PROS / The design of the dock and keyboard help keep the ultrabook cool, even when you're playing games, which the Helix runs better than other ultrabooks.
CONS / The older-generation Intel processor and GPU make this tablet well overpriced for what you get.
VERDICT / The Helix lacks much of the power you would find in true ultrabooks, but if you're looking for a convertible hybrid tablet/ultrabook, you will be hard pressed to find anything better.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is a portable, convertible ultrabook that covers a wide range of your computing needs. You can detach the display and use it as a tablet or dock the display, facing either direction. The convertible ultrabook's high-resolution touchscreen display supports 10-point multitouch and integrates well with Windows 8. The processor and integrated graphics card are older technology, and the tablet only has one USB 3.0 port. However, if you want portability combined with laptop-quality performance, you will like the Helix.
The dual-core i5 3667U 3rd-generation Intel processor features a base speed of 2GHz and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2GHz. For the price, we would expect to see the newest Intel technology and a more powerful CPU and GPU. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of memory do allow the computer juggle multiple apps at once without any lag. You can upgrade to 8GB of memory, which helps the Helix compete with the best ultrabooks.
Out of the box, you will get a 128GB SSD that is quick. This is what makes the Helix ultrabook boot up in fewer than 15 seconds and wake from sleep in less than two seconds. For either a tablet or ultrabook, this hard drive has plenty of storage space. You can upgrade to a 512GB drive if you want more local storage.
What makes the Helix special is the detachable display. The 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS screen can either sit in the keyboard dock or be used separately as a tablet. This is especially useful if you want ultimate portability. The 10-point multitouch screen lets you use Windows 8 the way it's designed to be used, and the Gorilla Glass helps prevent scratches and smudges.
The dock gives the ultrabook up to 10 hours per charge in laptop or tablet mode, which is about the same as the best ultrabooks. The dock has a second battery in it with vents that allow two extra fans keep the ultrabook cool when you use it. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the dock and one USB 2.0 port on the tablet. There is no HDMI port, which is a drawback for something so technologically advanced, but there is a Mini DisplayPort you can use to connect an HDMI adapter and cable.
If you appreciate solid customer support, Lenovo has you covered. The company offers a three-year warranty on its Helix ultrathin laptops. Customer representatives are responsive; you won't have to wait days for a response to an email or service ticket. As with any manufacturer's website, you can find downloads for drivers, BIOS updates and community forums.
The Helix is not a traditional ultrabook, but the twist-and-pull design of this convertible ultrabook gives you more portability than you will find anywhere else. The keyboard is sturdy, the display is full high definition with a brilliant picture and you can run multiple programs without experiencing lag. We hope to see Lenovo update the processor and graphics unit in the future to help justify the large price tag.