Lenovo is introducing its first ThinkPad tablet with a detachable keyboard base. The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is an 11.6 inch Windows 8  tablet which can work as a laptop when docked to a keyboard base. But it has what Lenovo calls a “rip and flip” design which lets you remove the screen and use it as a standalone tablet device, or snap it back onto the base in “stand mode.”

Under the hood the ThinkPad Helix packs a lot more power than many of the 11.6 inch Windows 8 tablets we’ve seen so far, thanks to an Intel Core i7. Unfortunately it’s also much more expensive than other Windows 8 tablets… prices are expected to start at $1499.


For that price you essentially get some of the best features of an ultrabook and a tablet. The ThinkPad Helix offers up to 10 hours of battery life, a full-sized keyboard, and a 1080p  IPS multi-touch display and a pressure-sensitive digital pen.

As a ThinkPad tablet, the Helix is also aimed at business users. Lenovo offers models with support for 4G LTE mobile broadband, NFC (Near Field Communication), and enhanced security features.

The “stand mode” is also described as useful for business presentations… or for viewing movies.

Here’s a run-down of the specs:

  • 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS 400nit display
  • 10-point multitouch screen with Gorilla Glass
  • 3rd generation Intel Core processor (up to Core i7)
  • Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
  • Intel HD graphics
  • Up to 8GB of RAM
  • Up to 256GB of solid state disk space
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, mini-DisplayPort and mini-HDMI
  • 5 hours of battery life in tablet mode alone, 10 hours with the base

The tablet is 1.84 pounds, and so is the keyboard base, bringing the total weight to about 3.7 pounds. The ThinkPad Helix measures about 0.8 inches thick.

The system felt a bit back-heavy, because even though the tablet and keyboard dock are both about the same weight, the keyboard is heaviest near the rear. Still, the whole thing feels solid enough to use on your lap. The tablet locks into place pretty tightly, and you can release it by pressing a button on the left side.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix will go on sale in the US starting in late February.

Update: Or maybe March

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6 replies on “Lenovo ThinkPad Helix convertible tablet coming soon for $1499 and up”

  1. Good news about the pen. When I first heard of this model, I was curious about whether it’d have one, but until now I couldn’t find any info about that.

    1. Lenovo would likely not mind, except i suspect the MS volume reseller agreement they operate with may have some harsh premiums if they try to sell anything other than Windows…

        1. Not sure if anyone has actually taken delivery of one. When it was finalized, many dismissed it for the resolution and others pointed out that the equivalent Windows model could be had for less anyways.

          Not really different from the circus act that was their Ubuntu Netbook. Where the lower powered Ubuntu model came out no less expensive than their higher powered Windows model once you accounted for the $100 rebate that only applied to said Windows models.

          Best guess it is a similar song and dance to various local government boldly announcing a switch to Linux, only to quietly accept a renewed contract with MS once the latter has introduced a hefty rebate. In other words, Dell is was chest pounding to scare MS into cutting their margins even further…

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