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Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review

Verdict

There are hints of the usual ThinkPad excellence, but poor build quality and occasionally iffy ergonomics fail to inspire

Review Date: 11 Feb 2013

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £738 (£886 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £1000
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

Convertible tablets are nothing new in the business sector, but convertible Ultrabooks certainly are: the ThinkPad Twist is the first we’ve come across.

However, those expecting the usual ThinkPad build quality are likely to be disappointed. The Twist is plasticky, the central hinge is far more cumbersome than the Yoga 13’s double-jointed hinge, and when clipped into the base in tablet mode, the two halves separate at the slightest provocation.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

That’s a shame, since the touchscreen is responsive, the 1,366 x 768 IPS panel’s viewing angles are superb, and colours are accurate. The measured brightness of 337cd/m2 keeps the glossy panel legible outdoors, and the contrast ratio of 702:1 is excellent by any standards.

Connectivity strikes just the right balance for business use, too. With two USB 3 ports, mini-DisplayPort, mini-HDMI, an SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet and a SIM slot for the model with 3G, the Twist is better served than most of the Ultrabooks and hybrids we've seen.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

As well as a buttonless touchpad there’s also a red trackpoint set in the centre of the Scrabble-tile keyboard. Typing is a joy, but the buttonless touchpad isn’t great – we found the cursor was jittery and prone to jumping across the screen, so we disabled it and used the trackpoint instead.

Performance lowers the tone once again. The Core i5-3317U CPU is no weakling, but the sluggish 500GB hard disk struggles to keep Windows 8 feeling as responsive as SSD-equipped models. With a score of 0.53 in our Real World Benchmarks, and a result of only 5hrs 16mins in our light-use battery tests, the Twist is neither quick nor particularly long-lasting.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Apart from an excellent display and generous connectivity, then, the ThinkPad Twist provides little in the way of excitement. The pricier £999 model, which adds 3G and a speedier SSD, makes the Twist more viable for businesses, but it’s still no award-winner.

Author: Sasha Muller

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User comments

Excellent display?

Sorry, but 1366x768 is not excellent. Heck, my smartphone almost matches that resolution!

By Trippynet on 11 Feb 2013

numbers not quality

I think there's still a difference between the number of pixels and the quality of a screen, despite what advertisers would like us to think.

I'm still looking for the upcoming high res Yoga 11S to come out. if the battery life is materially affected by the higher res screen, then it'll be back to the drawing board. For my needs, most screens are good enough.

By khellan on 11 Feb 2013

@khellan

yes, a lot of people are complaining about Full HD panels at 11" and saying the 1366x768 panels are more usable and often clearer.

By big_D on 11 Feb 2013

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