Lenovo ThinkPad Helix convertible Ultrabook now available from $1,679

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix convertible Ultrabook now available from $1,679

Summary: This 11.6-inch Windows 8 device swivels between tablet and notebook mode, but it doesn't do so cheaply.


When we last heard from the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, a Windows 8 Ultrabook that can switch between tablet and laptop modes, it was reaching the FCC last December. It took awhile, but now the device is ready to order -- and hopefully you've been saving up.

That's because the Helix is priced higher than similar devices like the Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo's own Yoga 11S. The starting price -- starting -- is $1,679, with a $1,999 configuration also available. For the base model, you get an Intel Core i5-3427U CPU, 128GB solid-state drive, and the 64-bit version of Windows 8, while the pricier version boosts the processor to a Core i7-3667U, doubles the RAM, ups SSD capacity to 180GB, and adds Windows 8 Pro. You can also customize your configuration on the Lenovo website

All versions feature a 1,920x1,080 IPS display, built-in near-field communication, detachable keyboard, and front- and rear-facing cameras. Other options for the Helix include a pen digitizer to input using the touchscreen, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support, and Intel vPro AMT, and CompuTrace security technology.

Is all that worth the high sticker price? Does this particular tablet-plus-laptop combination add up to more than the purchase of two separate devices? You can find out soon, since the first Helix models ordered will start shipping on June 7.

Topics: Laptops, Lenovo, Mobility, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • If you can get 8-10 hours battery life

    then it would be worth the price for the increased storage and processor speed, if you need it. If you can't, or if you don't need it, then there are better options for less money out there.
    Michael Kelly
    • this isn't haswell

      it won't have good battery life
      • It will have battery life...

        because it has the battery in the keyboard as well. The slate piece will act with the crappy life of any other win 8 tablet until the less power hungry haswell chips come out, but their marketing can officially up the stats.

        The Helix looks like a pretty nifty device. I will be envious of those that have it, but I definitely will not be dropping that amount when better ones will be out around holiday.
        • I'm really enjoying my Helix...

          It is a bit on the pricey side, but I have to say it is one of the most amazing devices I've used ever! The Screen is crystal clear/sharp, the processor has the power you expect in a good computer, the tablet has really decent battery life on its own, but with the trickle charging keyboard/dock, the battery life is all day awesome. The stylus is a real kick, pressure sensitive and precise...wonderful with Sketchbook Pro. All around, a wonderful machine....no complaints. If I had to nit pick, it would be that the keyboard isn't backlit. This machine has been worth every penny so far. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!!
  • A pen is an option???

    a slate without a pen is useless
    • The pen is not an option.

      It's a requirement.

      Every Helix comes with one.
  • I remember the days when ultrabooks ...

    ... were supposed to be less than $1,000 and APPL made the most expensive computers ;-)
    When was that - 2012?
    Ah. back in the day, before MSFT and OEM's went mad.
    • There have always been...

      expensive notebooks and workstations, that rival Apple on price.

      You get what you pay for. A lot of people look at the sticker price and moan that they are too expensive, without looking at what they offer.

      The problem is the "cheap", entry level devices for a couple of hundred dollars, people expect that all devices, irrespective of capabilities or quality should cost the same. It is like saying, I can get a Dacia Duster for under $10,000, why would I spend over $30,000 for a Ford Explorer?

      For example, the remark that it is more expensive than the Yoga 11S (which has an ARM processor, Windows RT and lower resolution display), well duh! Generally a fuel efficient 3 cylind motor costs a lot less than a high performance V8. Likewise, a better display, a proper SSD, instead of an MMC, full Windows, instead of RT, 4 or 8GB memory instead of 2GB...

      Professional management components for corporate security - those always make business laptops and desktops more expensive than the run of the mill consumer products...

      Is it worth it? That depends on what you are doing with it and whether a cheaper device would also fill all of your needs.
    • I miss the days when business machines...

      ... were more expensive than Apple's offerings.

      Oh wait, most still are.

      Long story short, this is a business product.

      As a consumer machine, the MBP lacks many of the features that these enterprise-level devices do.

      Options like 3G and track-point support can only be found on these types of machines.

      While a MacBook has the build-quality of a business portable, it lacks the sheer durability of one.