Lenovo’s unique “Rip and Flip” design allows the new ThinkPad Helix to become a tablet, slate, presentation station or notebook.
Netbooks have been pronounced dead for the better part of two years now but according to Lenovo, they’re still around and better than ever. Dubbed a “Mini Ultrabook” the 11.6” ThinkPad Helix features a ground breaking design which allows end users to experience the ultimate in portability, regardless of their situation.
Primarily, the Helix will act as an Ultrabook with Lenovo’s signature keyboard (albeit in a more compact form) and straightforward 11.6” glossy IPS screen that’s been packed into a svelte, lightweight chassis. All of the hardware (including an Ivy Bridge processor) is packed into the area behind the display, which allows the entire area to detach and become its own self-sufficient tablet that weighs just 835 grams. A close integration of Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS makes this possible.
Like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Lenovo has included an LTE high speed wireless module but this will only work in certain geographic locations within the USA. International support hasn’t been announced yet but we have our fingers crossed. NFC is another technology that has been integrated and it should help wirelessly transfer data between the Helix and another supporting device.
Interacting with the Helix seems to be quite easy as well. Lenovo provides a large five-button touchpad, their signature TrackPoint “joystick” and a stylus for pen-style input.
In addition to the notebook and tablet configurations, Rip and Flip allows the screen to rotate 180° and become a presentation station or HD playback device. Once in this position, you will even be able to fold the screen downwards to create a slightly thicker tablet that boasts all of the base’s connectivity ports. Battery life was quoted as 10 hours with the base attached but there’s no word whether or not each of the Helix’s components receives its own battery supply.
Unfortunately, this unique Ultrabook won’t come cheap. Pricing starts at a cool $1500 and rapidly moves northward as additional options are added.