PROS / The ThinkPad Twist is easy to convert from an ultrabook to a tablet. Plus, the touchscreen is highly responsive.
CONS / The battery life is basically a deal breaker, and there is no full-sized HDMI port.
VERDICT / The touchscreen technology plays well with Windows 8, but we recommend that you pass on the ThinkPad Twist due to its poor battery life and low display resolution.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The ThinkPad Twist Convertible is another hybrid ultrabook that transforms from an ultrabook to a tablet in seconds. We found the Twist's tablet mode and touchscreen responsive and great for on-the-go business assignments and schoolwork. While this ultraportable touchscreen ultrabook has a solid, futuristic design, it falls short in terms of low battery life and a lack of connectivity ports. The display's resolution is low for a tablet, yet the colors are vibrant. It's a good evolution of the ultrabook, but we recommend looking at the top ultrabooks in our lineup.
The system we looked at features an Intel Core i7 processor that has Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1GHz. These ultrathin laptops come with 8GB of memory. While it isn't upgradeable, you won't notice any system lag – even if you have multiple browser tabs open, are downloading a file and streaming video from Netflix simultaneously. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 that is included is good enough for graphics editing, but you shouldn't use it to play or run 3D games, or to operate software like Final Cut Pro.
The battery lasts just four hours with moderate use. This technically falls short of Intel's ultrabook qualifications. It's hard to recommend a machine that gets just four hours of battery life as one of the best ultrabooks.
Although it's convertible, the Twist still meets ultrabook standards, with a three-pound frame and a thickness of less than .8 inches. The outside is made from a magnesium alloy, so it can withstand the bumps and bruises of the road. The display only has a 1366 x 768 resolution, which falls short of the top ultrabooks' specs. We are pleased with the 12.5-inch display's ability to portray sharp and colorful images, regardless of its resolution. However, you will notice that the display is too dim to use outside.
The .9-megapixel HD webcam works well enough if you have sufficient lighting, but darker scenarios fill the screen with noise. There are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader and a mini HDMI port. There isn't much of a reason for any manufacturer not to include a full-sized HDMI port on its ultrabooks, and we are disappointed to see the lack of a full-sized HDMI on the ThinkPad Twist.
Even though the ThinkPad Twist from Lenovo has a great design, responsive touchscreen and decent CPU, we can't recommend an ultrabook that only gets four hours of battery life – especially since it's supposed to be an ultraportable laptop. The resolution would also need an upgrade before the Twist could become a real competitor with the best ultrabooks.