Hands on: Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2014
The two-in-one device is hardly a new concept, yet the 2014 Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is still an exciting device. The reason it’s exciting is not because of the stunningly slim dimensions of the new device (we’ll come to that later), but instead the technology powering the hybrid. See also what’s the best Windows 8 tablet, hybrid or touch screen laptop?
Under the hood of the new ThinkPad Helix is Intel’s new 14nm Core M processor. This is a CPU that has been specifically designed with hybrids in mind, with the aim of delivering improved CPU, graphics and battery performance. Take a look at: what’s the best laptop of 2014?
We spent some time with the Intel Core M Lenovo Helix hybrid at the IFA 2014 tech show, and we were impressed with what we saw. For starters, it’s a stunnin-looking device, and impressively slim and light. On its own, the tablet weighs just 816g, a mere 16g heavier than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
We haven’t yet had a chance to benchmark the new Lenovo hybrid, but Intel claims the new 14nm Core M processor will deliver increases of up to 50% in CPU performance, 40% faster graphics, while operating with lower power demands that produce a 20% boost in battery life.
Surprisingly, Lenovo’s claims aren’t as ambitious, though. It says the new Helix has a 12-hour battery life when used with the Ultrabook Pro detachable keyboard, and eight-hour battery life when used with the standard Ultrabook detachable keyboard.
And Lenovo has resisted the temptation to go with a high-DPI display; the 2014 Helix features the same 1,920 x 1,080 (189ppi) display as the first ThinkPad Helix did. Other specs such as RAM and on board storage can be tailored to your requirements, with the latter ranging from 128GB to 180GB of SSD storage and either 4GB or 8GB RAM.
Aesthetically, the new ThinkPad Helix is stunning, its ultra-thin profile and large, 11.6in display putting it on a par with the Surface Pro 3, although in its keyboard dock it looks a little less appealing.
Using the device is a pleasant experience, however. The screen is responsive to the touch, and Windows 8.1’s gestures generally work well. The same goes for the mouse and keyboard, Although there isn’t much travel to the keys, they’re pretty comfortable to type on.
Lenovo Helix (Core M 2014): initial verdict
The Levono Helix has undergone what looks to be a thoroughly impressive update. It joins the Surface Pro 3 in the large-yet-impressively light category of tablets – you’ll be shocked at how little effort it takes to hold the slate in your hand once it is removed from its keyboard dock – and features the very latest in Intel’s mobile CPU technology. We can’t wait to see if Intel’s claims bear fruit.