Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix gets refreshed with Intel Core M processorBy Shawn Knight
It's taken more than a year but Lenovo has finally refreshed its business-minded 11.6-inch ThinkPad Helix. In addition to being thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the revised 2-in-1 arrives with some new technology under the hood that gives it a boost in the battery life department.
Instead of using traditional Intel Core i5 or i7 processors like the original Helix did, the new model is powered by Intel's new fanless Core M-series processor which is said to deliver full-size PC performance without the need for active cooling.
That enabled Lenovo to shrink the tablet down from half an inch thick to 0.38 inches although it still tips the scales at the same 1.8 pounds as before. When paired with the keyboard, you're looking at 2.98 pounds total.
Intel's new chip also means better battery life to the tune of up to 12 hours (with the optional Ultrabook Pro Keyboard). The standard keyboard, which is included with every Helix purchase, is rated for up to eight hours of runtime. Unfortunately the Pro board won't be ready until sometime in January.
The 11.6-inch display operates at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and is coated with Gorilla Glass. It can be paired with an optional ThinkPad digitizer pen for additional flexibility and usability. Other noteworthy specs include either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and your choice of 128GB or 26GB SATA eDrives, 512GB PCIe flash drive or 180GB / 360GB Intel drives.
The system will ship with with Windows 8.1 and a number of security and encryption features such as a fingerprint reader, military-grade smart card reader and three-factor authentication. Pricing starts at $999 with availability slated for sometime next month worldwide.