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Gadget review: Lenovo ThinkPad Helix: all-in-one device

  • Mariel Grazella

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, June 3, 2013 | 11:03 am
Gadget review:  Lenovo ThinkPad Helix: all-in-one device

Courtesy of Lenovo The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is the latest ultrabook convertible the Taiwan-based device manufacturer has to offer in Indonesia, a market in which Lenovo says has the biggest market potential in the Southeast Asian region.

Launched last Thursday in Jakarta, the Helix is a follow up to the IdeaPad Yoga, which has went on the market in the first quarter of the year.

Yet, unlike the IdeaPad Yoga, the Helix is a premium-segment convertible which boasts the '€œrip and flip'€ form factor, so-called because users could completely detach the touch screen, which doubles as a tablet, from the keyboard.

The Helix'€™s form factor also enables users to re-attach the screen facing the audience, a handy function when conducting presentations.

With that said, the Helix is best suited for those who multitask. Powered by Intel chips designed to support the Windows 8 platform, the Helix enables various split screen functions. Users can view a second screen in a sidebar and drag the sidebar sideways to enlarge the screen.

Users can also choose to display a list of icons of all the running programs in this sidebar instead, dragging and dropping an icon into the main screen to see the contents in full size.

Users can also choose a variety of ways to input text. With or without the keyboard attached, the tablet allows the users to utilize its virtual keyboard and stylus, the ThinkPad Helix Digitizer Pen, to type or write.

The stylus cures handwritten input smoothly and for e-mails, the device converts the handwritten text, even those in cursive, into typed text with a high degree of accuracy.

The slim yet expansive 11.6 inch tablet also provides optimal viewing of photos and videos, and when held vertically, can display more content of a page.

However, although the Helix'€™s casing feels gives off a sturdy feel, the 0.8 kilogram tablet is considerably hefty compared to other tablet-only devices in the market. The weight and size of the tablet, hence, makes it heavy on the wrists and reduces the tablet'€™s portability.

Yet, the main drawback of the tablet, considering that people like to place tablets on their laps, is that it heats up considerably, even when plugged to the keyboard.

And being the premium product in Lenovo'€™s convertible convertible ultrabook line, the Helix costs roughly half more than the Yoga, and four-times the price of mid-range notebooks, making the Helix a serious investment for buyers.

The Good

'€¢ Multiple text input functions
'€¢ Large screen for optimal multimedia viewing
'€¢ Sturdy build

The Bad
'€¢ Tablet less portable than other tablet-only devices
'€¢ Tablet heats up considerably
'€¢ Price tag fall in premium category