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Laptops Reviews
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Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review: convertible Windows 8 device

£798.79 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The versatile design of the ThinkPad Twist makes it an available choice for business travellers who can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet. Read our Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review to find out more.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Lenovo has really gone gung-ho for ‘convertible’ Windows 8 devices that try to be both laptop and tablet. Along with its Yoga, Helix and Lynx ranges Lenovo has added a new Twist, which itself has recently received a modest processor update. But right now, it’s still running with the last generation of Intel processor, rather than the Haswell series that works so well in lightweight laptops. See also: Group test: what's the best tablet PC?

The Twist is essentially the business version of the Yoga. So both Yoga and Twist are Intel Ultrabook designs with a reversible, touch-sensitive screen that folds right back flat to make a fat tablet. But the twist is that the Twist can also spin its screen around, like the unlamented old Window slates, since it’s only secured by a small swivelling hinge in the centre. See also: Group test: what's the best ultraportable laptop?

The Twist has an uncommon size 12.5-inch screen, and at 1.6 kg is heavy for an Ultrabook of this size, let alone a tablet that usually weighs much less than half that.

You certainly couldn’t hold it in one hand comfortably while you browse the web. But it’s nice to have a tablet option to lay it flat on a desk. Or rest it flat on your lap when you’re sitting on train or a plane.

It’s sturdily built, with Gorilla Glass-covered screen. The 1366 x 768-pixel display is very bright and colourful, and uses an IPS panel to provide close to 180-degree viewing. This will come in handy for business presentations – especially as the Twist’s big selling point is impromptu presentations to colleagues or clients by quickly twisting the screen around.

You can also fold the Twist over into A-section ‘tent’ mode, using the keyboard panel as a stand while you sit back to watch video. Or you just fold the keyboard back completely and use as a tablet.

With business users in mind, the Twist runs Windows 8 Pro as well as Lenovo’s Solutions For Small Business software. This includes features such as a USB Blocker to prevent unauthorised users from copying files onto external USB storage.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

The keyboard feels firm and comfortable to use for long periods, although the 80 x 55mm trackpad is small. But, like many business laptops, the Twist also has an old-fashioned ‘trackpoint’ in the centre of the keyboard.

The Lenovo Twist range was updated so that the Intel Core i5 processor in the entry-level model gets a small speed bump from 1.7GHz to 1.8GHz. It’s still stuck with the less efficient Ivy Bridge series chip though.

The price has also been cut by about £50 to £799 on Lenovo’s web site, although memory on the entry-level model has also been reduced from 8GB to 4GB.

Another £50 will allow you to step up to a Core i7 processor running at 2 GHz and 8GB of memory. That may seem like a better deal, but bear in mind the additional impace on battery life. You can also get a 128 GB SSD drive, and that adds a further £150 to the overall price.

The 320 GB hard drive on this model remains the same and – as before – is backed up by a 24 GB SSD module that helps it to respond more smoothly.

The Lenovo Twist managed a score of 2887 points when running the PCMark 7 benchmarks, which is hardly outstanding, but adequate for running MS Office and routine web browsing.

The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics are  enough for light off-duty gaming. The ThinkPad Twist could just about reach 25 fps on games like Batman: Arkham City, if you don’t mind turning the graphics settings down to ‘low’ and running at reduced 1280 x 720 resolution.

One real disappointment with the Twist was how far it fell short of Lenovo’s claim of 7-hour battery life. We got just 3 hours and 45 minutes of streaming video out of it. That might be stretched for another hour for basic tasks. But that’s still inadequate for a business device that’s supposed to spend any time away from the mains.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Expert Verdict »
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U N3C4NUK Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
1.8 GHz Intel Core i5-3337U dual-core (2.7 GHz Turboboost)
12.5-inch (1366 x 768) IPS touchscreen
Windows 8 Pro (64-bit) 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
320 GB HDD (7200 rpm) and 24 GB SSD
Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics
802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
mini-HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort
gigabit ethernet
2x USB 3.0
SDXC card reader
1280 x 720-pixel (0.9 Mp) webcam with built-in mic
headphone socket
42.4 Wh lithium-polymer battery
313 x 236 x 20 mm
1.6 kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The battery life has plenty of room for improvement, but the versatile design of the ThinkPad Twist makes it an available choice for business travellers who can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet.

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