After impressing many CES attendees and onlookers, Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix landed on the wishlists of many people who are looking to invest in a new Windows 8 hybrid. When the device was first unveiled, Lenovo expected to have it in the hands of eager road warriors by the end of this month. That date changed earlier this week when the company revealed that the convertible could be pushed back as far as April.
Speaking with CNET yesterday, a Lenovo spokesman (kind of) clarified the device's release date, which is pretty close to its initial target after all. The laptop maker expects to begin shipping its new system in early March, or about a month from now -- near enough that the Helix will still be an attractive alternative for budget-insensitive folks who have been put off by the Surface's mediocre reception this week.
The last we heard, the Helix is expected to start at around $1,500 with specifications including an 11.6-inch 1080p IPS Gorilla Glass display that has 10-point multitouch and pen support, an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, up to 8GB of RAM, up to a 256GB flash drive, front and rear cameras, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, WWAN and NFC options, one USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports and a mini DisplayPort.
When we were at CES, Lenovo claimed that the Helix is the thinnest Intel Core-powered tablet around. The slate weighs about 1.8 pounds on its own and gets around 5 hours of battery life, while those figures jump to about 3.8 pounds and 10 hours when it's attached to the keyboard dock, which has something of a cradle latch design that lets you orientate the display in both directions and adjust its viewing angle.