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24 Posts

04-19-2013

New York

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 18:06 PM

Would YOU spend thousands of dollars on a product that didn't meet your needs when there is one around the corner? You have to understand the majority of the frustrated are in that twilight area between having already waited this long and being tired of getting strung along.

 

And even if we wanted to go buy something else - buy what? The Pro has problems, the TX300 is in the same boat as the helix, the Kupa doesn't seem to actually exist beyond concept and the Ativ is a fantastic machine with no 3G and weaker specs, which I've already bought and is now being returned because I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a machine that doesn't meet my needs AND has connectivity issues.

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24 Posts

04-13-2013

Canada

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 18:07 PM

wrote:
Some where wondering if they could purchase Helix without WWAN and install it later.

One of the comments from the video mentions this;
"I was thinking the same to get the model without WWAN, and later install it myself. but as he mentioned in the video, if SIM tray does not even open, then it will not be possible :)"

If someone already mentioned this, my apologies.

yep, that was my comment on that video :), and I said that because he did mention in his review that the Slot does not open because he has a model without wwan.

 

but I asked him again to confirm this point, and he replied that he didn`t try to open it as he did not have anything to get the tray out :(

 

So, this point is still not confirmed, and I`m waiting for him to confirm it ( or anyone here who has a model without WWAN)

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50 Posts

04-12-2013

USA

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 18:09 PM
Thanks for clarification.
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20 Posts

04-14-2013

Texas

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 18:35 PM

I am typing this message from my Helix and all I can say is "WOW! this thing is worth the wait!!"

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39 Posts

04-19-2013

Canada

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 19:02 PM

There aren’t many reviews out there yet, but lots of people are eager to know whether or not a Helix will work for them. Therefore, I’m posting some initial thoughts and impressions here to help you make a decision. Sorry, no video.

 

I’m in Canada, and I bought the 36984SU model from MicroAge. In case you’re curious, the price was $2,175.00. This is the i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD model. It does not have a SIM card; that option is not available in Canada.

 

Why did I buy a Helix? My main computer is a big old desktop. I’ve been hauling around laptops in my briefcase for years so that I can work off site. Recently I started using a tablet for note taking with One Note 2013, and I love taking notes this way. The tablet is a Dell Latitude 10 – a very nice machine, but despite what optimists will tell you the Atom processor is underpowered for note taking with Microsoft OneNote. It’s OK for a page or two, but after that it bogs down and is very frustrating. I also didn’t enjoy carrying around a laptop and a tablet – so the Helix looked ideal.

 

The good news is that as a laptop replacement and as a note-taking tablet, the Helix is generally a very capable machine. I haven’t noticed any of the lag problems I experienced with my Latitude 10 when taking notes. For the kinds of things I use it for (office productivity, reading documents, note taking, etc.) it’s extremely fast. I’m not an artist, so don’t bother asking me how it works with specialized drawing programs!

 

Other posters have commented favourably on the build quality, and I generally agree. Docking and undocking is smooth and slick. I worry about that flap breaking off over time, but it’s certainly sturdy. It seems to have a magnet or spring because it stays down when the tablet is undocked. In terms of build quality, I should note that right out of the box I ran into problems with some of the keys on the dock. The F1 and F2, in particular, stick unless you hit them just right; they seem to hang on the back edge. If this doesn’t sort itself out soon I’ll be exchanging the dock. Other than that, the dock is sturdy.

 

The keyboard and track pad are as good as others have said. I don’t use the track point (the red nub) so I can’t comment on whether or not I miss the physical mouse buttons that track point users use. The trackpad is very pleasant to use. Note: some people in previous posts have asked if disabling the track point in BIOS also disables the track point buttons in the touch pad; the answer is yes – they don’t work when track point is disabled.

 

Many posters have commented on the fan noise. I hate loud computers, so I definitely notice the fans. Noise levels in tablet-only mode are fine. However, in laptop-mode the fans are simply too noisy. I installed Thinkpad Fan Control as a service, and have had excellent results; I can still hear the fans, but only under load. TFC makes this computer usable for noise averse people like me.

 

The display at first seemed a disappointment for me. I found that it was not bright enough. Even at maximum brightness I sometimes wished for a bit more (and keeping it at maximum brightness ate battery). In comparison, my Latitude 10 display is plenty bright at 60%. I discovered that this is a power saving function. If you want a brighter display, in advanced power settings, under the Display option, disable "Adaptive brightness". With that change made it's plenty bright.

 

In laptop mode the Helix display tilts back 120 degrees, which is fine. A bit more would have been nice, but viewing angles are excellent so it’s not a concern. If you use the Helix on your lap, you do have to be careful about tipping. The base is heavy, but remember that the tablet is the computer, so it’s top-heavy. That’s part of the design, so this isn’t a criticism.

 

I press very firmly, so I really notice that Lenovo used the next generation of glass: it’s quite “bendy”. In “fingers” mode, you can’t tell. However, if you lean on your pen like I do, you’ll actually feel and see it flexing. When I don’t press hard it’s fine.

 

Much has been made of the screen resolution (1920x1080). Honestly, I could live with a lower resolution. I’ve set the display to 150% and bumped up the text size. That makes it readable for eyes like mine (not so good). However, with these settings some text that isn’t scalable is fuzzy and hard to read, and things don’t always fit in some applications. This is not a major problem by any stretch, but if you’re picky it’s worth noting. As for the “screen door” problem that others have described, I’m either not bothered by whatever the screen door problem is, or it’s not a problem on my Helix.

