At TechEd 2013, Intel showed off the truly innovative Windows 8-powered Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Hybrid ultrabook. I had a chance to talk with Intel’s Eduardo Campoy, who enthusiastically demonstrated what makes the Helix a game-changer in today’s touch-based, tablet-obsessed workplace—a workplace that demands great power in striking form factors. The ThinkPad Helix is a Best of TechEd finalist.
Powered by an Intel Core processor (up to Core i7), the ThinkPad Helix is at once a gorgeous, lightweight tablet and a full-spec Ultrabook. In fact, its flexible design allows you to use the device in four modes: tablet, laptop (clamshell), stand mode (for presentations), and tablet plus (the tablet connected flat against the keyboard to maximize battery efficiency and performance).
The ThinkPad Helix sports a capacitive touch screen with 10-point tracking and an embedded digitizer pen. It offers 5.1 sound, and its 11.6” display brings you 1920x1080 resolution for top-notch A/V quality. As for connectivity, it offers USB 3.0 support, mini HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, and Ethernet, and ports are available both on the tablet and the keyboard base. It has front-facing and rear-facing 1080p cameras, a full-size/thin-profile keyboard, and optional LTE wireless broadband.
In a cool bit of innovation, the ThinkPad has batteries in both the display/tablet piece and the keyboard piece, allowing it to maximize efficiency through its four modes of computing. Overall, it has an estimated 10 hours of battery life—5 hours of tablet use by itself and another 5 hours when the display is connected to the keyboard base. It also comes with intelligent power throttling. At the device’s heart is a 256GB of solid-state drive. And this thing is fast! It powers on in less than 7 seconds.
Although it’s a powerful Ultrabook intended for the business user, it has a very slim profile and weighs in at only 1.84 pounds (as a tablet alone) and 3.68 pounds as a laptop. Those business users will also appreciate Lenovo's security and manageability features, and Intel vPro, which secures the device even when Windows isn’t responding.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is the best of the first wave of innovative Windows 8 hybrid devices, demonstrating the power, creativity, and functionality that’s possible in the new age of performance-focused touch computing.