Print 9 comment(s) - last by LieutenantCrun.. on Jan 7 at 8:50 PM

New Windows 8 tablet packs an i7

At the CES Unveiled event on Sunday, the Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) -- currently the world's second fastest-growing computermaker -- remained bullish regarding Windows 8.  

Recent reports indicate that sales and adoption of the new colorful, graphically-rich operating system from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may be worse than the much reviled Winodws Vista.  Indeed, one employee acknowledged that the Windows Store/Windows 8 app ecosystem needed to build up in order to drive faster adoption.  However, the criticisms have done little to stop the Asian OEM from unveiling a plethora of Intel Corp. (INTC)-powered Windows 8 designs.

CES Unveiled
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Leading the way was the 11.6-inch Lenovo Helix.  The laptop-cum-tablet hybrid design allows the screen (tablet) to be detached and reattached from the laptop base, with the help of anodized zinc-alloy tabs.  In total, the device has 4 modes including presentation mode.

Lenovo Scrolling 1

Lenovo DNA Scrolling
Scrolling on the Lenovo Helix felt smooth. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

The screen is full 1080p (1920x1080).  That battery life is estimated at 6 hours with the tablet only, but jumps to 10 hours when the base is fully charged and attached.  The total weight of the tablet is 1.8 lb -- or roughly a third heavier than the current iPad from Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  And the device is a little thicker than the latest full-sized iPad (11 millimeters versus 9.4 millimetrs).  With the base, the weight jumps to 4.75 lb.

Presentation Mode
Scrolling on the Lenovo Helix felt smooth. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

The tablet can carry up to an Intel Core i7 prcoessor (or, more affordably, an i3 or i5), can have up to 8 GB of DRAM, and can have a solid state drive capacity of up to 256 gigabytes.  The only big disappointment is that there are no discrete graphics options -- only the integrated Intel HD 4000.

Lenovo laptops/tablets
The Lenovo Helix (left), pictured next to a Carbon X1 Windows 8 laptop.
[Image Source: DailyTech/Jason Mick]

The tablet comes preloaded with some other nice extras, like Lenovo's special "Start Button" replacement, which adds a new icon/menu to the Windows 8 Desktop.  Lenovo says that this button -- like comparable third party solutions -- should help users by presenting them with a familiar placement of the shutdown option, as well as other missing functionality.

A late February launch is planned for the Lenovo Helix in the U.S.  The expected price point is around $1500 USD.

Source: Lenovo

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Integrated graphics
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
The only big disappointment is that there are no discrete graphics options -- only the integrated Intel HD 4000

Don't expect this to change, integrated graphics in thin and light designs are here to stay. Dedicated graphics will be relegated to larger devices like gaming laptops and mobile workstations. The boom in ultrabooks and tablets are a huge reason why Intel is putting so much effort into the IGP.

The Ivy Bridge IGP is actually pretty decent, more than capable enough to drive a 2560x1600 30" desktop. Haswell is when those products will really shine though, roughly double the graphics performance of Ivy Bridge without compromising efficiency. The lack of dedicated graphics won't even be questioned by the time Broadwell drops in 2014.

RE: Integrated graphics
By safcman84 on 1/7/2013 4:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I am still waiting on a decent external thunderbolt GPU enclosure, similar to what MSI announced (and never delivered?) but able to handle high end desktop GPUs.

i5 or i7 powered tablet with 8gb ram, hooked up to an external monitor and external GPU.

One device to rule them all.

RE: Integrated graphics
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 12:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
This would be fantastic, having a light device on the go that you can then plug into a PCI-E video card if you want to game at a desktop on a big monitor.

Even the technical constraints of Thunderbolt (not having full PCI lane speed for external video cards) doesn't put that big a hit on performance, at least not with software at the moment.

RE: Integrated graphics
By StevoLincolnite on 1/7/2013 7:14:14 AM , Rating: 2
The Ivy Bridge IGP is actually pretty decent, more than capable enough to drive a 2560x1600 30" desktop.

The problem though is Drivers. Intel has historically been horrible with it's graphics drivers.

For example... How many years did it take Intel to enable Shader Model 3 and TnL on the x3100 IGP? Even then TnL used a profiling system, some applications would still run TnL in software.

Or hows about those who bought an Intel Atom not long ago with an Intel GMA 3600/3650? No stable Windows 8 drivers for that, be prepared to use the Windows 8 generic drivers or put up with blue screens.

In this regard I wish Intel would become more like it's competitors AMD and nVidia, at-least you can be assured you will get drivers for years to come.

Intel can have 10x the performance of an AMD IGP, but if the drivers are still horrible (I.E. You need to check a compatibility list...) then it's a moot point.

RE: Integrated graphics
By LieutenantCrunch on 1/7/2013 8:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
I would love to see something similar to this but with a discreet gfx card in the base. I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be possible. Hell, they could even make the base so you can customize it with discreet gfx, a large HD, optical drive. . . really there could be hundreds of options. Thin and light on the go, but power when you need it.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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