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Convertible Windows 8 tablets hog the limelight for Lenovo at CES

by Doug Drinkwater

January 7 2013

Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix
Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix

From Ultrabooks that turn into tablets to a 27-inch touchscreen "table PC" for the home, Microsoft’s Windows 8 played a big part in what Lenovo announced at CES in Las Vegas today.

The computer giant unveiled a collection of new tablets, Ultrabooks and other touch-friendly devices during a press preview event at CES, including the innovative ThinkPad Helix tablet which passed FCC last week.

The 11.6-inch model has a "rip and flip" 1920 x 1080 display that can detached for tablet use or turned 180 degrees to sit on top of the keyboard and features an Intel Core i5 processor and a ten-hour battery life. This, plus the optional LTE connectivity, makes it as an ideal business tool, according to Lenovo.

“The ThinkPad Helix gives business professionals two devices in one incredible form factor," said Peter Hortensius, president of the product Group and senior vice president at Lenovo, on the eve of CES.

"It is a high performance, thin and light Ultrabook with a detachable Windows 8 tablet."

The Helix, which was shown both on the show floor and the CES Unveiled event, wasn’t the only Lenovo device to straddle the lines between Ultrabook and tablet with the firm debuting the 11.6-inch IdeaPad Yoga 11S, a hybrid Windows 8 tablet which is essentially the smaller brother to the already-released Yoga 11.

The latest model runs an Intel Core i3 CPU (Core i5 will also be available), supports motion control (for instance, you could wave your hand to advance slides in a presentation) and comes as standard with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD (other configurations are available). The battery life is quoted at a slightly lowly 7 hours.

Both the ThinkPad Helix and IdeaPad Yoga 11S are to become available in late February and June respectively, with models to start at respective prices of $1,499 and $799.

Elsewhere at the technology showcase in Sin City, Lenovo was demoing a number of new notebooks, desktops and a new mobile monitor, but what really caught the eye was its unusual IdeaCentre Horizon tabletop PC.

A 27-inch touchscreen table that is powered by a Core i7 processor and Windows 8, the Horizon bears some similarity with Microsoft’s original Surface, a 40-inch digital signage table co-branded with Samsung, and can be lied flat or used as a traditional desktop.

The tabletop even comes with its own app store, the Lenovo App Store currently serving up over 5,000 entertainment apps, and can run at Full HD 1080p or at the Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440. The IdeaCentre will sell for $1,699 from early summer.

Video: Lenovo's Tom Butler, director of ThinkPad product marketing, shows the new ThinkPad Helix with the Rip and Flip touch display. Footage courtesy of TabTimes's contributor Larry Magid.

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