Lenovo recently launched the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, the latest generation of its most popular business laptop. This new iteration comes with Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors, new display options, an improved webcam, and more. Previous models of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon already included cellular support, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Gen 10 model also supports either 5G or 4G LTE.
As per usual, cellular connectivity is an optional upgrade, so you’ll have to pay extra for the privilege. You can also expect to pay more if you want 5G, as you get the option to choose what you prefer. What you can’t get is support for mmWave 5G – only sub-6GHz networks are supported, which is the case for most business laptops anyway.
Do you need 5G on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon?
If you’ve never had a laptop with cellular support, you may be wondering why you would need that kind of feature. Or, if you’re not familiar with 5G, why you’d want to pay extra for it over 4G LTE support.
Cellular connectivity is a popular business feature because it allows you to stay connected to the internet wherever you go. Typically, if you want to use the internet on your laptop, you need Wi-Fi (or a wired connection), but Wi-Fi networks aren’t available everywhere. Plus, when you’re out and about, you’ll see a lot of Wi-Fi networks that aren’t secure. If you connect to the Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, you’re exposing your data to other people on that network.
With cellular connectivity, you can stay connected to the internet using the cellular network, similar to your phone. These networks are much more broadly available than Wi-Fi, plus it’s more secure since your data isn’t exposed to other users. That means you can keep working while you’re on the move without any hassle.
5G is the latest generation of cellular networks, and it brings benefits like faster speeds and more capacity for more devices. However, there’s a caveat. When you hear about the maximum speeds of 5G, it’s usually talking about mmWave 5G. This is a new type of network that uses a very high frequency, resulting in higher speeds. However, not every 5G device supports mmWave 5G, and as we mentioned above, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of those that doesn’t. You only get support for sub-6GHz networks, which are much closer to the 4G LTE networks we know of today. You may still get higher speeds, but the difference won’t be as drastic.
Because 5G is still very new, though, that also means you’ll be future-proofed. 5G networks are going to keep getting faster and more reliable for the foreseeable future, and 4G LTE won’t receive the same kind of support. If you’re planning to use your laptop for years to come, 5G may be worth the upgrade, since it’ll serve you that much better in the future. But if you’re buying right now and you plan to upgrade again in a couple of years, then getting a 4G LTE model may be a good way to save some money right now.
When you configure your ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, you’re looking to spend about $200 more if you get 5G support compared to 4G LTE. You have to weigh the benefits of 5G against that cost and whether you’ll be able to use those benefits.
And that’s all you need to know about 5G support on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10. As with most business laptops, it’s an optional upgrade, and it’s a costly one, but it may be worth it as a long-term investment. Regardless, just having the option is great, and it’s part of what makes this one of Lenovo’s best ThinkPads.
If you’re interested in buying the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, you can check it out below. At writing time, you can’t yet get it with cellular support, but more models should be rolling out over time. If you can’t afford to wait, you can always check out the best 5G laptops you can buy today.