I recently had the good fortune to get my hands on a new Windows 8 Ultrabook manufactured by Lenovo. I have been playing with Windows 8 since it came out in developer preview so before I dive too deeply into this review I have to say that if you are considering a Windows 8 computer, YOU MUST get a touchscreen or your selling yourself short. Windows 8 with a conventional mouse is one clunky beast. The new Lenovo Thinkpad Twist however, is not.
Pictured above, on my somewhat messy work table, is the Twist. If you are familiar with the Thinkpad brand, you will recognize the design. It has the signature red mouse “nub” seated inside the keyboard area. The first thing I noticed when getting this thing out of the box is that it feels really nice in your hands. It is made of a magnesium alloy that grips really well. It also has an outer texture that resists fingerprints which is very nice. It probably isn’t the lightest ultrabook on the market. It weighs 3.48 pounds. I will say that it is very thin and just feels really natural in your hands, so I don’t think the weight is that big of an issue.
The screen is extremely bright and incorporates battery saving features. For instance, it will dim pretty quickly if you aren’t actively using it. Pictured above, you can see that the Thinkpad Twist lives up to its name. That screen will go in just about any position imaginable. You can turn it completely around, fold it up and sit it like a tent on the table, lay it completely over the keyboard to form a tablet, and use it like a regular laptop. This makes it extremely versatile and useful in my opinion.
You can see me holding the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist in its tablet form above. I have rather small hands and it wasn’t cumbersome for me to hold at all. The screen rotates around to whatever orientation you are holding it. However, it does have a little button on the side that will allow you to lock the screen orientation if you don’t want it to move.
It’s fast. The one I got my hands on had an Intel i5 processor and it was zippy. It has a lot of nice ports including mini-HDMI and USB ports. It also has a media card reader to support your camera’s memory cards. The screen is beautiful. Battery life is pretty good too.
The speakers are horrible. I have had AM transistor radios that had better speakers than this thing. This was a real disappointment for me because the screen is just so nice. I was really hoping to get an outstanding multimedia experience and that just didn’t happen.
With Black Friday coming, it appears this ultrabook will be available for around $699. If you are seriously thinking about the Microsoft Surface, for $200 extra you have to give this a look. It has the full version of Windows 8 which doesn’t have the limitation of the RT version of Windows 8 that is on the surface. Plus, it is just so much more versatile than the surface. Anyone wanting to venture into Windows 8 should seriously give the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist a look.