Summary: CES is mostly just one hellacious blur. Here’s a gadget, and another gadget, and a hooker, and a gadget, and hey do you want to know about my Kickstarter? At CES 2013, laptops were particularly hard to keep track of; everywhere you looked, a manufacturer had some novel way for you to spend $1,000 on a Windows 8 ultrabook. Through all the chaos, the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix somehow stood out.
Pros: Solid performance as both tablet and laptop, Great battery life, Great keyboard
Cons: Ugly, unpolished design, Awkward hinge, High-res display can be a problem, Really expensive
Excerpt: Convertible laptops and ultrabooks had a big presence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). At CES, Lenovo revealed its ThinkPad Helix which it marketed as having a "groundbreaking 'rip and flip' design" that enables this 11.6-inch ultrabook to transform into a powerful Windows 8 tablet. When detached, Lenovo claims the Helix is the thinnest full-function Intel 3 rd generation Core tablet with Intel's vPro technology for the enterprise.
Pros: One of the best convertible designs we’ve seen, Excellent battery life with keyboard dock, 1920x1080 IPS display
Conclusion: But if you need the convenience of a part-time, pen-enabled tablet and an 11.6-inch ultrabook, with close to all-day battery life and exceptional input devices, then the Helix is the one for you. On its terms, it's one of the most successful convertibles we've seen.
Pros: Comfortable keyboard, Good battery life, when attached to keyboard base, Touch pad is tuned for Windows 8, Supports touch-screen and pen-based input
Cons: Expensive, No SD card slot, 3rd Generation, not "Haswell," processor, Awkward vent location
Conclusion: One of the better detachable hybrid tablets on the market, the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix gives the corporate IT buyer a prime option for their highly mobile workforce. This could be the best choice if you need both laptop and tablet functionality.
Pros: Detachable screen gives users extra portability when needed. Decent battery life with keyboard dock. Innovative, sturdy hinge and docking connector. Dual pointing devices plus touch screen. Comes with stylus and onboard stylus storage. Keyboard dock has mini-DisplayPort and two USB 3.0 ports.
Cons: Some fan noise. Tablet has only USB 2.0 port. Hinge is locked when tablet out of dock. Pricey.
Summary: Even six months after it was originally announced, the ThinkPad Helix is the most innovative Windows 8 tablet hybrid we can think of. In a way, though, "innovative" is a backhanded compliment, at least in this case where the design is somewhat awkward. As it happens, we enjoy being able to flip the tablet portion over and have the display facing outwards for presentations and such.
Pros: Long battery life, Inventive, versatile form factor, Sturdy, comfortable keyboard, Bright display with great viewing angles
Cons: Some awkward design elements, Expensive considering the last-gen components