A Month With The Lenovo Helix

As previously discussed we have implemented a CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) program.  The device I chose was the Lenovo Helix, an Ultra Book tablet hybrid.

Here is an interim review of the device after a month of full time use.

Windows 8

I’ve been using Windows at work for 15 years, up until approximately 1 year ago.  This was my first experience with Windows 8.  In a sentence Windows 8 feels like it has two personalities.  It’s obvious that there is the Metro tablet interface and desktop mode.  
What was surprising was the lack of integration between them.  For some reason I was under the impression that if you configured something in one it would configure the other.  Here are some examples.
– When you configure a Microsoft Exchange account in Metro it doesn’t configure Outlook in desktop or vice versa.
– When you configure Box in Metro it doesn’t configure Box in desktop or vice versa.
The only app I’ve found so far that seems to install once and run in both is Google Chrome web browser.  I haven’t found a difference in the layout of the app in either mode other than the fact that it seems to go full screen in Metro.
Finding apps and settings was also a challenge initially.  The fundamental difference is that you now search for everything.  The old Windows way was to click start and navigate through a menu hierarchy of your most frequently used apps and data.  The new way is to mouse or pull from the right side of the screen and search.  It seems to be quite efficient after you realize what’s happening.
Having a large tablet with full Windows desktop has been quite convenient.  Most of my meetings involve me demonstrating data in spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings.  Much of the time when you open office documents on other platforms some of the formatting or layout will change.  It’s nice to know that while I can get that data on all of my devices, it will look exactly the same when I present it as when I created it when using this device.


The hardware has been classic Lenovo.  The device is ergonomic and sturdy.  It is definitely built for business, and business travel.
The battery is decent.  I’ve typically been able to get through a day with the device, although it does get plugged in most of the time.  Battery life would be around 4 hours at normal screen brightness and on the entire time.
The keyboard is the new Lenovo chicklet style.  The Lenovo keyboard is one I’ve been using happily for many years and this evolution felt familiar and good.  It always creates a tearing decision to consider leaving the keyboard behind to save weight and take the tablet only.  The trackpad is actually much better.  Gestures like sliding your fingers up and down to scroll through multi-page documents works much better than in the jittery past.

The screen is nice and clear.  I’ve got the resolution set to 1680×1050 because I can see everything more clearly.  It does look sharp in 1920×1080 it’s just I strain to see things.  The touch on it is great too.  In desktop mode I still prefer to have the keyboard and mouse.  The Windows desktop UI was designed for a pointer and it’s definitely a struggle without one.
Using the device in tablet mode has started to become very natural and downright delightful.  It is very convenient when going to a meeting to ditch the extra weight and collapsing of the keyboard and take only the tablet.  Using a few already running apps in desktop mode is no problem providing you only need to do minor navigation.  Doing some light email and calendar work in the Metro UI is also inline with a typical tablet interface experience.


This device aims to further consolidate the number of devices we carry.  Phone, tablet, and laptop.  At least this one consolidates two of those.

Using tablets for work can create a very different work dynamic. Creating content at our desks is typical. It’s been very interesting to walk into meetings and hand someone my tablet. It connects the other participants to your meeting. You know they’re not hiding behind their own screen watching emails. Pretty cool.

If you are a Windows user who travels a fair bit this could be a perfect fit for you.  Particularly if most of your work while traveling is email and content consumption rather than creation.  If you can leave the keyboard at home this device is only 1.8 pounds which for frequent travellers with T60’s over their shoulder will greatly appreciate.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Insecurity authored by asdfasdfasdfasdf. Read the original post at: