Obscure laptop brand is first out of the blocks with revolutionary Qualcomm 5G modem — 5G RedCap Snapdragon X35 is 4G on steroids and deserves better than the NL73

 CTL NL73 Chromebook.
CTL NL73 Chromebook.

5G RedCap (reduced capability), also called NR Lite, maintains key 5G characteristics like quick response time, low energy usage and improved security, while restricting the bandwidth to a few hundred Mbps. When Qualcomm announced its 5G RedCap Snapdragon X35 Modem-RF System last year, it envisioned the modem appearing in a wide range of devices, including Chromebooks.

Realizing the potential it offers, CTL has produced a new NL73 Chromebook with the Snapdragon X35 modem, and demonstrated a prototype of this to interested parties at this year’s MWC Barcelona.

CTL’s NL73 range of Chromebooks currently comprises of six models, all with 11.6 inch screens (some touchscreen, some not) – two ‘essentials’ (NL73 and NL73T), three ‘enhanced’ (NL73-8, NL73CT, NL73TW) and one ‘performance’ (NL73TWB). All, bar the NL73TWB, come with a quad-core 3.4GHz Intel N100 processor (the performance model has an N200 CPU).

NL73 “5G RedCap”

The latest addition to the line, NL73 “5G RedCap”, mostly follows the same specs as the other Chromebooks in the range, including an N100 processor, 11.6 inch touchscreen, 16GB of RAM, 128GB UFS storage, and Intel AX211Wi-Fi 6E, with the main difference being the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X35 modem.

While it’s not exactly the best device for the new modem to make an appearance in, Gautam Sheoran, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Broadband & Communications, Qualcomm Technologies, is pleased with CTL’s adoption of the technology, stating "Congratulations to CTL on the groundbreaking achievement of demonstrating their Chromebook that supports 5G RedCap and our Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System. This milestone showcases our commitment to bridging the digital divide with fast speeds, low latency, and reliable connectivity, which users expect from 5G. We are proud to collaborate with CTL in driving innovation and bringing the benefits of 5G RedCap to Chromebook users worldwide.”

There’s no word on when the new NL73 “5G RedCap” Chromebook will be released, or how much it will cost, but existing NL73 models are priced from $299 to $449.

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