Lenovo ThinkPad Helix review: First look

Reviews 7 Jan, 2013

This 11.6in Windows 8 device can be docked in multiple ways and will include features such as Intel vPro tech. But it's going to cost north of £1000.

Verdict: 
Shaping up to be one of the best Windows 8 hybrid devices for business users, we're excited about the Helix. It's expensive though, so we're unlikely to see businesses rolling it out to the masses.

Lenovo is known for its business friendly devices and the latest addition to the ThinkPad range is shaping up to be a great choice for those who want a powerful laptop/tablet combo.

The 11.6in display comes firmly docked into the keyboard for traditional text-heavy work. Undock it and you have a Windows 8 tablet. However, the tablet can then be turned around and docked in backwards - thanks to a clever connector on the bottom.

With the tablet shut against the keyboard you get a super-sized tablet, which benefits from additional battery power in the dock, and makes both easy to carry together - with no exposed keyboard on the rear as with the company's own Lenovo Yoga. In addition you can use the keyboard dock as a stand for playback or presentation purposes.

It's a great design and one that feels sturdy in its various modes. The design and finish is pure ThinkPad with a simple appearance, and the tablet is slender given the specification inside. The keyboard is, as you'd expect on a ThinkPad, excellent.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix will come in both Core i5 and Core i7 versions with 128 or 256GB SSD drives. The processor can actually perform better when docked with the keyboard thanks to additional cooling fans in the base unit that allow for higher Turbo Boost speeds.

The 11.6in display is a full 1080p IPS panel with a Gorilla Glass finish - so no compromises there either. A stylus is included, sliding out of the top left corner of the tablet, for more precise onscreen work.

Rounding off the specification is the option of built-in 4G data. Now such contracts aren't cheap in the UK, but with this, it undeniably becomes a complete no-compromise business powerhouse. Prices start from around $1,500 so you're paying for all that tech, but from our first impressions it's a good deal.

Specifications: 

Display - 11.6in 1080p IPS touchscreen

OS - Windows 8

Chip - Intel Core i5 or i7 with optional vPro

Storage - 128GB or 256GB SSD

Battery life - 10 hours