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.
The Acer Aspire S7-391 features a 13.3" 1920x1080 LED backlit multi-touch display with Intel HD Graphics 4000, it its powered by an Intel Core i7-3517U (1.9 - 3.0GHz) and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, it packs 256GB SSD and a SD/MMC card reader. Last but not least, the S7 includes 2 USB 3.0 ports and HDMI.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
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