The ThinkPad Helix is being marketed to those in the business world, but this is a flat-out impressive machine for anyone interested. The 11.6” Helix has 10-point multi-touch like Lenovo’s other convertible, the Yoga, but the design is a little different. Lenovo calls the design “rip and flip,” which sounds awful and not something you would want to do to your notebook. It’s not a bad deal, though – it just means you can flip the display 180 degrees, so that the display faces up when you close the laptop. That means you can also flip the display around to use it as a presentation stand. If you want, you can detach the display from the keyboard to use it as a lightweight tablet, but keeping it attached to the keyboard will leave access open to the connectivity ports on the body.
The Helix brings much more to the table than the Yoga. The display is a 1080p IPS panel in 1920 x 1080 resolution, and battery power has been beefed up to an impressive 10 hours – 5 hours just as a tablet, with 5 hours added when the display is attached to the base. That display is toughened up by Gorilla Glass. Despite the beefier hardware, the Helix stays pretty light, at 3.68 pounds. NFC and 4G LTE are also packed inside, and you’ll have HDMI mini, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 ports. You’ll be without those USB 3.0 ports if you detach the display from the keyboard. There’s also an RJ45 connector and a mini-Display port. Webcams are also a step-up – the Helix comes standard with dual 1080p HD webcams.
Inside, things are looking equally good. You’ll be able to get up to a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor, with Intel integrated graphics (OK, that one’s not that great), 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage. Audio comes from Dolby Home Theater v4, and you’ll also be getting a digitzer pen for stylus input.
But, this is one device directed towards the business world, and that means lots of security features. There’s a whole suite of software-based encryption tools, and hardware-based security courtesy of Intel vPro.
All in all, the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix looks like one powerful ultrabook convertible for anyone who wants to use it, but for businessmen and businesswomen and especially. It even manages to be a little more versatile than the Yoga, because you can detach the display completely, making for a much lighter and more portable tablet experience. All that, and there’s been almost nothing sacrificed on the inside, save for graphics processing. You can expect the Helix to rip and flip its way into stores late February. It’ll start at about $1,500.