The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 2 is an 11.6 inch Windows tablet with a full HD display, an Intel Core M Broadwell processor, and a detachable keyboard dock which lets you use the tablet as a notebook.
Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad Helix 2 in September, and now it’s available for purchase.
Like the original ThinkPad Helix, the new model is a premium device aimed at the enterprise market, but available to anyone who wants a compact, powerful 2-in-1 ultrabook with long battery life, a sturdy design, and a trackpoint system.
But with a starting price of $979, the Helix 2 is much more affordable than last year’s model, which sold for $1679 and up when it first launched.
An entry-level model features an Intel Core M 5Y10 processor, an 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 802.11ac WiFI, Bluetooth 4.0, a keyboard dock, and an active digitizer and digital pen.
Lenovo also offers a higher-priced model with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a faster Core M 5Y70 processor.
Both models are among the first computers to ship with Intel’s new Core M chips which use just a little more power than an Atom processor, but offer substantially better CPU and graphics performance. The result is a tablet which Lenovo says should offer up to 8 hours of battery life… or up to 12 hours of run time when the keyboard dock is attached.
The tablet itself features a USB 3.0 ports, microSD card slot, and micro HDMI output, stereo speakers, and a weight of 1.75 pounds. The keyboard dock has another USB 2.0 port, two more speakers, and a battery. The keyboard dock weighs a little over 1.2 pounds.
I want 17″ 1440p with trackpoint and optional touch screen. — com’n now
I guess I’m going to have to wait for what will likely
be a different product from Lenovo, or at least a
different keyboard dock. They’re getting
closer to my wish list, but the following items are
missing from the keyboard dock:
– SSD drive bay
– full size SD card slot, SDXC compatible up to 128 GB
– USB 3.0 port
– USB 2.0 port
– full size or microHDMI port, or DisplayPort with audio port
Also, I’d like to see a return of the physical Trackpoint mouse
buttons, which Lenovo eliminated in Haswell ThinkPad models.
A fellow on YouTube ranted how removing these buttons caused
accidental mouse clicks on the touchpad.
Just wish they’d include an option with the same specs and a 13.3″ screen. As an executive, 90% of my time is spent in laptop mode and 10% is in tablet mode marking up documents. I don’t work at In & Out, so I don’t need it to be compact in tablet mode as I’m usually sitting at a desk when using it in either mode! The bigger screen is much better for my nearly 40 year old vision.
Looks pretty good. I hope there will be some good reviews. Thinkpad stuff is always expensive so it’s good this one is less than the previous version. At the very least this seems like a good option vs their Thinkpad 10 which is an Atom tablet that costs $800.
Be careful, these still have haswell cpu inside. I would expect the core M version to be available after CES and for a significantly higher price aswell.
Don’t these have the Broadwell core M? Otherwise this wouldn’t be news.
Lenovo’s site has 2 Helix models. The old one with Haswel i5/7 and the new one with the Core M.
the graphic on the lenovo website says 4th generation cpu, broadwell is 5th.
Model details explicitly state core M cpu though, so the article should be right. sorry for the confusion.
To be sure I’d get hold of a lenovo sales rep before ordering anyways.
How can 979 be justified for a 11.6″? I don’t get it…even 600 seems high.
By that logic, a macbook should have a 30″ screen!
You’re kidding right?
This is basically a business class device with premium parts… The Core M processor alone has a Tray pricing ranging from about $200 to nearly $300… and that’s before adding the cost of the rest of the system that alone can add up to well over $600, depending on configuration…
Devices that have to function as a tablet also have to be made to higher standards than laptops and that, along with additional parts like touch screen digitizer, etc. means average costs tend to be significantly higher than even a Ultrabook…
Mind, they have to make everything fit right into the confined space of a tablet instead of spread out with space to spare as a laptop and it has to be durable enough to be handled all the time, still be able to keep cool despite the smaller space, and still be light enough to hold for prolonged periods of time without too much difficulty… and that all adds to the difficulty of designing and building the device and thus adds to the cost…
So, under no circumstances should you compare this sort of product with a low cost budget device that uses much cheaper components and significantly less build quality… Never mind business class devices are typically priced higher than general consumer devices!
While I feel that the features and quality of ThinkPads have degraded over the years and are no longer fit for businesses, they are at least premium consumer level products. Consumer tablets and notebooks on the higher end of the scale do cost this much.
Of course, I can’t say I’d buy the Helix 2 myself. For a non-work personal use device, I’d opt for a more budget to medium level notebook/hybrid. So I can understand where you’re coming from. When things get past a certain point of features, performance, size and looks, perceived value starts to flatten out from the home user point of view.
Can it be docked while the keyboard is attached so both the keyboard and tablet batteries get charged? It’d be annoying if you have to separately charge the keyboard.
Since it’s targeted towards businesses, what parts are user/onsite upgradeable?
That’d be nice. However, if we go by what Lenovo is doing with their larger ThinkPads which are coming with less and less replaceable parts then it’s likely the new Helix won’t have very many replaceable components either.
On a good note (at least for me), based on the photos, Lenovo seems to have decided to bring back dedicated trackpoint buttons that were removed in the current line of ThinkPads. I wonder how much extra Lenovo is charging for that particular keyboard dock though.
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