ThinkPad Helix 2-in-1 arrives as ultrabook targeted at business users that can be transformed into a tablet when needed
Lenovo’s first Think Pad Helix was launched in 2013 and more than a year after the first went on sale, Lenovo has come up with a refreshed design which was launched in IFA 2014. Think Pad Helix 2-in-1 Ultra is a promising device which is better than the previous version in many areas. The most impressive features is that it is 15% slimmer, fanless Windows PCs and has more battery life compared to the previous version. The ThinkPad Helix 2-in-1 is one of the first 2-in-1 ultrabooks which can be transferred into a tablet when needed and is mainly targeting the business users.
Lenovo Think Pad Helix 2-in-1 Laptop / Tablet
The new ThinkPad Helix 2-in-1 Ultra is powered by an Intel Core M processor, and features 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The tablet part of the Helix measures in at .38-inches, and has a weight of 1.8lbs. Add a keyboard dock and it becomes a notebook that weighs 3 pounds. The machine offers an 11.6-inch display (Full HD and Gorilla Glass), a digitizer pen, and five modes: tent, stand, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Lenovo will be offering Windows 8.1 Pro and a bunch of add-on optional security features, a big plus for business users. Things like biometric security, a smart card reader (military grade), and three-factor authentication top the security options. The company’s SHAREit, Companion 2.0, and Settings, are there as well.
It’s a tablet that could fit into its keyboard dock with the screen facing forward or backward. It uses proper laptop-grade processors, ensuring you’d get performance more in line with an Ultrabook than a standalone tablet. The Helix 2 is a full-fledged, laptop-grade performance inside a tablet, and this time without the fans and cooling flap unlike the first one. The tablet now promises up to 12 hours with the keyboard dock, versus 10 hours on the original. Most of the enhancements come from the tablet and the slate is now rated for eight hours of runtime, up from four. The dock promises less runtime than it did last year.
The keyboard dock has two options for a change. When the Helix goes on sale in October, it will be available with a magnetic keyboard that connects via small pins at the bottom (which is not a Bluetooth). Starting in January, when Intel’s business-class vPro Core M chips become available, Lenovo will also start selling a “Pro” keyboard that looks similar to the one on last year’s Helix, complete with a rotating hinge and the signature red TrackPoint. The Pro does still have guides that jut out from the device, and they’re less pointy this time around.
The other key specs are the 400-nit (1080p) display, dual 5MP/2MP cameras. Like the original Helix, it’ll be offered with a Wacom digitizer, with a slot on board to stow the pen. In the US, it won’t even be an “option”; it’ll just come standard.
The keyboard can also be used as a sort of kickstand and the most unique feature is instead of attaching the tablet so the screen faces the keyboard, you can flip it 180 degrees so the screen faces away from the keyboard.
The Lenovo Think Pad Helix 2-in-1 goes on sale in October starting with a price tag $999 and above which is more affordable compared to the first one.