Are 4G Laptops the Future of Computing or Just a Fad?

Laptops that have longer-lasting battery life and 4G connectivity are becoming available. Longer usage and constant connectivity in laptops are a thing of the near future. For laptop users, this development could greatly enhance their computing experience. However, sceptics suggest that these new laptops could be a potential gimmick to get consumers to purchase expensive 4G subscriptions. During 2017, the core marketing terminologies for laptops was “always connected”. Laptops could be modelling smartphones in 2018 as they become much more connected. The new, upcoming laptops sport 20-hour batteries and built in 4G connectivity. Additionally, 4G laptops use smartphone processors to complete everyday tasks like web browsing and word processing.

Both Qualcomm and Microsoft are driving this new approach to computing. Recent computing technology breeches have encouraged laptop consumers to significantly reconsider their security options. The Meltdown and Spectre crisis has led to a serious awareness and spotlight on Intel; arguably the most prevalent brand for laptop processors. Its computer chips were the most vulnerable to the security crisis which might make changing to Qualcomm chips a more desirable option.

Smartphone Technology Make Up 4G Laptops

Much like smartphones, the new, upcoming laptops will feature ultra-lightweight designs, quick internet connection and a battery that can last over 20 hours. Two laptops have already been released that adhere to these specifications.

Firstly, the Asus NovaGo claims to have 22 hours of battery life. This lightweight, hybrid laptop has built in mobile-like technology. The system can ‘sleep’ for up to 30 days but can quickly turn on and be ready to use whenever. The sleep feature is highly significant because it doesn’t drain the battery. Conventional laptops will lose battery life over a matter of days when left in sleep mode therefore such a change is welcomed.

The second 4G laptop that has been released is the Lenovo Miix 630. This device weighs a minute 1.3kg. For such a small computer, it claims to be rather powerful with a battery life of 20 hours. It also processes silently and contains the same mobile-like performance as the Asus NovaGo. Furthermore, the Lenovo Miix 630 has a 2-in-1 design which includes a separate, detachable keyboard and tablet with an additional stylus pen so is extremely portable.

4G Laptops Might be Too Good to be True

Despite the potential of 4G laptops, the claims made by manufacturers need to be approached with some caution. The longevity of the battery life can only be achieved when not connected to the internet. If a laptop is to be used like a smartphone, the battery seems to operate in the same way. Nevertheless, it simply isn’t realistic for most potential users to not use the internet for a portable device that is designed and marketed to be connected.

Using streaming services like Netflix, browsing the web, sending emails and using social media is very demanding on battery life. In addition to this, the 4G connectivity will have a greater impact on the battery compared to using wi-fi.

Furthermore, despite the the idea of “always connected” it can only work when customers have an active subscription to a mobile network. This means that along with a phone bill, owners of 4G laptops will have to also pay for a laptop bill. With the new release and the demand for data means that these new plans are very likely to be expensive.

Although Wi-Fi is widely available nowadays, it can still slow down browsing and streaming. Yet there is potentially a lot of money and effort involved with gaining extra convenience. 5G networks could be on the horizon but it isn’t known whether 4G laptops will be compatible. The 4G laptop models that have been released aren’t yet for sale and potential owners are encouraged to wait for the product reviews before deciding to invest.


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