The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a notebook with a 12.5 inch touchscreen display that transforms into… a tablet with a 12.5 inch touchscreen display. Just rotate the screen 180 degrees and fold it down over the keyboard to switch from notebook to tablet mode.

While this sort of design has been around for around a decade, the ThinkPad Twist is one of the first convertible tablets of this type to ship with Windows 8 — Microsoft’s new touch-friendly operating system.

While the tablet was expected to have a starting price of $849, you can pick one up now from Staples for $799.99.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

The ThinkPad Twist features a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It has a 1366 x 768 pixel IPS display with Gorilla Glass.

The computer measures 12.3″ x 9.3″x 0.8″ and weighs 3.5 pounds. It features Bluetooth and WiFi, and around the sides you’ll find 2 USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, mini HDMI and DisplayPort jacks, and a flash card reader. Lenovo says it should get up to 7 hours of battery life.

As a ThinkPad tablet, the Twist has both a touchpad beneath the keyboard and a pointing stick in the center for folks that prefer the classic ThinkPad TrackPoint system.

Unlike more expensive members of the ThinkPad tablet family though, the ThinkPad Twist does not have an active digitizer or digital pen for writing or drawing on the screen. Instead it’s designed to be used with your fingers.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13 notebook/tablet hybrid also went on sale today. The IdeaPad Yoga 11 Windows RT tablet and ThinkPad Tablet 2 are expected to launch before the end of the year.

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11 replies on “Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Windows 8 convertible tablet now available for $800”

  1. I picked this up for 699 with coupon at staples. I needed a new laptop and didn’t want windows 8 without a touchscreen. I don’t expect to use it much as a tablet, but for 699 I thought this was a good option. I’m still not ready to comment on windows 8 yet.

  2. I bought this and had to return it. 43,000 wHr battery life gave me only 4 hours when used conservatively. Worst thing about this laptop is that they use glossy frames on the screen and the metal edge on the screen is bound to scratch. If the screen exhibited the same material as the laptop base, WOW, that would be nice. The material they used on the base is really nice though–and I hope they continue to use it for their future models.

    Hopefully their next 4th generation intel release will have better resolution and better battery life.

  3. This is a lot cheaper with a stronger battery life than I thought it would be with an i5 core. A shame about the resolution but not a deal-breaker for me. I’m going to have to look at this in person to get a feel for the actual screen dimensions instead of the supplied unit dimensions. Can’t wait for some reviews on this unit plus the other two units that are greater than 12″ (YOGA at 13.3″ and the Dell XPS Duo 12 at 12.5″).

  4. I still don’t understand why people would want to use a large and heavy tablet for consumer use. Really.

    1. Larger screen means more room to do work and increased options to have a more powerful system, while convertibles are mostly used as laptops with optional tablet mode anyway.

      It’s only those who would mainly use it a tablet and want maximum mobility that would consider it too big.

      1. I don’t get these consumer targeted convertibles which is what the Twist is despite the term ThinkPad being slapped on it. I wouldn’t pay the extra $100s (guessed on the price) to have a tablet mode that I wouldn’t use much anyway because it’s too large and heavy.

        Plus, these convertible (detachable, slider, twisting, etc.) designs are making the entire device larger. 11.6″ designs have the same footprint as traditional 13.3″ notebooks which makes tablet mode even more cumbersome and the notebook less portable.

        1. There are plenty of device that others don’t get, it’s because we don’t all need or want the same things. So there are different solutions for different people and usages.

          While the foot print isn’t as bad as you describe, it’s mainly just taller because of the need for a thicker hinge that can take the added stress the convertible design imposes.

          Though many older models of this type did have very large foot prints.

          The thing to remember is all form factors impose some kind of compromise. So depends on what compromises we can live with that determine which device form factor we’d prefer.

  5. Those detachable laptops are coming in at $800 with an Atom processor and 2GB of RAM. This has an i5 and 4GB of RAM and a bigger screen for $100 dollars more.

    1. You do pay a bit extra for increased mobility, those prices are for smaller and lighter tablet designs.

      While this is a much larger 12.5″ Convertible laptop at 3.48lb! So there’s a trade off either way…

  6. I still don’t understand why people would choose a convertible over a detachable laptop. Really.

    1. Convertibles can offer a greater range of performance options, cramming everything behind the screen still puts limits on system design options and that’s further complicated by the pressure to provide thin & light design for slate usage.

      Convertible users also usually need a laptop more than a tablet, and thus they don’t need to heavily use the tablet mode.

      All in one design also means you don’t have to worry about misplacing the dock and can switch back and forth whenever the mood or need suites it.

      Hybrids offer better usage in either mode but has its own compromises to consider as well.

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