Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Is Cheaper, Slimmer and Smarter Than Ever
BERLIN — Lenovo launched a series of part-tablet, part-PC hybrids at the 2014 IFA tech conference on Thursday, including its latest ThinkPad Helix for users who want tablets on the go and laptops later on for productivity.
While Lenovo aims to grow bigger as a full consumer electronics company, PCs are still at its core, despite the fact that it sells more tablets and smartphones combined than PCs. The company said it has outperformed the overall PC market 20 quarters in a row and has grown its share 19.4% worldwide (and 12.5% in the U.S.), even in a tough market.
In February, Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion to ramp up its mobile efforts. The new two-in-one hybrids of what the company knows best and where it wants to grow within the mobile space.
ThinkPad Helix ($999) is a new two-in-one ultrabook that targets business users who want tablets for portability and a laptop to get work done. The 11.6-inch ThinkPad Helix weighs 1.8 pounds, measures only 0.38 of an inch and is 15% thinner than its predecessor. It’s also a lot cheaper now, down more than $300 from $1,343.
The device, which ships in October, runs on an Intel Core M processor, includes Windows 8.1 Pro and a suite of add-on security options, such as a biometric fingerprint reader.
Users can put the ThinkPad Helix into different modes — stand, tablet, tent, laptop and, now, desktop by hooking onto a corresponding stand to turn it into a monitor.
The company also launched a follow-up to its Horizon line, which first debuted at CES 2013, with the 19.5-inch Horizon 2s.
The 2s — “s” stands for slim — has been scaled down in size to become what the company is calling the thinnest and lightest tabletop PC. The device is 59-inches thick, weighs 5.5 pounds and features a 19.5-inch HD display (1920 x 1080), with a touchscreen display. It runs on Windows 8.1 and comes with an Intel Core processor.
Lenovo hopes slimming out the device will make it more portable, especially for families who can move it around the house. It comes with a built-in kickstand too, so it can be propped up like a tablet. It’s priced at $899 and starts shipping in September.
The company is making a conscious effort to make this an entertainment hub: It pairs with various controllers and game sticks, lets you transfer pictures and videos by placing your phone on the screen (you’ll need the Aura app to do this) and a charging stand that lifts the device up, so it looks like a monitor while providing juice at the same time. For those on a budget, Lenovo is offering the similar 21.5-inch (HD) Horizon 2e product for $749.
Lenovo also announced the Edge 15 —called the Flex 2 Pro ($699) outside of the U.S. — which is thinner and lighter than other convertibles on the market.
The device is less than an inch thick and weighs slightly more than five pounds. It comes with a premium aluminum chassis and still features a 300-degree hinge that lets users transition it into both laptop and stand mode.
Other specs include a 15-inch display, a backlit keyboard and touchpad, Dolby home audio, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory and the ability to upgrade to NVIDIA GeForce GT840M 4GB graphics.
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