Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook Review
Features, Layout, and Included Accessories and Applications
Courtesy of Lenovo
- Slim Ultrabook™ design with a multitouch display for precise control
- Active Protection System™ to protect your hard drive from damage if the system falls
- Magnesium alloy construction and Corning® Gorilla® Glass, to prevent breakage and scratches
- Intel Trusted Platform Module (TPM), to keep your data secure
- Lenovo Solutions for Small Business, for added security and after-hours maintenance
- InstantResume to wake your PC from sleep mode in two seconds
- 720p HD webcam and dual-array microphones with noise cancellation for crystal clear video conferences
- Two USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, mini-HDMI, mini-DP, and a 4-in-1 card reader
- Industry-leading ThinkPad Keyboard for comfort and precision
- Lenovo Cloud storage for access to your files from all your devices
Design and Layout
The Thinkpad Twist has the standard Ultrabook look and feel with its sleek black styling and business feel. The case is matte black color and made from magnesium, adding to the device's solid feel but light weight. The Thinkpad Twist weights a mere 3.5 pounds, light enough to be hassle-free in both laptop and tablet modes.
The back of the Thinkpad Twist is a single plastic overlay with easily accessible screws should you need to access its innards. Note that the hard drive is the only replaceable component in this ultrabook. The battery, memory, and SSD cache drive are all inaccessible to user replacement.
The hard drive slot can be opened after loosening its hold down screw and pushing down while sliding out the door. The hard drive bay is located toward the upper left of the ultrabook, with a small picture and arrow pointing towards the bay.
This particular Thinkpad Twist was equipped with a 500GB Hitachi Z7K500 drive. This drive is a 7mm notebook drive, running at 7200 rpm with a 32MB internal drive cache. The drive sits in an easily removable cradle with bay removal done via a plastic pull-tab attached to the cradle.
The Twist is equipped with a full sized keyboard with a spill resistant underlay. However, the keys seemed a bit cramped if you have larger hands and are used to using a more ergonomic-style keyboard. In use, the key press noise was muted in comparison to a normal desktop keyboard. The unit's stereo speakers are located underneath the keyboard. Note that the red period above the i in the Thinkpad logo at the lower right corner of the keyboard glows red when the device is powered.
The Thinkpad Twist comes with multiple mousing options including a touchpad with right, center, and left buttons, and a TrackPoint stick-style device. The touchpad is located below the keyboard and was found to be very responsive. Further, the touchpad surface itself can be tapped or double-tapped instead of using the left mouse button if preferred. The TrackPoint device is located in the center of the keyboard and can be used for mouse navigation instead of the touchpad if desired.
Lenovo design the Thinkpad Twist with a 12.5 inch HD IPS display, capable of display resolutions up to 1366x768 with a 350 nit brightness rating. The display comes touch screen enabled with an edge to edge Corning Gorrilla Glass overlay. As a result of the Gorilla Glass, the display is highly reflective. At the top center of the display panel is an embedded webcam, capable of 720p HD video capture.
To support the multiple operational modes of the Thinkpad Twist, Lenovo equipped the ultrabook with a center hinge that can swivel 180 degrees on two rotation axis. This allows the screen to fold backwards entirely and rotate around to support tablet mode or to twist in place to support presentation mode. The hinge itself is sturdy and well-built and does not add any extra wobble to the screen portion of the ultrabook. Further, the hinge movement is tight enough to lock the device in place for tent mode support.
Just above the hinge is a button with the Windows logo. This button can be used to return to the home page when using Windows 8 and is active with the system in all operational modes.
On the lower right corner of the display are the audio volume, power, and screen orientation buttons. The audio volume buttons are one the surface of the display, while the Power and screen orientation buttons are on the lower right side. The orientation button can be used to flip the screen orientation 180 degrees for proper display while in tent or tablet modes.
Lenovo placed the following along the outer right side of the Twist: a USB 3.0 port, mini-DisplayPort port, power adapter port (yellow colored port), Power button, and screen orientation button. The orientation button can be used to flip the screen orientation 180 degrees for proper display while in tent or tablet modes.
Lenovo placed the following along the outer left side of the Twist: a USB 3.0 port, mini-HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet port, and 1 4-in-1 media card port, and a SIM card slot. The SIM card slot can be used with an optional Wireless Wan (WWAN) card for cellular based wireless network support.
Like the keyboard tray of the device, the upper clam shell is made of flat black colored magnesium. This gives added stability and rigidity to the display without adding weight to the device. The ridges on the middle left and middle right edges of the enclosure act as stabilizing points for when the ultrabook is in tablet mode. They mate with matching indentations in the keyboard tray so that the screen can lay flat without unnecessary wiggle. Note that the red period above the i in the Thinkpad logo at the lower right corner of the keyboard glows red when the device is powered.
In its tablet mode of operation, the display twists around 180 degrees and folds down over the keyboard. The screen is flat against the keyboard tray, stabilized by the ridges on the other side of the display.
The buttons in the lower right corner of the display remain fully accessible with the Thinkpad Twist in tablet mode. Even the side Power and screen orientation buttons remain unencumbered.
Lenovo chose not to include anything but the bare essentials with the Thinkpad Twist, opting for web-base manual and support materials.
Lenovo did chose to include a basic setup and safety pamplet, outlining the features of the Thinkpad Twist with basic setup instructions.
The included power brick can be separated into 2 parts, the AC power cord and the power brick with ultrabook power connector. The power brick's connector comes with an integrated velcro cable wrap to better store the cables for traveling.
- Lenovo Solutions Center
- Lenovo Solutions for Small Business
- Norton Internet Security 2013 30-day trial
- Amazon Kindle
- BlueStacks – Android app player
- Expense Management
- Fruit Ninja
- Lenovo Cloud Storage
- Microsoft® Office (purchase of product key required for activation)
- Rara – Music
The included software is mostly unobtrusive to normal operations with the exception of the Norton Internet Security suite. You will see a minor performance loss using this suite, but peace-of-mind may be worth the hassle. The Lenovo Solutions Center software offers an alternate interface to the Windows Actions Center, with a centralized interface for displaying system hardware and software type alerts. The Lenovo Solutions for Small Business software offers support for various security and performance enhancements, including maintenance scheduling, software status monitoring, USB device blocking, enhance energy saver modes, data backup and restore, and wireless display support.