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Lenovo ThinkPad Helix convertible, “rip and flip” design

by Mark Tyson on 7 January 2013, 13:15

Tags: Lenovo, Windows 8, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabqzb

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Here we have another laptop/tablet hybrid convertible on show at the CES 2013. This effort, from Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, has a new approach in the way it converts between form factors using a painful sounding “rip and twist” action. The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix can be specified with an Intel Core processor up to i7 and will be made available from February 2013 onwards. Now for the bad news; prices for the Helix range start at US$1,499.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix design is probably better for portability than the LG Tab-Book H160 we featured earlier today. You have the option to simply leave the keyboard unit/dock behind, so have a much lighter portable tablet device. The obvious drawback is that when you really want the dock/keyboard it may be on an occasion you’ve left it somewhere else.

Let us have a look at the ThinkPad Helix specs


Latest 3rd Gen Intel Core processors up to i7

Operating System

Windows 8 Standard or Windows 8 Pro; Windows 8 multi touch enabled


11.6” FHD 1080p; IPS 400nit; Gorilla glass touch screen

Video Graphics

Intel® Integrated Graphics


Up to 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz


Up to 256GB SSD


Dolby® Home Theater® v4

Integrated Comms

2 USB 3.0 ports; RJ45 connector; mini-DisplayPort; mini-HDMI


10-point multi-touch; digitizer pen


NFC “Tap to do” / 4G LTE; HDMI; mini-DP; USB 2.0 (2 x USB3.0 on base)


Dual high definition 1080p webcams


10 hour all day battery life (5 hours in base, 5 hours tablet-only)


System: 3.68 lbs/1.67 kg; Tablet: 1.84 lbs/0.835 kg; Base: 1.84 lbs/0.835 kg


0.80 inches thin (20.4 mm thin)


Lenovo Solutions for Small Business powered by Intel Small Business Advantage; TPM, BIOS, Kensington, Computrace; Intel vPro™ for professional grade, hardware-based security and manageability


The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix “is the premiere convertible for business users, with powerful processing and revolutionary flexibility,” according to Lenovo’s marketing material. This target market will pay quite a wedge, think Lenovo’s business analysts, as the base model has a starting price of US$1,499.

Except for the price the Helix has a lot going for it. In summary; you have a choice of one of Intel’s latest and most powerful processors paired with up to 8GB of RAM, the bright 1080p IPS screen is protected with Gorilla Glass and there are a good selection of ports and connections with networking options including mobile 4G LTE. With all the ports on offer it seems strange that the Helix appears to eschew the convenience of an SD card slot. On its own the tablet has just 5 hours of battery life, pairing with the keyboard dock doubles that.

More Lenovo news

Earlier today HEXUS had a look at another of Lenovo’s offerings at CES, the IdeaCentre A730 table top PC (27-inch tablet). More info about that can be found in a press release from Lenovo here. Also Lenovo has released lots of other Windows 8 touch enabled laptops and all-in-ones, further details about those devices can be found here.

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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So basically a more expensive Surface Pro with crapware? No thanks.
My experience with Lenovo ThinkPad has always been solid. As most ThinkPad users it's that nub that speeds up my work flow. Now I like the versatility of the Helix set up. One doubt - the keyboard has shrunk in terms of width compared to other models. It may just be a question of getting used to it, but it may also mean that it's cramped. This seems more attractive to me thatn the Surface Pro and that is mainly due to the keyboard.

But isn't the nub perhaps redundant now that we live in a touchscreen world? Nubs have been great in the past but surely touching is a lot faster. After all, I've been touching things my whole life and I'm pretty sure it's more intuitive :)
1080p IPS, finally Lenovo, you learned! Now fix X230 series!