Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review

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

Key specs

Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3427URAM: 4GB DDR3Display: 12.5in 1,366 x 768Storage: 500GB HDDConnectivity: 802.11n dual-band WiFiPorts: 2 x USB 3, SD card reader, mini-DisplayPort, mini-HDMI

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The Scrabble-tile keyboard offers the usual ThinkPad quality, with concave keys that have good travel and comfort. There's no room for a separate number pad, but the layout has no surprises, with full-size Return, Shift and Space keys. The Trackpoint is precise as always, too, but the fly in this particular ointment is the touchpad: there are no discrete buttons, and it's a little jittery for our liking.

Lenovo has, at least, packed plenty of ports around the Twist's svelte edges. There are two USB 3 connections, both mini-DisplayPort and mini-HDMI outputs and an SD card reader, and a SIM card slot for the 3G upgrade that's available in more expensive models.

Performance and battery life

Intel's Core i5-3317U has been spotted in plenty of Ultrabooks and hybrids, and it's well-suited for use in these lightweight devices - it's a low powered part with a TDP of just 17W. It's got two Hyper-threaded cores that run at 1.7GHz, and under Turbo Boost both cores will overclock to 2.4GHz, with one core reaching a maximum speed of 2.6GHz.

In our benchmarks the Lenovo scored just 0.53. This is disappointing for this class of device, and the blame can be laid at the door of the 500GB hard disk - it's a sluggish part when compared to the SSDs found in rival notebooks. While Windows 8 doesn't feel slow, other machines will certainly prove quicker in day-to-day use with Flash storage on-board.

The rest of the specification includes Intel's HD Graphics 4000 chip and 4GB of RAM, and connectivity includes a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi chip and Gigabit Ethernet. The battery is a tad disappointing, though - its longevity of 5hrs 16mins in our light-use benchmark is a couple of hours short of the best Ultrabooks.

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