Lenovo has just begun taking orders for its latest dockable tablet with Windows 8 to shoppers in the United States. The business-oriented ThinkPad Helix has a very high-end feature set.
The Helix has a special hinge design that gives users four options. Obviously, it can function as a tablet. This can be plugged into the keyboard to form a laptop. Unlike other convertibles, the “rip and flip” design lets users flip the tablet 180-degrees and snap it back into the base — this, called Stand mode, makes the computer right for presentations across a desk. From here, users can also fold the screen down to use it as a tablet while keeping the base connected for added ports, connectivity, and battery life.
This device has a USB 2.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort. The keyboard dock — which is not optional — has two USB 3.0 ports and its own Mini DisplayPort. The tablet alone is 1.8 pounds, and the dock adds 2 pounds. Without the dock, the tablet can go 6 hours on a single charge. With the additional battery in the dock that figure goes up to 10 hours.
Two High-End Versions Available
A version of the ThinkPad Helix with Windows 8 running on a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB of RAM costs $1680.
A version with Windows 8 Pro on a 3.2 GHz i7 processor with 8 GB of RAM is $2000.
These base units can be customized, but most changes cost extra. The i5 version comes with a 128GB SSD, but that can be upgaded to 180GB or 256GB. The i7 one comes with a 180GB SSD, or a 256GB one can be substituted.
The ThinkPad Helix can now be pre-ordered on Lenovo’s website. The estimated ship date is June 6.