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Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook Review

Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Lenovo

As one of the newest members of Lenovo's Thinkpad line, the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist attempts to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets in a convertible Ultrabook format. We decided to put the Twist through the normal suite of benchmark and functional tests, along with some tests specifically geared towards laptops, to gage how well it performs. At a starting MSRP of $829.00 for the base model, the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist offers an intriguing price to feature proposition with its ability to convert from a fully functional laptop into a tablet almost seamlessly.

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Courtesy of Lenovo

The Thinkpad Twist offers an innovative take for the user that wants the best of both worlds - the portability and usability of a laptop with the ease of use of a tablet. Featuring the Windows 8 OS, the Twist comes with a 5-point touchscreen usable in all modes of operation. Lenovo designed in support for the following features: USB 2.0 and 3.0 type devices; three networking types including a Realtek-based GigE NIC, a Broadcom-based 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter, and a Broadcom-based Bluetooth adapter; 4-in-1 media card reader port; mini-HDMI and mini-Display Port video output ports; a dual-purpose audio port; and a 720p HD-capable integrated webcam.

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Courtesy of Lenovo

In designing the Twist, Lenovo decided to use a center hinge on which the screen pivots to support its four modes of operation: laptop mode, presentation mode where the screen can be rotated to face the audience, tent mode which allows the system to stand upright for movie or other media viewing, and tablet mode where the screen folds down to cover the keyboard entirely.

Continue reading our review of the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook!!

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Lenovo Twist in presentation mode
Courtesy of Lenovo

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Lenovo Twist in tent mode
Courtesy of Lenovo

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Lenovo Twist in tablet mode
Courtesy of Lenovo

Technical Specifications (taken from the Lenovo website)

Processor

Intel® Core i7 – 3517U (3.0 GHz, 4MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Intel® Core i5 – 3317U (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)
Intel® Core i3 – 3217U (1.8 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB)

Operating System

Windows 8 Pro

Display

12.5" HD IPS display with Touch Sensor, 350 nit (1366 x 768)

Webcam

720p HD Webcam

Video Graphics

Intel® HD Graphics 4000

Memory

Up to 8GB DDR3 – Memory configuration is linked to processor selection

Battery

Internal – not user changeable

Battery Life

7 hours (with Battery Safeguard Hardware Authentication)

Storage

HDD
320GB/500GB (7200RPM)
500GB (5400RPM)

SSD
128GB

Dimensions
(W X D X H)

313mm x 236mm x 20mm (12.3" x 9.3" x 0.8")

Weight

1.58 kg (3.48 lbs)

Keyboard

Full-size, spill-resistant

Navigation

TrackPoint and touchpad

Optical Drive

Optional external accessory

I/O Ports

2 USB 3.0
1 RJ45
1 4-in-1 slot
1 Mini-DP
1 Mini-HDMI

Audio

Stereo speakers
Built-in dual array microphone (combo jack)
Dolby® Advanced Audio® v.4

Communication

Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth® 4.0 and a/b/g/n WLAN
WWAN (optional)

 

December 26, 2012 | 06:37 PM - Posted by Patrick546

Wow nice ultrabook!!

December 26, 2012 | 06:43 PM - Posted by DusanVarga

Never been a big fan of IBM, but this i liked.
Powerful and classy

December 28, 2012 | 02:32 AM - Posted by v81 (not verified)

Just a comment on the trend of displays, not a fan of the low res on a lot of portables lately.
At a time when smartphones are pushing 1280x720 and 1920x1080 on 4 and 5 inch displays, we still have netbooks and notebooks sporting resolutions like 1024x600 and 1366x768.
Isn't it time we started expecting 1080p as a minimum on these displays 10 inches and upward?

December 28, 2012 | 07:14 AM - Posted by Ship (not verified)

@v81 - I totally, totally agree.

Lenovo's Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook is looking machine but I refuse point-blank to buy such a low resolution machine.

December 28, 2012 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Ship (not verified)

P.S. This low resolution thing on Windows 8 tablets/convertibles is starting to feel a bit like a "Conspiracy of Uselessness" !

My strong suspicion is that the Windows operating system itself is deeply screwed when it comes to displaying things at higher resolution, due partly to the way applications have been coded.

If a Windows application has defined its layouts in sizes that are fixed by using pixels (rather than as percentages etc), then on a very high resolution screens everything starts to become too small to read. And if the user increases text size so as to make text large enough to read, then if a box is of fixed height and width number of pixels, then the text can disappear off the bottom of the visible area in question. Worse, it can take the Submit button with it! Thereby making the application unusable!

I understand that Apple applications/apps do not suffer from this problem - at least not so badly. Which sounds like extremely bad news for those of us who have invested heavily in Windows software. :^(

December 28, 2012 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Gordon (not verified)

Get the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13.3 inch convertible Ultrabook instead of the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist 12.5 inch convertible Ultrabook computer/tablet PC!

December 29, 2012 | 10:42 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

The one thing the Twist has over the Yoga (and the big reason I got this one for my wife over the Yoga) is that the display folds over the keyboard on the Twist while in Tablet mode.  On the Yoga, the keyboard sits behind the display on the devices bottom while in Tablet mode. 

IMHO, more chance of having keyboard related issues if you use it as a tablet a lot and put it down on a hard surface...

December 31, 2012 | 11:08 AM - Posted by orvtrebor

Damn nice design, the twist/fold display is perfect.

Being able to slap in an SSD of my choice is a nice touch as well.

The battery situation will keep me from buying this, but if they revise it with the next generation I'm in.

Low res doesn't bother me at this screen size, My vision is too crappy.

February 18, 2013 | 03:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Get an extended life battery with the regular one it comes with. Worth the extra expense - over 12 hours of lovely battery life. I live in kenya.

January 3, 2013 | 09:21 PM - Posted by Max (not verified)

Such awesome display should be standard, except for resolution. That and the hidden hardware feel like dealbreakers.

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