Lenovo ThinkPad Twist - The Old Form Factor Starting A New Life With Windows 8 (Part 4)

4/27/2013 9:16:18 AM

The configuration options

We tested a preconfigured model was only exclusive retail at Staples for $900. There is also a $745 model with Core i3 processor and 320GB storage. If you prefer to have control over the specifications, you can order it from Lenovo's website for $1,129 and up (when we made this review, it had a promotional priced at $1,016). Now, if you're wondering why the price is so high, there is an appropriate reason: this machine has Core i3-3517U, along with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. We think it's a pretty big upgrade compared to the $900 model. We'd also add that for $1,000-ish, the specs are on par, if not better than, similarly priced Ultrabooks.  Actually, most of the thousand-Ultrabooks have a Core i5 CPU with 4GB of memory, at that promotional price, it is a bargain.


If you look at the past season products, you will find many traditional convertible, including several generations manufactured by HP. Now when we are in the era of Windows 8, we've seen very few PC makers announced anything like this - at least, nothing aimed at the business users. We feel that if you wait a little longer, company like Dell and HP will launch a number of additional hybrid devices which is designed for small businesses and enterprise customers. But at least this time, we can’t think of many other Windows 8 PC can be used in tablet mode, run Windows 8 and offers business-friendly features.

Interestingly, Lenovo's biggest competitor may come from Lenovo

Interestingly, Lenovo's biggest competitor may come from Lenovo.

But what happens if you are just one customer that really liked the keyboard of Lenovo? If this is true (and we know there are many of you do), you will have other worries. On the one hand, if you prefer the Lenovo brand that is willing to buy a business computer, you may not be satisfied with things like the XPS 12, as a beautiful machine as it is. Interestingly, Lenovo's biggest competitor may come from Lenovo. If you are considering the ThinkPad Twist, you might also take a look at Yoga 13 whose display can be folded back 360 degrees, allowing a PC to be used not only in tablet mode, but also in several other positions falling somewhere between tablet and standard laptop. If you like yoga, you will have a computer which is lighter, sharper 1,600x900 screen, longer battery life and SSDs.

Now the bad news: The Yoga may have more crapware, and is also missing all of the self-help apps aimed at small business users who probably don't have a dedicated IT guy. Yoga's keyboard similar to Twist's, where the keys are the same U-shaped, but we were disappointed with its small Backspace button. We also found that keys didn't register all our presses; the feedback here isn't nearly as satisfying as what you'll enjoy on a ThinkPad. Therefore, it is not the same typing experience you can expect from the Twist, but still better than what most other Ultrabooks are offering. It provides much better specs (and better performance) for about the same starting price ($1,000 when we made this review). Think carefully before you pull off the trigger.


Finally, we feel that every Windows 8 convertible computer review will end the same way. ThinkPad Twist has a lot of good stuff: bright IPS screen, good port selection, cheap and typing championship experience. As those ThinkPad before, it also provides a number of useful software features for private companies that lack IT departments. All are good, but what a road warrior will do when the battery only lasts 4 hours?

Something tells us that Twist will attract Lenovo loyalists, folks who believe in the quality of the ThinkPad's construction and would not like to use any other keyboard. However, if you're more brand-agnostic, there are other Windows 8 convertible machines with a comfortable keyboard - not to mention, sharper screen, faster performance and longer battery life. Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 is $1,000 and up is one of them.

If you're wary of consumer machines, though, another option is to just wait: Lenovo has just released a Windows 8 convertible for business users, but who knows what HP and Dell are preparing? If nothing else, the Twist showed us Windows 8 and traditional convertibles make a perfect couple. In fact, there certainly will have more options to choose from.

Windows 8 and traditional convertibles make a perfect couple.

Windows 8 and traditional convertibles make a perfect couple.


·         Product’s name: Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

·         Price: $900


·         Excellent keyboard

·         Good port selection

·         Wide viewing angle

·         Useful tools for business


·         Short Battery Life

·         Poor SSD performance

·         Some trackpad issues


·         Lenovo has updated a number of forms, which have been tested and proven reliable with Windows 8, bright IPS display and an excellent keyboard.

·         However, the longer battery life will make it a better choice for the road warrior.

Bright IPS display and an excellent keyboard

Bright IPS display and an excellent keyboard

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist specifications

·         Operating System: Window 8 64-bit, Window 8 Pro 64-bit

·         Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 – 3517U (3.0 GHz, 4MB L3, 1,600 MHz FSB) or Intel® Core™ i5 – 3317U (2.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB) or Intel® Core™ i3 – 3217U (1.8 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600 MHz FSB).

·         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 – none removable; up to 6 hours battery life

·         Storage: HDD: 320GB/500GB (7200RPM) SDD: 128GB

·         Dimensions (W X D X H): 313x236x20 mm (12.3"x9.3"x0.8")

·         Weight: 1.58 kg (3.48 lbs)

·         Keyboard: Full-sized, 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® Home Theatre® v4

·         Communication: Gigabit Ethernet, bluetooth® 4.0 and a/b/g/n WLAN


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