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Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 4,508
Message 1 of 27

Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

I saw this device and got very interested, might almost say exited.

I decided to take a deeper look, and was very disappointed.

I saw that the USB port on the tablet, is on the same side with all other connectors.

This means that when I connect the tablet to the dock keyboard, this port is blocked, and not accessible.


You might think that this, by itself, is not too bad.

But - the probelm is - if you use the USB port in tablet mode, and want to dock the device,

you would have to disconnect the usb device, dock the tablet, and re-connect the device to the dock.


In my opinion, this is very inconvenient, especially to people who use external storage device almost all the time.


I would wonder if Lenovo did not see this design flaw, and if they have any plan to change this.


Fanfold Paper
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-23-2013
Location: Colorado USA
Views: 4,287
Message 2 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

Ideally, the USB 2.0 port would be on the side....but really not a big deal, as when you dock in the keyboard, you have two USB 3.0 ports.  I don't find it to be an issue...but yes, would prefer it to be on the side anyway.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 4,251
Message 3 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

Sadly, for me this is a deal breaker, since I constantly use an extrnal usb device.

I would have to stop what Im doing every time I put the device in the dock and every time I take it out of the dock.


Besides that - they specify that wired ethernet is available only as a usb dongle, which shuld made them see that blocking the usb port is a problem when they designed te device.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 3,906
Message 4 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

I was wondering if there could be a formal reply for this issue.


Will there be a design change with a future model.

(Or should I go back to considering Samsung's XE700 series)

Former Administrator
Posts: 8,592
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Views: 3,728
Message 5 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?



Could you explain your use case with a USB device that needs to remain plugged in when you undock and move around with your system?


Knowing this could help us evaluate how broad this case might be for future design considerations.  This is not a defect, so I don't think you are going to see a change in the current version as it would require a new hardware design of the case, system board, etc.


That said, I appreciate your feedback and would like to learn more about how you plan to use this.




Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 3,693
Message 6 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

Hello Mark.


Thanks for the reply.


My use case is that I need to work with data that cannot be copied to my device, and on a physically connected network.

(A matter of data security)


1. The Helix does not have an ethernet card, and as suggested in the device specs pdf file, a physical network conection can be obtained by using a usb dongle.

2. Using a USB mass storage to use data that cannot be saved on the network, or for data that was approved to be shown in meetings.

3. For use of a large external storage device (external 1+ TB hdd), to use large files.


Having to connect and disconnect the USB devices every time I dock/undock the device, will be very annoying,

and might even prevent docking/undocking, if the device holds open files for long processing.

(I believe the Helix was designed to be used for real work, and not just as a content consuming tablet)


I know changing the location of the USB port is a complicated task, involving a lot of physical components, unlike a  software or a firmware patch.


Since I consider Lenovo, to be a company that designs high end, reliable, and highly usable devices,

keeping business oriented uses in mind, seeing that a constant USB port connection was overlooked was a very disappointing surprise.


Again - many thanks for the reply,

and for taking my comment into consideration.



An idea that just crossed my mind : make a dock that has a demerit/groove where the tablet has the USB port, and supply a USB extension cable, that will "shift" the USB port and "unblock" it.

I know this is not the most elegant fix, but it is "quick fix", that can be used until the board, case, and all other elements are re-designed to move the USB port to one of the tablet sides.

Posts: 109
Registered: ‎06-12-2009
Location: NO
Views: 3,683
Message 7 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

One small bad thing is that the ports on the Helix is USB2, the ones on the dock is USB3, so you'll loose some speed. 

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 3,677
Message 8 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

Yes, the port on the tablet is USB 2.

Still something is better then nothing.

Since most devices until recently had mostly USB 2, and since most of the time the data rate required is well below even USB2 limit - the USB 2 can do just fine.

Punch Card
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎05-04-2013
Location: AU
Views: 3,605
Message 9 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

I have a Helix now, while you can't use the USB while inserting in the dock, you can rotate the tablet upside down for normal use to keep the USB away from you.
Lenovo Helix i7 256gb... wish I bought a Surface Pro for better support...
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-24-2013
Location: israel
Views: 3,553
Message 10 of 27

Re: Lenovo Helix design flaw ?

Hi dkNigs


So you suggest they add another USB port, and not just move the existing one ?


My problem is that I need a USB port that is constantly available, so I will not have to stop what I'm doing, dismount the USB device, and re-connect it.


I need this option to change from tablet mode, to a device with a full keyboard.

I need this option to be able to tap into the keyboard's battery if I need more power

(in case I use the tablet for some long processing of data on the esxternal storage, or on a network with physical connection only).


More USB ports is always a good idea :-)

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