DNP EMBARGO  Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix has been a known entity for some time, first showing up on the company's Israeli website and more recently stopping by the FCC with AT&T LTE in tow. The device is no longer an enigma, as Lenovo is pulling back the curtain on the 11.6-inch convertible Ultrabook, which will go on sale in late February for $1,499 and up.

Like the famously flippable ThinkPad Yoga, the Helix can be used in several different positions. Tablet and Ultrabook modes are a given, but users can also flip the tablet 180 degrees and snap it back in to the base, essentially providing a stand for using the device as a slate. In addition to supporting touch input, the Helix offers a bundled pen (complete with a slot for storing) for tapping away at the 1080p Gorilla Glass display. Speaking of the panel, it boasts IPS technology -- and Lenovo says it's "the brightest screen in the ThinkPad brand portfolio."

Along with the just-introduced ThinkPad Edge E431 and E531, the Helix sports a new trackpad that forgoes the secondary buttons meant to be used with the TrackPoint. Instead, these buttons are built into the clickpad, though the pointing stick is still on board. We imagine this change will upset many ThinkPad devotees, but given that we haven't seen a final production unit, we're not ready to pass judgement on the update.

The highest-end configuration will run a Core i7 processor, and Lenovo says you can expect up to 10 hours of battery life. Other specs include a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-MP front-facing shooter, NFC for tapping to share and -- as expected -- LTE connectivity. The tablet weighs 1.8 pounds on its own, and the whole Ultrabook comes in at under four. Take a closer look at this convertible in our hands-on video past the break.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Helix hands-on

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Lenovo ThinkPad Helix press photos

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Lenovo Intros "Rip and Flip" ThinkPad Helix and First Multimode Mini-Ultrabook

Lenovo Rocks Mobile Computing Experience with Even More Convertible Devices

LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced two new additions to its family of convertible laptop-tablet devices: the ThinkPad Helix, a premium convertible for business professionals featuring a "rip and flip" design - a blueprint for the next generation of laptop designs – and a more powerful and productive IdeaPad Yoga 11S, the first multimode mini UltrabookTM equipped with powerful Intel processors and featuring Windows 8.

"Our unmatched family of convertibles gives consumers, students, business professionals, and everyone in between the opportunity to choose the convertible that's right for them," said Peter Hortensius, president, Product Group, and senior vice president, Lenovo. "The ThinkPad Helix gives business professionals two devices in one incredible form factor. It is a high performance, thin and light Ultrabook with a detachable Windows 8 tablet. We've also pumped more power and productivity into the new IdeaPad Yoga 11S mini- Ultrabook so it can handle whatever mobile computing tasks consumers throw at it."

ThinkPad Helix Fuses Laptop, Tablet and More with "Rip and Flip" Screen

The ThinkPad brand's premium convertible, Helix, defines the next generation of mobile computing through its ground breaking "rip and flip" design. This special design gives users absolute mobile freedom and versatility with four unique ways to use it.

ThinkPad Helix first functions as a high performance Ultrabook. For added mobility, the 11.6-inch tablet can separate from its base to become the thinnest full-function Intel® 3rd generation CoreTM tablet with vPro. Adding to its mobility, the tablet weighs 835 grams, also making it the lightest in its class. Unlike other convertibles, the innovative "rip and flip" screen lets users flip the tablet 180° and snap it back into the base – this mode, called Stand mode, transforms Helix into a mini-movie theatre or business presentation central. From here, users can also fold the screen down to use it as a tablet while keeping the base connected for added ports and connectivity.

Besides its game-changing design, the ThinkPad Helix comes with exceptional performance and productivity features that set the bar for this type of device. A top-class UltrabookTM the ThinkPad Helix runs up to 10 hours for a full day of work and play. Navigation and interaction are easy with the precision on-board pen, full-size keyboard and new five button clickpad that boasts 20 percent more surface area than traditional ThinkPad clickpads. As the brightest screen in the ThinkPad brand portfolio, Helix's 11.6-inch high definition 1080p IPS display maximizes clear, crisp and vibrant visuals in nearly any environment.

To connect virtually anywhere, ThinkPad Helix comes with optional LTE high speed wireless and also pioneers the emerging Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that allows devices to share data seamlessly by simply tapping to pair them. Additionally, Helix delivers the ThinkPad brand's reliability, enhanced security and manageability features that large businesses depend upon, including Intel® vPro. Helix redefines expectations for mobile computing by bringing together innovative technology and engineering that essentially eliminate the need to carry a laptop and a tablet.

IdeaPad Yoga 11S – Small Yet Powerful Ultrabook

Users now have another option for choosing one of Lenovo's groundbreaking flip and fold, 360° hinge IdeaPad Yoga convertibles. The new Yoga 11S comes equipped with a new low power lineup from Intel with up to 3rd generation Intel® CoreTM i5 processors and Windows 8 to give users the full power of multitasking and using Office applications, all in a svelte, 0.68-inch thin frame. Like its predecessor, users can work with Yoga 11S as a laptop, or flip the screen around to turn it into a great sized tablet. Even convert Yoga 11S into Stand or Tent modes for a space-saving way to watch movies, as it's tuned with great Dolby Home Theatre audio and smooth Intel integrated high definition graphics.

IdeaPad Yoga 11S features an 11.6-inch HD IPS display that supports 10 finger multi-touch and comes with unique features previously only available on Yoga 13: Motion Control lets users simply swipe their hand in front of the webcam to advance photos, videos and other document, and with Lenovo Transition, users can automatically open applications like PowerPoint in full-screen when using Yoga in its other three modes: tent, stand or tablet.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S also has the same attractive rubber painting and a soft-touch exterior as the IdeaPad Yoga 13, although it now will be available in Cotton Candy Pink as well as Silver Grey and Clementine Orange.

Lenovo offers a full suite of services for the convertibles, including In-Home Warranty upgrades for service at the owner's home or business, and Accidental Damage Protection on select products to help insure against damage from accidents like drops or spills. Lenovo Premium Support's expert technicians are available when needed with convenient over the phone or remote session support from the comfort of home. Additionally, a full lineup of Lenovo Services for Small Business backs up ThinkPad Helix. Customers can select from a portfolio of warranty upgrades, Accidental Damage Protection, Keep Your Drive and other protection services valuable to today's small businesses.

Pricing and Availability

The ThinkPad Helix and IdeaPad Yoga 11S convertibles will be available starting in late-February and June, respectively, through retailers, business partners and www.lenovo.com. Models start at approximately $1,499 and $799, respectively.
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Lenovo ThinkPad Helix official: 11.6-inch reversible screen, arrives next month for $1,499+