CES 2013 welcomes Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
Running on Windows 8, the Helix convertible ultrabook is pretty damn sexy
They came from far and wide, from the four corners of the globe. Las Vegas was their destination and it was laptops they were in search of - laptops that convert to a tablet and back again.
And on this, the first day proper of the 2013 CES, that's exactly what they got. Ultra HD TVs from Samsung and LG may have hogged the headlines alongside Ultra OLED prototypes from Sony and Panasonic. But like your mother always told you, there's more to life than TV.
And the vast halls of the Las Vegas Convention Centre were teeming with hacks and cameramen all searching for footage of that hybrid capable of grabbing the headlines. With Lenovo's new Helix convertible they found it.
When we arrived at the Lenovo headquarters they had shut up shop but for some reason we were let in - even though I was carrying one full rucksack, one empty rucksack and a cardboard box-full of food the size of a small garden shed. If I'd have been them I'd have moved me right on, but instead we were waved in and offered a reassuring, 'everything will be okay' look. Once the Helix was demoed I knew everything would be okay too.
Running on Windows 8, the ThinkPad convertible ultrabook is pretty damn sexy, creating a compact PC that ditches its keyboard when you need to get your tablet on. The laptop can be turned into a tablet and back again in seconds, with the 11.6-inch screen simply popping off. But this goes way beyond the usual switch mode. A reversible docking port means the tablet can be stood away from the keyboard dock - creating a perfect stand for catching a movie on a long flight.
With a weight of 1.8 pounds, it's great for travelling too, while 0.8-inch thinness means it can be slid inside the most slender of hand luggage. Weighing in at less than two pounds, the convertible also features innovative near field communication technology for sharing content between devices and offers 10 hours' battery.
The Helix is expected to be available in February.
The new ThinkPad made its debut as Intel raised the bar for ultrabooks. From now all laptops hoping to fit into the ultrathin category have to offer touchscreen technology as well as being committed to fitting into that size six dress. Intel said the new generation of ultrabooks will launch later this year.
"If you go back and you look at the history of the Ultrabook, we announced this as a journey," Intel's PC chief Kirk Skaugen said. "We believe the 4th generation Intel Core Ultrabooks are going to be game changers. This is the first product that we have delivered and designed at Intel from the grounds up with Ultrabook in mind."