Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review
There are hints of the usual ThinkPad excellence, but poor build quality and occasionally iffy ergonomics fail to inspire
Convertible tablets are nothing new in the business sector, but convertible Ultrabooks certainly are: the ThinkPad Twist is the first we’ve come across.
However, those expecting the usual ThinkPad build quality are likely to be disappointed. The Twist is plasticky, the central hinge is far more cumbersome than the Yoga 13’s double-jointed hinge, and when clipped into the base in tablet mode, the two halves separate at the slightest provocation.
That’s a shame, since the touchscreen is responsive, the 1,366 x 768 IPS panel’s viewing angles are superb, and colours are accurate. The measured brightness of 337cd/m2 keeps the glossy panel legible outdoors, and the contrast ratio of 702:1 is excellent by any standards.
Connectivity strikes just the right balance for business use, too. With two USB 3 ports, mini-DisplayPort, mini-HDMI, an SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet and a SIM slot for the model with 3G, the Twist is better served than most of the Ultrabooks and hybrids we've seen.
As well as a buttonless touchpad there’s also a red trackpoint set in the centre of the Scrabble-tile keyboard. Typing is a joy, but the buttonless touchpad isn’t great – we found the cursor was jittery and prone to jumping across the screen, so we disabled it and used the trackpoint instead.
Performance lowers the tone once again. The Core i5-3317U CPU is no weakling, but the sluggish 500GB hard disk struggles to keep Windows 8 feeling as responsive as SSD-equipped models. With a score of 0.53 in our Real World Benchmarks, and a result of only 5hrs 16mins in our light-use battery tests, the Twist is neither quick nor particularly long-lasting.
Apart from an excellent display and generous connectivity, then, the ThinkPad Twist provides little in the way of excitement. The pricier £999 model, which adds 3G and a speedier SSD, makes the Twist more viable for businesses, but it’s still no award-winner.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||313 x 236 x 20mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3317U|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM77|
|SODIMM sockets free||1|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Hard disk usable capacity||466GB|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad, trackpoint, touchscreen|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||5hr 16min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.53|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 Pro 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|