Portable computing could evolve significantly in 2020, with many manufacturers planning to introduce laptops with 5G wireless connectivity. The first such device will likely be from Lenovo and Qualcomm, which teased a prototype last year. We expect additional 5G-capable PCs to show up at CES, especially business laptops, since they have been the primary market for LTE connectivity in the past.
Plans are also afoot for the first foldable-screen and dual-screen PCs, and we’ll likely see several such announcements at CES. Lenovo, Microsoft, and Dell have all confirmed that they’re working on these devices, which merge laptops, phones, and tablets together into a single device. Microsoft is also developing a special version of the Windows operating system for them, called Windows 10 X. If any foldable or dual-screen PCs make an appearance, they will likely be prototypes and not finished products, since the processors and software that power them are still in the early stages of development.
CES is always chock-full of conventional laptops and 2-in-1 convertible models, and 2020 won’t be any different. We’re already looking forward to the revamped Dell XPS 13 (pictured), which was announced this week ahead of the show, and there will likely be many more such devices at both entry-level and premium prices. We expect to see innovative features announced, like touchpads that double as wireless charging pads and extremely thin screen borders, but we’re not counting on any major advances in CPUs given Intel’s recent unveiling of its 10th generation Core CPUs.
Although the sheer number of new and updated laptops might steal the PC portion of the show, don’t count desktop computers out. Major PC makers like Asus, Acer, and HP will all be at CES, and they’ll likely trot out powerful new gaming rigs and perhaps an all-in-one or two. Gaming PC maker Razer will also be present, and it’s known for teasing wild prototype PCs, only some of which make their way to production.—Tom Brant, Senior Hardware Analyst