LENOVO THINKPAD TWIST: Thinks with a twist

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 27 2013, 06:27am hrs
Do you know that the ThinkPadoriginally designed and developed by IBM but now produced by Lenovohas been used in space, and was the only notebook certified for long-term flight on the International Space Station. So, when I got the ThinkPadthe one with a twistfor review, I was super-excited. And why not, the machine I have with me is probably light years ahead of the original ThinkPads that assisted astronauts. And its a Chinese.

The ThinkPad Twist is a touch-enabled ultrabook offering four modes for better collaboration and performance. You open this ultrabook, screen facing yourselfit is a laptop. You twist the screen clockwise by 180-degrees and close itit is a tablet. In between, it can be used in two other modesa stand mode and a tent mode where the laptop

becomes a media presenter,

giving an immersive multimedia experience in the boardroom, a coffee shop, or even while going through your favourite recipe in the kitchen. The twist also comes in handy for the business user while giving presentations, etc, as they are the ones this product is aimed at. The machine comes with a plethora of connectivity slots (even Ethernet), which are missed by most in the 12-inch ultrabook segment. Again, a business-friendly feature.

Here I must add that the screen doesnt twist in both directions, but only clockwise. The company says the central hinge twists in only one direction to ensure sturdiness and reliability when used in different modes.

At a 20 mm thickness and a weight of 1.6 kg, the ThinkPad Twist comes with a massive 500 GB storage with HDD performance booster for a more responsive system and increased memory vis--vis traditional tablets. The Windows 8-powered multi-touch screen is fun to usealthough the company claims the screen is anti-scratch and anti-smudge, I did encounter some spots and fingerprints while

operating the screen, but the good thing is that the spots disappear just by rubbing the screen with a clean cloth. In fact, the Gorilla glass with a wide viewing angle supported by Dolby Home Theatre v4 provides for good entertainment especially while watching movies.

Lenovo has kept the keyboard as tactile and as good as the rest of the ThinkPad series even if it has now taken a chiclet form. The spacing between keys only reduces the chances of your hitting the wrong key while typing. On the downside, the keyboard is not backlit. The company claims that the screen is bright enough so they didnt feel the need for a backlit keyboard. The battery life is average, though. While using multiple applications, the Twist ran well enough for four hours, and then demanded a recharge.

A couple of things that need mention here are Lenovo Solutions for Small Business (LSSB) and Lenovo Solution Centre (LSC), which are the value-added software offerings to safeguard the product from wear and tear and software damage. While LSSB addresses key aspects of IT maintenance such as software monitoring, after-hour maintenance, energy saving and security enhancements, and also allows the small business to easily set up advanced maintenance tasks similar to those used by large enterprises, LSC is a purpose-built Lenovo utility to monitor the health of the system and perform preventative maintenance to ensure high performance for the life of an Ultrabook.

Priced at R71,000 (all inclusive), the Twist is a solidly-build ultrabook, but the best thing is that it presents itself as a fine business machine which is priced right too.

Estimated street price: Rs 71,000