The ThinkPad line from Lenovo just got a bit more interesting with the announcement of the Helix, a new touch-enabled convertible tablet form factor that includes a new design labeled as "rip and flip."
Hardware specifications on the Helix are pretty impressive given the small form factor and include Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 processors, up to 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 port, mini-DisplayPort and even mini-HDMI. The machine will also have optional LTE radios to go along with the 802.11n WiFi and even NFC support.
The display panel is an IPS 11.6-in 1080p rated at 400 nits – that is very high brightness for a Lenovo machine in my experience. The screen is rated for 10 point touch capability as well in case you need BOTH HANDS for your project.
Also new is the Lenovo glass ClickPad which I am very eager to get my hands and try. That is the one area where MacBooks have continued to dominate in terms of notebook design and if Lenovo's ThinkPads can match or improve then we might have a winner on our hands.
The machine will weigh in at 3.68 lbs for the tablet and dock, 1.84 lbs for the tablet on its own, for great portability. Battery life claims are at 5 hours on the tablet alone and 10 hours with the tablet and base combination, but as with all battery life specifications plan on cutting that to 50-60% for real-world usage scenarios.
The new form factor of the ThinkPad Helix is being branded as "rip and flip" due to the tablets ability to be pulled off the keyboard / trackpad dock easily with a single release point. Folding it down into a standard clamshell design results in your standrad laptop configuration, but with only a 20mm z-height.
Lenovo will start shipping the ThinkPad Helix in mid-February with a starting price of $1,499.
Keep checking our CES 2013 coverage at https://pcper.com/ces and continue on after the break for the full press release!
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Lenovo Intros “Rip and Flip” ThinkPad Helix and First Multimode Mini-Ultrabook
Lenovo Rocks Mobile Computing Experience with Even More Convertible Devices
LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced two new additions to its family of convertible laptop-tablet devices: the ThinkPad Helix, a premium convertible for business professionals featuring a “rip and flip” design – a blueprint for the next generation of laptop designs – and a more powerful and productive IdeaPad Yoga 11S, the first multimode mini Ultrabook™ equipped with powerful Intel processors and featuring Windows 8.
“Our unmatched family of convertibles gives consumers, students, business professionals, and everyone in between the opportunity to choose the convertible that’s right for them,” said Peter Hortensius, president, Product Group, and senior vice president, Lenovo. “The ThinkPad Helix gives business professionals two devices in one incredible form factor. It is a high performance, thin and light Ultrabook with a detachable Windows 8 tablet. We’ve also pumped more power and productivity into the new IdeaPad Yoga 11S mini-Ultrabook so it can handle whatever mobile computing tasks consumers throw at it.”
ThinkPad Helix Fuses Laptop, Tablet and More with “Rip and Flip” Screen
The ThinkPad brand’s premium convertible, Helix, defines the next generation of mobile computing through its ground breaking “rip and flip” design. This special design gives users absolute mobile freedom and versatility with four unique ways to use it.
ThinkPad Helix first functions as a high performance Ultrabook. For added mobility, the 11.6-inch tablet can separate from its base to become the thinnest full-function Intel® 3rd generation Core™ tablet with vPro. Adding to its mobility, the tablet weighs 835 grams, also making it the lightest in its class1. Unlike other convertibles, the innovative “rip and flip” screen lets users flip the tablet 180° and snap it back into the base – this mode, called Stand mode, transforms Helix into a mini-movie theatre or business presentation central. From here, users can also fold the screen down to use it as a tablet while keeping the base connected for added ports and connectivity.
Besides its game-changing design, the ThinkPad Helix comes with exceptional performance and productivity features that set the bar for this type of device. A top-class Ultrabook™ the ThinkPad Helix runs up to 10 hours for a full day of work and play. Navigation and interaction are easy with the precision on-board pen, full-size keyboard and new five button clickpad that boasts 20 percent more surface area than traditional ThinkPad clickpads. As the brightest screen in the ThinkPad brand portfolio, Helix’s 11.6-inch high definition 1080p IPS display maximizes clear, crisp and vibrant visuals in nearly any environment.
To connect virtually anywhere, ThinkPad Helix comes with optional LTE2 high speed wireless and also pioneers the emerging Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that allows devices to share data seamlessly by simply tapping to pair them. Additionally, Helix delivers the ThinkPad brand’s reliability, enhanced security and manageability features that large businesses depend upon, including Intel® vPro. Helix redefines expectations for mobile computing by bringing together innovative technology and engineering that essentially eliminate the need to carry a laptop and a tablet.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S – Small Yet Powerful Ultrabook
Users now have another option for choosing one of Lenovo’s groundbreaking flip and fold, 360° hinge IdeaPad Yoga convertibles. The new Yoga 11S comes equipped with a new low power lineup from Intel with up to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5 processors and Windows 8 to give users the full power of multitasking and using Office applications, all in a svelte, 0.68-inch thin frame. Like its predecessor, users can work with Yoga 11S as a laptop, or flip the screen around to turn it into a great sized tablet. Even convert Yoga 11S into Stand or Tent modes for a space-saving way to watch movies, as it’s tuned with great Dolby Home Theatre audio and smooth Intel integrated high definition graphics.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S features an 11.6-inch HD IPS display that supports 10 finger multi-touch and comes with unique features previously only available on Yoga 13: Motion Control lets users simply swipe their hand in front of the webcam to advance photos, videos and other document, and with Lenovo Transition, users can automatically open applications like PowerPoint in full-screen when using Yoga in its other three modes: tent, stand or tablet.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S also has the same attractive rubber painting and a soft-touch exterior as the IdeaPad Yoga 13, although it now will be available in Silver Grey and Clementine Orange.
Lenovo offers a full suite of services for the convertibles, including In-Home Warranty upgrades for service at the owner’s home or business, and Accidental Damage Protection on select products to help insure against damage from accidents like drops or spills. Lenovo Premium Support’s expert technicians are available when needed with convenient over the phone or remote session support from the comfort of home. Additionally, a full lineup of Lenovo Services for Small Business backs up ThinkPad Helix. Customers can select from a portfolio of warranty upgrades, Accidental Damage Protection, Keep Your Drive and other protection services valuable to today's small businesses. Pricing and Availability3
The ThinkPad Helix and IdeaPad Yoga 11S convertibles will be available starting in late-February and June, respectively, through retailers, business partners and www.lenovo.com. Models start at approximately $1,499 and $799, respectively.