Intel plans powerful 5G laptops for 2019 to take on Qualcomm’s always-connected PCs

Intel 5G Modem

Not to be outdone by Qualcomm on the always-connected PC front, Intel has revealed that it’s collaborating with leading PC manufacturers to bring its new 5G modem to laptops next year.

The company is working with Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft to realize 5G-connected notebooks powered by Intel’s XMM 8000 series modem, and the devices are expected to hit shelves in the second half of 2019.

Over at MWC (Mobile World Congress) which kicks off at the start of next week, Intel will be demonstrating a concept detachable 2-in-1 device which has an early version of a 5G modem running alongside one of the firm’s latest 8th-gen Core i5 processors.

And the company will be showing this convertible off – and more to the point the power of 5G – by livestreaming a video to the machine over a 5G network.

More broadly, Intel is pushing 5G’s performance chops in terms of delivering high-end online gaming experiences, as well as heavyweight video streaming, and indulging in the likes of untethered VR while on-the-move.

MMOGs, modems and autonomous automobiles

The company observed: “Imagine being able to continue participating in a multiplayer game as you ride in an autonomous vehicle on the way to class. Radically different.”

Intel will also be showing off the latest steps it has taken with eSIM technology at MWC, and the firm notes that as of last September, all of its modems support eSIM in the consumer and enterprise worlds.

And on the Wi-Fi front, the company is set to showcase an ultra-thin PC which boasts 802.11ax connectivity, the next big step forward for Wi-Fi. Taking the baton from 802.11ac, the incoming ax standard not only promises faster Wi-Fi speeds, but improved performance in crowded environments where there are lots of competing wireless signals (i.e. apartment blocks).

The overall vision is a world in which you can seamlessly hop from high quality Wi-Fi to powerful cellular connections, getting speedy connectivity wherever you may be.

Want to find out more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G hub!  

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).