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Laptops

Lenovo business 2-in-1 ThinkPad Helix gets new Intel Core M processor

The 11.6-inch convertible gets thinner, lighter, and more efficient, with redesigned keyboards that can bring the Helix up to 12 hours of battery life.

In the coming year, you'll likely see a steady stream of ultrathin fanless 2-in-1 computer designs thanks to Intel's new Core M processors. Here's one of the first: Lenovo's updated ThinkPad Helix.

Targeting business users looking for a flexible laptop-tablet combo, the 11.6-inch slate portion of the Helix weighs just less than 1.8 pounds (816.5 grams) and measures 0.38 inch thick (9.7mm), slimmed down from its predecessor's 0.5-inch height (0.46mm).

As it doesn't have fans, there are no vents, so the design is a little closer to truly seamless than the prior version. However, on one side there are still openings and connections for when you want to attach the slate to one of Lenovo's accessory keyboards.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The Ultrabook Keyboard pictured above is pretty basic, allowing you to use the Helix in one position while typing. You can then rip it out and lay the screen down on the keys to "close" and carry it like a regular clamshell laptop. Lenovo says the keyboard's battery can power the tablet for up to 8 hours.

A Pro version of the keyboard (below) gives you more of a hinged design so you can pull off different positions similar to what can be done with Lenovo's Yoga line. It also pushes the battery life up to 12 hours.

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Lenovo

The Pro keyboard features the familiar TrackPoint pointing device, too, and you get a spot to dock the Helix's digitizer pen in when you're not using it to navigate or write on the 11.6-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution, 400-nit IPS display that's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

The new ThinkPad Helix arrives in the US in October with configurations starting at $999 with the Ultrabook keyboard. We don't have international pricing and availability information yet, but that converts to about £610 and AU$1,070. You'll have to hold out until January 2015 to get one with the Ultrabook Pro keyboard.

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