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

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.