The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix is an excellent convertible with a good range of ports, robust design and solid performance, and it shows a clear business focus lacking in many Windows 8.1 devices. However, with prices starting at £1,000 for the most basic configuration its features come at a premium.
Wealth of ports; solid design and docking mechanism; good battery by laptop standards; decent performance; responsive stylus
Expensive; screen is prone to glare
Processor: Intel Core M
Display: 11.6in, 1920x1080 pixel Full HD, 190ppi touchscreen
Storage: 256GB, upgradable via SD card slot
Connectivity: WiFi, optional 4G
Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit)
Dimensions: 30x19.2x0.9cm (tablet), 30x21.5x2.5cm (laptop)
Weight: 793g (tablet), 1.67kg (laptop)
Lenovo has been carving out a growing chunk of the enterprise device market since buying the ThinkPad line from IBM many moons ago, and for good reason.
The Chinese firm has been experimental and innovative from the moment Windows 8 came out, and has worked hard to make the most of Microsoft's touch-focused operating system.
This has seen the release of convertible devices in various form factors that offer businesses an all-in-one tablet and laptop.
The ThinkPad Helix 2 continues this trend with a travel-friendly tablet that can be converted into a fully functioning ultrabook using a keyboard attachment.
Design and build
The ThinkPad Helix features a similar design to competing convertibles like the Asus Transformer range, and comprises a 30x19.2x0.9cm tablet section and dockable keyboard that boosts the dimensions to 30x21.5x2.5cm.
This makes it fairly standard for an 11in laptop, but slightly larger than a regular tablet.
We used it as our primary work device while covering press events in London and found the dimensions and weight (793g tablet, 1.67kg laptop) easy to carry around and use as a workstation.
This was aided by the port options. The ThinkPad Helix follows the same functional design philosophy as past Lenovo business devices and focuses on connectivity and functionality above all else.
The convertible is loaded with all the ports and connectivity options most business professionals will need. The tablet section houses micro HDMI, USB 3.0, micro SD, micro sim (on LTE enabled models) ports, while the keyboard dock features a backup USB 2.0 connector.
Lenovo offers an optional Pro keyboard upgrade that adds USB 3.0 and mini Display ports.
Lenovo has also loaded the ThinkPad Helix with 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras for video conferencing.
We were impressed with both sections' build quality. The black finish polycarbonate is a bit of a dust magnet, but the ThinkPad Helix coped with the usual wear and tear we'd expect of a laptop and tablet.
The ThinkPad Helix survived its ordeal bumping around London in our satchel without scratches and marks, despite an accidental encounter with the corner of a desk.
The docking hinge also felt noticeably more robust than on many competing convertibles which can be slightly flimsy.
In terms of usability the trackpad and keyboard keys were also suitably responsive and made using the ThinkPad Helix as a laptop a pleasant experience.
Our only design qualm is that for some reason Lenovo hasn't provided a way to dock the bundled digitiser stylus on the Pro Keyboard, which is a bit annoying if you want to scribble notes, sketch or do design work on the move.
Next: Display, operating system and performance