Appearing at CES last week, this convertible notebook is made for business use.
There have been quite a few Windows 8 convertible notebooks released since the October launch of Microsoft’s new OS, none of them would really qualify as premium business machines. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Shows (CES), Lenovo showed off its new “premier convertible for business users,” the ThinkPad Helix, a sleek 11.6-inch enterprise-grade machine built around Lenovo’s unique “rip and flip” design.
Unlike many of the other convertible Windows 8 notebooks currently available, the ThinkPad Helix features full business-class Ultrabook specs, with an option for an Intel Core i7 processor, a 1080p multi-touch Gorilla glass-covered IPS display with stylus pen input, 10 hours of battery life, NFC, and Intel’s TPM module for full enterprise-level security and device management.
The “rip and flip” functionality allows users to quickly dock and undock the tablet part of the Helix from its base. You can also dock the screen facing away from the keyboard to put the Helix into tablet-mode when closed, or presentation-mode when open. When docked to the base, additional cooling fans allow the Helix to run its processor at a higher clock-speed for better performance.
The base also features an additional battery for extended battery life, something that will be definitely needed with a Core i5 or i7 processor powering the Helix. Since this is a ThinkPad, the base is equipped with a legendary Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard, and red TrackPoint for mouse control. However, breaking with tradition, the trackpad does not feature physical buttons, but is a new five-button glass click-pad. This change to the ThinkPad formula will surely infuriate some die-hard ThinkPad fans, but we are sure users will adapt to the new trackpad quickly, especially since it is better optimized for Windows 8 gesture input.
Full specifications of the ThinkPad Helix have not been released yet, but it will be available with either Core i5 or Core i7 processors, up to a 256GB SSD, up to 8GB of RAM and, of course, Windows 8 Pro.
It is expected to be released in late February, and will be sold by your local online reseller or VAR, starting at $1499.99. Since it is a ThinkPad, it will be available with a variety of Lenovo warranty options, including their Accidental Damage Protection Service, which would be a wise investment for an ultra-mobile device like the Helix.