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By Mike Joubert 12 July 2013

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Lenovo’s ThinkPad Twist harks back to the olden days of ‘tablet computers’, only juicing it up with the latest tech.

It’s not called the Twist for nothing, since if you turn this ultrabook’s screen, you can fold the device into four main positions. Obviously you have the normal notebook position (in which you’ll almost never use the touchscreen); Stand mode (good for watching movies); Tent mode (a slightly risky position with the notebook resting on the top of the screen and bottom of the keyboard); and Tablet mode.

Since the ultrabook twists around a hinge located at the bottom of the screen in the middle, in Tablet mode you end up with the screen covering the keyboard, and luckily not as is the case with the Lenovo Yoga, with the keyboard exposed at the bottom. The Tablet mode comes in handy when you want to read books on Kindle or just browse the web.

It’s a ThinkPad

Being part of Lenovo’s business-focused ThinkPad range, you can be certain of two things: solid build quality and an excellent keyboard. As per usual Lenovo does not disappoint, even though the keyboard is not backlit and from an aesthetic point of view, they could have extended the matte finish around the keyboard to below the screen too. Talking of which, the 12.5" screen’s resolution stands at a so-so 1366 x 768; a touch of full HD goodness would not have gone amiss.

As far as workload is concerned, the Twist can deal with a lot, since onboard is a very generous 8 GB RAM and the same Intel Core i7-3517U running at 1.9 GHz that also powers the Acer S7 (review). Apart from 500 GB hard disk you also receive a not so common WLAN port, SD card reader, 2x USB 3.0 ports but only a mini HDMI port. Our model was 3G enabled.

To the point

As an ultrabook the Twist will provide the business-ready performance expected from it, with the added benefit of its twistable screen. Just remember that at 1.58 kg, this unit is bulkier and heavier than regular tablets. With Windows 8 Pro installed the Twist retails for R16 000. If you don’t want the extra bulk, try the new ThinkPad Helix (review) but for R25 000. 

PROS
Good performance, solid keyboard, interesting design
CONS
Heavier than other tablets, no HD screen
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