 

I mentioned that I bought this in part as a note taking tool. The Helix uses the Wacom drivers. That means you can use the stylus/pen that comes with the Helix and lives in a housing in the tablet part, or you can use any Wacom “Penabled” pen. I find the Lenovo-supplied pen to be too skinny for comfort, and the button is flush, making it hard to press. It also does not have a built-in eraser (a minus in my book because I’m a sloppy writer and erase a lot). On the plus side, there are lots of alternatives out there. The stylus I bought for my Latitude 10 works fine (Dell part number 332-0102). I also bought a Wacom “Penabled Tablet PC Eraser Pen (Mfg. Part#: UP710E). It’s identical to the Dell except it’s grey and has no clip. Lenovo does not supply spare nibs. If you write a lot you’ll need a new nib sooner or later. My favourite is the Wacom “Hard Felt” nib (Wacom SKU ACK20003). It’s hard to find, but writes beautifully. One problem I’ve run into is the fact that you can’t use another pen if the Lenovo pen is fully inside its housing. If there’s a setting to turn this off, please let me know! It’s a hassle to have to pull the Lenovo pen out to be able to use mine.

 

The digitizer is very sensitive; it picks up the pen from almost 2 cm away from the screen (which is good I think). It’s also quite a bit more accurate than the one in my Latitude 10. With the Helix, I can write right up to the left- and right-hand sides of the screen; with my Latitude 10, there was too much distortion when the pen cursor got within just under 1 cm of the edges. The corners are still a bit wonky in the Helix (but I don’t write in the corners, and honestly that’s a common problem on every Windows 8 tablet as far as I can see). Artists: I have no clue how the pen works in your specialized programs, and I can’t test that for you. From what I’ve read, you’re out of luck until someone updates the drivers because there are lots of level of pressure sensitivity in some programs and apps.

 

These tablets are my first experience with Windows 8. If you don’t like the Start Screen and “apps” that run full screen, invest $10.00 (total) for Stardock’s Start8 and ModernMix programs. They’re brilliant and for people like me who missed the Start button, they make Windows 8 painless.

 

So in summary, am I pleased with my purchase? The answer is yes. I haven’t run into anything I would remotely consider a deal breaker. It’s an extremely expensive computer, that’s for sure, but it’s replacing a laptop and an underpowered tablet. For me, it’s a business tool and well worth the money. If I run into something that changes my mind I’ll share it with the community, but otherwise I’m really happy with the Lenovo Helix.

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3 Posts

04-19-2013

Seattle, WA

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 19:23 PM

Thanks for the review! 

 


wrote:

 

Note: some people in previous posts have asked if disabling the track point in BIOS also disables the track point buttons in the touch pad; the answer is yes – they don’t work when track point is disabled.


I realize you'd have to go out of your way to test this, but...if the mood takes you, some of us would appreciate knowing whether the opposite is true, as well. That is to say: if you disable the trackpad in BIOS, do the trackpoint buttons still work? Thanks!

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86 Posts

05-21-2011

US

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 20:25 PM

wrote:
... Many posters have commented on the fan noise. I hate loud computers, so I definitely notice the fans. Noise levels in tablet-only mode are fine. However, in laptop-mode the fans are simply too noisy. ...

I measured the sound level to be about 49 dB on the back right over the fan area (52 dB if you open the dock cover), it is quite loud.  And that's the low power i5-3317u-4GB-128GB version.

 

BTW thermal image of back of the tablet reached 43°C just with few minutes use, that's hot.  Almost the same as the exhaust vent temperature of a T420s. 

 

I assume the i7-8GB-256GB configurations may be even more so in both cases

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48 Posts

04-19-2013

Texas

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 20:56 PM

wrote:

My god, some of you are the most inpatient people.  There are various posts about a widespread release by the end of the month.  Go check shopbit.com and click on any of the Helix models they list for sale and you will see that most are due to arrive by between 4/28 and 5/5.  Also notice that a majority of these are already spoken for (backordered.)

 

I also saw another site that had an expected arrival date of 10 days (from today) which falls in line with above.

 



I'm not concerned about various posts or rumours or hearsay from here or there. I am interested in hearing directly from the actual Company when they plan to release their product. Something less vague than Spring 2013 is not asking for much considering it is 4/19 already.

 

If you are comfortable hearing bits and pieces and conflicting stories from different sources, good for you and pre-ordering in the absence of the above, then good for you. That doesn't work for me however.

But thanks for your strong contribution to this thread.

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5629 Posts

06-27-2008

US

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 20:47 PM

Community GuidelinesSearchPrivate MessagingENDEESPTRUUACZ-SKTRMoto
PM requests for individual support are not answered. If a post solves your issue, please mark it so.

I am not a Lenovo employee

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39 Posts

04-19-2013

Canada

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Re: When is the Helix release date?

2013-04-19, 23:00 PM

Happy to help. First off, the setting is through the Mouse driver, not the BIOS. Not sure how I got that wrong. Second, it works as you suggested. In other words, if you enable both the track pad and track point, then both sets of virtual buttons work on the trackpad. If you disable the track pad and enable the track point, then the buttons at the top of the pad work, but the bottom ones don't. Same deal the other way around.

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