Size: 12 x 7.9 x 0.6-inch

Built-in S Pen

Lightweight, premium design

Bright and vivid display

A host of security features

Weak audio

Announced in September 2020, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 5G is the 5G-focused follow-up to the already impressive Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15. Only this time, along with having up to 16GB of RAM, it makes use of both Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors and Iris Xe Graphics. The Flex 5G is potentially pitting itself as not only the best 5G laptop, but also as one of the best overall laptops, since it sports hardware that is comparable to the Dell XPS 13.

If you’re a fan of clean and minimalistic designs, you’ll find the Flex 5G absolutely stunning, and its Royal Silver finish makes it look so razor-sharp that it may need to be showcased alongside a trigger warning for descendants of French nobility.

Currently, Samsung has yet to reveal details around pricing or availability for the Galaxy Book Flex 5G, so this will be something to keep your eyes open for in 2021.

Round up of today’s best deals

Latitude 9510 Business Laptop…

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet,…

HP Elite Dragonfly 13.3-Inch…

Samsung – Galaxy Book Flex…



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About the Author: Chris Jenny

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