Keys And Controls
A wide, five-button touchpad supports pinch and three-finger gestures, and swiping in from the sides mimics the action on the touchscreen. This is a huge convenience, particularly considering the less-than-perfect mouse response of Windows 8. In tests, the Helix touchpad tended to throw the mouse pointer when clicking with the lower-left button. Lenovo's signature red TrackPoint is nestled among a comfortably sized keyboard that unfortunately lacks a backlight.
The Helix keyboard's top row has dedicated controls for speaker and mic mute (with LED), volume down/up, screen brightness, Wi-Fi and webcam on/off and search from the Start screen. F11 brings up thumbnails of all running apps just like pressing ALT-TAB and holding down the ALT key. F12 brings up the Start screen in all apps mode. In clamshell mode, the ThinkPad logo's red LED "i" is solid when the unit is powered on, and it flashes slowly to indicate when it's sleeping and flashes three times when the AC power source is added. A second lighted logo on the wrist rest performs much the same functions.