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The new Lenovo connected PC and Workspot: Closing in on a cloud desktop future

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Editor’s note: Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.

If you’ve been following me, you know I believe we’re quickly moving to a cloud-based desktop and a solution that better combines what we once had with terminals and what we currently need in terms of desktop control and performance. But until now, getting a demo on my hardware to see if latency problems can be addressed has been problematic. 

This week, Workspot offered me access just as I received the latest connected PC notebook from Lenovo – the Flex 5G. It’s the closest to what is likely the ideal mobile cloud client short of a dedicated device. 

Let’s talk about the Lenovo Flex 5G and my experience with Workspot.

The Lenovo Flex 5G and performance

The always-connected PC class of products had a problematic start, mainly because the Qualcomm ARM solution was too underpowered for most users. And the limitations of 4G didn’t provide enough bandwidth, or low-enough latency, to push everything into the cloud. 

This Flex 5G product has performance more in line with an Intel i3 processor, but with battery life that can approach 25 hours and 5G support that, when connected to a 5G network, provides adequate bandwidth for cloud computing. (Sadly, there is no 5G yet covering my house, but I do have Wi-Fi 6 and network performance that should be close enough.)

This isn’t to say that 4G isn’t usable in a pinch; it is, and for things like email or writing documents it may be fine for most people. But on the newer 5G networks you get an experience that’s far less annoying and far less likely to generate complaints. 

The Lenovo Flex 5G isn’t cheap, costing $1,399.99 at Verizon. Still, you are unlikely to find the same blend of connectivity and battery life in any other product at the moment. If those two things are high priorities, this may be your device. And if you are going to run this as a cloud client device, those two are significant. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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