More Windows 8-based hybrids are set to hit the Philippine market.
The second-largest maker of computers is about to roll out its latest ThinkPad devices: the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, both expected to hit stores sometime between end-June and July.
Both machines are priced like Intel-inspired ultrabooks, P78,990 and P37,990, respectively.
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
The ThinkPad Helix, a laptop-tablet hybrid with a "rip and flip" design, allows three completely different modes of use when the tablet itself is docked on the spill-resistant keyboard.
The three laptop-tablet permutations and spill resistance notwithstanding, the Helix's hardware hardly warrants excitement; we've seen this execution from just about every Windows 8 hardware maker out there.
To its credit, Lenovo does manage to one-up most of its rivals by packing a 4-cell lithium polymer battery inside the keyboard dock. That, combined with the 3-cell lithium polymer battery inside the tablet, extends the Helix's approximate battery life up to 10 hours. Whether or not the claim stands up to actual usage, Lenovo is absolutely right to pack more cells in this ThinkPad. Manufacturers should take note.
The Helix is a high-spec'd, business-class ultrabook through and through. The touchscreen, which can be used with the included digitizer pen, measures 11.6 inches diagonally and has a full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and 400 nits of brightness. To shield the panel against dings and scratches, it's fronted by Corning Gorilla Glass.
Inside, the Helix boasts a third-gen Intel Core i5 processor, alongside Intel HD 4000 graphics and SSD storage. It's also NFC-enabled and has a SIM card slot for 3G connectivity.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
One huge step below the ThinkPad Helix is the more affordable (but not considerably so) ThinkPad Tablet 2. Unlike its bigger brother, this one's a tablet by definition. For an additional P7,000, though, it can be paired with an optional Bluetooth keyboard/stand to make it seem like a hybrid running Windows 8.
The Tablet 2 is aimed at average consumers who'd be more than willing to part with the power of Intel's Core processor and settle for the chip maker's dual-core Atom architecture. Other notable specs: 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen with 720p resolution; Intel SGX545 graphics; 2GB of RAM; and 8- and 2-megapixel rear and front cameras. It comes with a digitizer pen, too, just like the ThinkPad Helix.
Bucking the PC market trend
With devices priced well above the P20,000 sweet spot, Lenovo's latest ThinkPads represent a niche in the market, one that puts a wedge into portable PCs as device makers continue to struggle in finding the form factor that doesn't compromise on portability, performance, and price.
Time will tell if Lenovo's newest offerings will ultimately solve the riddle by achieving what has been eluding the competition so far. The company managed to avoid a decline in PC shipments last quarter—the only one of the top five vendors to do so. However, with its products' high price points (twice that of non-hybrids with comparable hardware), will the PC giant still be able to buck the declining PC market?