CNET First Look
Hands-on with Lenovo's rugged ThinkPad HelixThis well-made hybrid is saddled with a high price and last-gen processors.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix. This is another one of the many Windows 8 laptop tablet hybrids that we've seen since the launch of Windows 8 late last year and this particular version have a pretty traditional clamshell laptop, and because it's a ThinkPad it's really solidly built and of course the screen detaches. You have a little button right here, lifts right off like this and unlike a lot of other hybrids, you can actually take the screen, use it by itself or you can plug it back in backwards. Now why would you wanna do that? That's because if you felt like that you could turn it into sort of a kiosk style display. The Lenovo Yoga also works in a similar fashion flipping the screen around. This is more I think Lenovo calls it a rip and flip screen which just sounds like to kind of sizzle up the normally boring ThinkPad brand. Other than that it does look and feel a lot like a pretty standard ThinkPad laptop. The hinge is pretty solid compared to a lot of the other detachable screen ones that we've seen. It's still a little bit fiddly, got a lot of little teeth and hooks to grip into here and you do get this sort of weird little panel that folds over the back, sort of hides the hinge works; I call it the Helix Modesty Skirt. Now one of the problems that we're having with the system even though it's really well made is that it's got Intel's last generation of processors in it even though it's just coming out now. The new generation, the 4th generation of Core i series gives you excellent battery life and for a tablet you'd really want that. I would much rather see this with the newer parts. Hopefully that will be coming soon. The second issue is fairly standard configuration here, last generation Intel Core i5, 4 gigabytes of RAM, 128 gigabytes SSD. You can pretty much get the specs in any laptop for $800, $900. This guy starts at $1679. That does seem like a lot for those parts. Even with the really nice construction and the cool hinge and the detachable screen, I find it hard to believe unless your IT department is paying for it. You'd be willing to pay out that much for this particular configuration. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix.