Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Convertible Ultrabook

A helix is a spiral formed along a three-dimensional axis, but with Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Helix, it means a little different. A convertible or hybrid model that we are all familiar with, the Helix of Lenovo promises a lot of IT-agreeable features and productivity options, but at the cost of a good form. Coming in four different configurations but all with a slightly outdated line of specs, are you sure you want this for your corporate needs this year if you learn it costs around $1,600? We’ll try to dig more into it.

Starting with the form, the Helix is a convertible, but unlike the XPS 12 of Dell, you don’t get all parts merged into one. Instead, the Helix is essentially a tablet, but you are forced—if not inspired—to grab the docking keyboard that looked and functioned very much aligned and important. And the general design does not stop on that; you also get Lenovo’s top-of-the-line unique features of a TrackPoint with buttons integrated on the clickpad, a Wacom digitizer/stylus pen, and optional 3G/4G broadband capabilities.

Moreover, the whole set weighs a lot actually, not to mention that it does not even have a good look for you to brag along the coffee shop street. The tablet itself is hefty enough at 0.5-inches thick and at 1.8 lbs., and if you add the docking station, the total weight sums up to 3.8 lbs with a thickness of 0.8 inches. Moving forward, what you get is actually a bigger-than-usual 11.6-inch tablet featuring Windows 8 Pro 64, a good-performing line of specs, and a carbon fiber rubbery matte body from the top down.

Removing and attaching the tablet to the dock is pretty interesting and surprising, actually. To remove, a mechanical button on the left side of the hinge is to be pressed to unlock the ‘teeth,’ and what I mean with the latter idea is that, you really get some ugly and disturbing mechanical parts responsible for hooking up the clamshell enduringly plus the more-than-usual metal connectors. Yet, these teeth are exposed; Lenovo seems to try fooling us with an awkward flap at the back when you are using it in clamshell mode (laptop mode), but the flap does not really snap to lock. All in all, such a ‘vulnerable’ design is not good really for portability or travel purposes.

Being a hybrid as well, you get to use the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix as a tablet, as an ultrabook, and with what Lenovo loved to call as ‘Rip’N’Flip,’ you can attach the tablet to the dock while facing the opposite side… and even fold down for a thicker tablet feel. And since this is a Windows 8 device, you get a bunch of good parts like two USB 3.0 ports on the dock (USB 2.0 port on the tablet), two mini-display ports (one for each part), audio ports plus noise-cancelling microphone hole. Kensington lock, multiple vents, and an extra owl-wing-blade-fans ventilation system right on the dock for overclocking purposes.

On the configuration side, all models come with an 11.6-inch 1080p display with 10-point multi-touch support and IPS, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with antenna, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 5-button clickpad, configurable SIM card slot, and dual batteries (capable of up to 6 hours-tablet only, or up to 10 hours on dock). Sadly, on its late release, the Helix of Lenovo comes with a rather-old Ivy Bridge processor from Core i5 to i7, which is hardly comparable to the new Haswell generation. Other than these, there are micro-SSDs from 128GB to 180GB and 4GB-8GB of RAM for real performance.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is a good idea for bringing out the best productive tools in one go without the real bulk and weight, but at least I thought the company should have done it right especially from its looks down to the base performance. With an old processor, exposed mechanisms, slightly heavy build, I bet you can get a cheaper version and just buy an optional stylus on the go.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Convertible Ultrabook Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 72,000.00

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