CES 2013: Lenovo Expands Convertible ThinkPad Lineup With Win8, New Designs


According to Lenovo, its convertible "Yoga" notebooks are selling like hot cakes, and the PC maker plans to keep that momentum going with a new line of half-tablet, half-PC designs it unveiled at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Lenovo Monday took the wraps off its new ThinkPad Helix, an Ultrabook that can be used in either traditional clamshell mode or, when the top portion is detached, as a stand-alone 11.6-inch tablet. The device can also take on a third form factor called "Stand Mode" that Lenovo claims is ideal for watching videos or delivering a PowerPoint presentation.

The ThinkPad Helix runs Windows 8, includes a third-generation Intel "Ivy Bridge" processor and supports near-field communication (NFC) technology. Its battery life can run up to eight hours, and the Helix boasts a full-size keyboard, along with a new five-button clickpad that is 20 percent larger than traditional ThinkPad clickpads.

[Related: Gartner: Lenovo Dethrones HP, Becomes World's Largest PC Maker]

Nick Reynolds, executive director of worldwide consumer marketing at Lenovo, said convertible notebooks, and particularly its "Yoga" line of IdeaPads, have been a big hit among consumers.

"They are doing phenomenally. In fact, we cannot make enough Yogas fast enough," Reynolds told CRN. "We have been absolutely blown away by the response. It exceeded our expectations."

Lenovo updated its popular Yoga lineup Monday at CES, introducing the new IdeaPad Yoga 11S, a convertible Windows 8-based Ultrabook. The device measures at just 0.68 inches thick, and, like its predecessors, can be used as laptop or as a tablet by rotating the 11.6-inch display and locking it in place on top of the keyboard. Like the Helix, the Yoga S11 can also be used in Stand Mode.

Under the hood of Lenovo's latest Yoga is a third-generation Intel i5 Core processor, along with support for gesture control, allowing users to advance through photos or other files with the swipe of their hand.

Lenovo said the new ThinkPad Helix will be available in late February, starting at $1,499, while the IdeaPad Yoga 11S will launch in June, starting at $799.

PUBLISHED JAN. 7, 2013