Road warriors hoping to get a new Windows 8 ThinkPad tablet-laptop hybrid will have to wait a few weeks longer than expected. Lenovo recently confirmed via its Facebook page that the ThinkPad Helix "rip and flip" hybrid won't be available until March or April. Lenovo said during CES that the Helix would be available in late February.
The Helix was one of the most talked about PCs during CES because of its changeable form factor, light weight and dual batteries. PCWorld's Loyd Case called the Helix "a drool-worthy road warrior's dream system" that represents "the likely future of mobile PCs." The Helix also appears to be highly anticipated by some consumers who are already growing impatient waiting for the device to hit stores. "It's February. Where is the Helix??" asked Birmingham, Alabama, resident David Coley on Facebook, sparking Lenovo's confirmation that the device will be delayed. Others in the Facebook thread expressed disappointment the Helix wouldn't be coming out as quickly as planned.
The Helix is a Windows 8 convertible clamshell Ultrabook that detaches from its keyboard base to become a tablet. You can also fold the display over the keyboard into what Lenovo calls tablet+ mode, similar to previous generation tablet PCs. The Helix also features stand mode where you can twist the base around 180 degrees to see the device's high-definition display without the keyboard getting in the way. The Helix's tablet and base each have separate batteries, allowing for up to 10 hours of battery life in clamshell and tablet+ mode, the company claims.
Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix features an 11.6-inch display with 1920-by-1080 resolution, 10-point multitouch, up to 8GB RAM, Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, rear- and front-facing cameras, built-in stylus, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and cellular data options. The Helix also has a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports and a mini DisplayPort. When attached to the base, the Helix weighs 3.75 pounds and is expected to have a starting price around $1,500.
It's not clear why the Helix has hit delays and whether these issues will also affect the IdeaPad Yoga 11S that Lenovo also slated for release this month. This is not the first time new Windows 8 devices have hit delays. During the holiday season many Windows 8 hybrid laptops were in short supply , which critics attributed to touchscreen component availability and other supply chain issues.