Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review

Reviews 14 Jan, 2013

Lenovo combines tablet and laptop for its first hybrid ThinkPad - does the Twist offer the best of both worlds for businesses?

3
Price: 
£738
ex VAT
Verdict: 
Lenovo has joined the Windows 8 party with the Twist, a ThinkPad that uses the traditional hinged method to switch between its laptop and tablet modes, and it's a good piece of design - but, while the usual ThinkPad visuals are in place, build quality isn't quite up to scratch. The specification doesn't do much to excite so we reckon a step up to the £999 model - which provides an SSD and 3G chip in additional to a Core i5 processor - is the best option if you're searching for a business hybrid rather than a traditional Ultrabook.

Almost every laptop manufacturer has marked the release of Windows 8 by unveiling its own "hybrid" device, and Lenovo has some of the most high-profile.

Built like a ThinkPad?

The latest ThinkPad is the "Twist", and Lenovo hasn't strayed too far from the designs we've seen in several generations of convertible machines: the screen sits on a central hinge, and can be spun around and flattened to the keyboard. It's not as imaginative a mechanism as some other hybrids - Lenovo's own Yoga 13, for instance, flips its screen over with a full-length hinge - but it's just as versatile as flashier rivals.

Whether it's used in laptop or tablet modes, the Twist looks like a classic ThinkPad. The entire machine is coated in matte black magnesium alloy and plastic, and the base exhibits several familiar traits. The ThinkPad logo about activity light in the bottom-right corner of the wrist-rest, the trackpoint in the middle of the keyboard, and the set of colour-coded buttons between keyboard and trackpad.

Although the Twists look like a traditional ThinkPad, the plastic construction isn't as sturdy as a laptop, with flex to be found in the screen, base and wrist-rest. It's not a disaster - the Twist should still stand up to the stresses of office use - and at least Lenovo has crammed its hybrid machine into Intel's Ultrabook specification: its 1.57kg weight and 20mm girth are impressive, and ensure that the Twist won't weight down your bag.

The Twist

On top of the laptop mode, the ThinkPad Twist can be converted into three different positions - tent, tablet and stand mode. The twisting screen isn't the only interesting addition to the latest ThinkPad - there's a touchscreen, too. It's a responsive 12.5in unit, and it provides accurate control across the entirety of Windows 8.

Lenovo has added several thoughtful features, too: a physical Windows button switches between an open app and the Windows 8 Start screen, and there are volume controls and autorotate buttons around the Lenovo's edges.

Specifications: 

PROCESSOR: 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3427U

RAM: 4GB DDR3

GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 4000

DISPLAY: 12.5in 1,366 x 768

STORAGE: 500GB HDD

CONNECTIVITY: 802.11n dual-band WiFi

PORTS: 2 x USB 3, SD card reader, mini-DisplayPort, mini-HDMI

DIMENSIONS: 313 x 236 x 20mm (WxDxH)

WEIGHT: 1.57kg

OS: Windows 8 64-bit

WARRANTY: 1yr RTB