Like many manufacturers, Lenovo includes a few additional programs with the ThinkPad Helix. You’ll find AccuWeather for Windows 8, Kindle, Lenovo Cloud storage, Lenovo Companion, LenovoToast, Nitro Pro 8 (30-day trial), Norton Studio, Absolute Data Protect, Norton Internet Security, and others among the list of programs on the Start menu.
Although we wish manufacturers would give us a clean system out of the box, we realize this is a rarity rather than the norm. For users who feel the same, you’ll be glad to know we had no problem uninstalling some of the programs that come with the ThinkPad Helix.
EverNote Touch and Skitch are also included with the ThinkPad Helix to help you get the most from using the digitizer pen. Using Skitch, you can capture a photo and annotate it with notes, draw on existing photos in your library, draw on a map, start from scratch with a blank canvas, and more.
Looking at the Start menu, you’ll see an icon for Microsoft Office. Upon clicking the Office icon, you’ll have the option to activate a previously purchased copy of Office 2010, go online and purchase Office, or try Office free for a limited time. If you tap Try to use the software on a trial basis, you’ll be taken to a webpage for Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium.
Two of the more prominent Lenovo apps on the Start screen are Companion and Settings. When you tap either of these icons, you’ll see a message that states, “Enhanced functions for this application are available.” This message then directs you to a download link for a revised version of the application. We updated both of these apps to the enhanced version before checking them out.
Companion features various apps, information on getting started, information about ThinkPad accessories, a link to the Lenovo AppShop, and more. You’ll also find a link to a Lenovo Settings add-on and a tutorial that will teach you how to get around in Windows 8. The content that appears in Companion is designed to change and update periodically.
Lenovo’s Settings application provides easy access to Mobile Hotspot, Power, Location Awareness, Camera, and Audio. In the Location Awareness section, you can automatically update chosen settings based on your location. More specifically, you can set a home page and default printer to match your location. You can also select a handful of security settings such as Windows firewall and file and printer sharing.
Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync also requires an update the first time you run it. After signing up for a new account, we were given 5GB of storage. During the set up process, you can choose to sync selected folders with SugarSync. Using SugarSync’s mobile apps you can view your files on your tablet or smartphone as well as on the ThinkPad Helix and other computers.