Power Consumption and Conclusion
The one major strength in an ultrabook-style format is the device power consumption. At idle, the Thinkpad Twist manages a mere 11 watts of power. Better yet, at full load with both LinX and FurMark running, the Twist managed to pull a mere 34 watts at the wall. That level of power savings given the technology built into the Twist says a lot for Lenovo's superior design for this product.
From a pure performance standpoint, you really do get the performance you would expect from an ultrabook form-factor device. Its definitely not made for gaming, but seems to be able to hold its own in the CPU-intensive application and office application arenas. The one thing I will say about the Thinkpad Twist is that you have not really used Windows 8 to its full potential until you've used it on one of these ultrabooks.
As of December 23, the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist was available at Amazon.com for $849.99 with free shipping. The ultrabook was also available from other retailers such as Staples for $899.99 and TigerDirect.com for $939.99.
Before continuing on, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Lenovo a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure of reviewing the Thinkpad Twist system. After hearing about the Yoga a few months back, I was intrigued by the form factor and the entire concept of a convertible ultrabook. The Thinkpad Twist executes this concept very well. The mid-tier sample that we reviewed contained a processor and memory configuration more than adequate to the task at hand. Its light and easy to carry around at a mere 3.5 pounds, and has a solid feel to it because of the magnesium material used in the design. I was worried about the hinge mechanism, but found it to be well designed and solidly constructed. The display that Lenovo used in designing the Twist is hands-down one of the best displays I seen yet. As for the Windows 8 experience, I can't imagine using Windows 8 without this device. The Thinkpad Twist was made for Windows 8 and give the user an unrivaled experience. I found myself using the keyboard and mouse in conjunction with the touch screen as if it was second nature.
There were a few areas of concern with the Twist, even after the stellar user experience I had with the device. After initial inspection, it seemed an odd design choice on Lenovo's part to not allow user accessibility to the system memory or battery. Memory and hard drive upgrades are one of the easiest ways to increase a laptop's performance, so not being able to easily access the system memory for an upgrade could affect the long-term viability of the product. I also had issues with the placement of the USB ports, one on each side of the ultrabook. If you want to use a device that requires two connections, one for power and one for data transmission, then you will need to have some type of USB extension for one of the cables. The inability to disconnect and replace the battery is also a concern because laptop batteries do wear out, even with the most stringent charge and discharge methods. On the device used for testing, the battery's ability to hold charge began to erode quickly after the battery test benchmarks were run. The battery went from lasting 3-4 hours to 1.5-2.5 hours. In defense of Lenovo and their outstanding product (in the Thinkpad Twist), the battery in the system was most likely bad to begin with and would have failed under normal use. One good point with this was that the Lenovo software alerted me to the problem quickly and in a clear manner.
- IPS LED Display
- Windows 8 experience
- Corning Gorilla Glass overlay on display
- Application performance (non-gaming)
- Full-size keyboard
- Hybrid hard drive performance with Lenovo RapidDrive
- Inability to remove/replace memory and battery
- USB 3.0 port placement
- Battery life does not live up to manufacturer claims
- Stereo speaker placement