The idea of combining a Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock to create an ultrabook isn’t completely new, but we feel Lenovo did a good job at implementing this concept with the ThinkPad Helix. We also appreciate the fact that you can turn the tablet around and still attach it to the keyboard dock to use in stand mode or tablet plus mode for additional battery life.
Docking and removing the ThinkPad Helix is easy, especially since Lenovo incorporated two docking posts to help you line up the system. While Windows 8 is designed for touch, we also appreciate that Lenovo incorporated a digitizer pen for additional functionality and hope to see more applications that let you take advantage of the precision a pen can offer in the future.
Our test configuration of the ThinkPad Helix wasn’t designed to compete with the high-end ultrabooks; some of the benchmark scores reflect this. Lenovo also offers the ThinkPad Helix with a Core i7 processor, additional RAM, and a larger solid state hard drive. If you’re looking for additional performance and have the cash to spend, consider one of the higher-performing configurations.When docked, the ThinkPad Helix earned the top score in our Battery Eater Pro test. This battery test is designed to deplete battery life quickly, so the fact that the ThinkPad Helix lasted for as long as it did is impressive.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has a professional look that is simple and clean yet still very attractive. The ThinkPad Helix utilizes this same styling while also providing additional flexibility that you won’t get with a traditional ThinkPad notebook.
With its versatile convertible design and vibrant HD touch screen the ThinkPad Helix has a lot to offer, particularly for business users who want both a tablet and an ultrabook. Battery life is excellent and the system feels solid. However, the price of the ThinkPad Helix is sure to deter many users. Lenovo is currently offering a promotion that brings the base model down to just over $1,500 but this is still a lofty price for such a system.