A Twist In The Tale

Lenovo Thinkpad Twist is a sprightly Ultrabook and springs to life in under 10 seconds
Nandagopal Rajan | Print Edition: September 2013

Lenovo Thinkpad Twist
Price: Rs 71,000+
Specs: Windows 8, 12.5-inch HD IPS, Intel Core i5 - 3317U (2.60 GHz), 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 1.6kg

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga was one of the most innovative Ultrabook designs of last year. Its new ThinkPad Twist, however, takes the twists and turns of the Yoga to an enterprise audience. So this think little Ultrabooks can twist its screen to both sides, bend over backwards and fold back to become a tablet. That gives it the regular laptop mode, a stand mode where the screen is facing you with the keyboard behind it, a tent mode suitable for presentations and the tablet. This is really a twist to conventional computing.

The 13-inch Twist we tested has a 20mm body weighing just 1.6 kg. The magnesium hybrid body gives it a military equipment like feel, while the 12.5" HD IPS display sits safe behind a Corning glass panel. Our only grouse here is that the screen could have used more of the display, cutting the bezel a bit more. Dolby Home Theatre V4 adds good audio quality.  One thing that is crucial to this device's antics is the hinge, which takes from the design of the X220 and X230. It appears strong enough to go through the rigours of being a convertible Ultrabook, but that is a test we will have to leave to time.

Since it can become a tablet too, the power button is on the side of the display and volume keys just under the bezel. These are both positions you can access in all of the Twists four positions. The full-size keypad is really good and has curves that sort of invite your fingers to type. But one of the USPs of this device has to be the choice it gives the user in the form of a trackpoint and unconventional touchpad with a scrolling button. Remember, this device has a touchscreen with makes these two feature sort of redundant. But Lenovo thinks it will take some more time for touchscreens to become primary input method for users and till then they don't want to deny them the choice.

The Twist is a sprightly Ultrabook and springs to life in under 10 seconds. This is one of the fastest Intel Core i5 devices as far as our regular tests go and it opened high res pictures without any noticeable lag. This is also a very cool device. Even though we could feel a hot draft coming out of the fan grill on the right edge, the Ultrabook itself stayed very cool during power consuming operations.

The battery is decent and can easily give over six hours, even though this is still not up to the 10 hours that Ultrabooks were supposed to give. We could test the standby for up to a week and the battery hadn't dropped significantly. The Twist comes preloaded with unique software that make life easier for small business that might not have separate IT managers. The Lenovo Solutions for Small Business (LSSB), for instance, can perform afterhours maintenance and updates as long as the device is kept online. Aimed at the enterprise user, this thin Ultrabook does not compromise on connectivity options and manages to find space for RJ45, mini-display and mini HDMI ports along with a 4-in-1 card reader.
We recommend the Twist for those who need a powerful device for business and a bit of fun after work. You might need to configure the specs to your requirements though. It is no doubt among the best value-for-money convertibles around.

Rating: 4.5/5
Bag it or junk it: A versatile enterprise laptop, convertible too

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