Because of its immediate connection with mobile network carriers, 5G is often thought of as an upcoming revolution in smartphones. However, it’s also promised to drastically change the face of computing, from traditional computers to the Internet of Things. So far, however, we’ve only seen smartphones and networking equipment with 5G capabilities and almost nothing else. At Computex 2019, Qualcomm and Lenovo announced their joint Project Limitless and their first baby, the world’s first 5G-enabled laptop.
The notebook is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx platform, what the chip maker calls its “most extreme Snapdragon ever”. It has Qualcomm’s newest custom Kryo 495 CPU cores and Adreno 680 GPU not found in any other Snapdragon chip. Its selling feature, of course, is its network connectivity.
The Snapdragon 8cx sports two modems. The X24 LTE modem supports the fastest Category 22 LTE available today but the real star of the show is the X55 5G modem. More than just blazing fast speeds, up to 7 Gbps on a perfect day, Qualcomm wants people to know why 5G in the PCs is a good thing.
Of course, you can easily download gigabytes of videos or stream without spinning icons but the technology will also let you do real-time translation in video chats, especially when paired with on-device AI. It also means less waiting time when collaborating with others remotely over large files, like editing a video on the go.
Of course, all of these hinges on the software experience that will be delivered on this Project Limitless 5G laptop. Windows 10 on ARM, specifically Snapdragon, has so far been a massive disappointment in terms of delivering that Always On, Always Connected PC promise. Fortunately, Qualcomm and Lenovo have until next year to iron out the kinks, as 5G coverage isn’t expected to be fully rolled out until 2020.