- Great chassis design
- Display with wide viewing angles
- Comfortable keyboard
- Weak battery life
- Mediocre performance
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a solid business class notebook that offers a great deal of versatility for its $900 price tag.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist 3347-4HU is flexible. Easily switching between tablet, notebook, and everything in between; the ThinkPad offers the versatility and performance business users are looking for. Equipped with a magnesium alloy frame and Intel i5 dual-core processor the Lenovo ThinkPad is sure to meet most users’ needs, though more expensive competitors (such as the Dell XPS 12) might bring more to the table.
Build and Design
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist supports the same sleek build of other ThinkPad notebooks. The chassis is constructed of black magnesium alloy with plastic adorning the trim and front face of the display. The metallic body of the ThinkPad provides a professional look that picks up a small glare, but refrains from looking too flashy. However, the most intriguing element of the metal is its texture. The magnesium alloy is smooth to the touch, but still manages to easily grip making the device a joy to use.
|Stand Mode||Notebook Mode|
Measuring in at 12.3 x 9.3 x 0.8-inches and weighing in at 3.48 lbs., the device’s sleek and lightweight frame makes it easy to transport. Adding to the ThinkPad’s portability is the devices sturdy build. Despite being lightweight the magnesium alloy is rather stout, as the base of the ThinkPad Twist barely gave at all, even when extreme pressure was applied. While the display did bend slightly, it proved to be just as durable with no signs of rippling on the screen. It’s lightweight and strong design makes the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist a perfect choice for those looking to travel frequently.
The ThinkPad Twist boasts impressive versatility; with the ability to switch between classic notebook, stand, tablet, and tent modes. The notebook easily switches between modes thanks to its swivel display, which smoothly rotates 180 degrees and locks in place, assuring that the screen does not move out of place accidently.
|Tent Mode||Tablet Mode|
While the 3.48-lbs. frame makes the Lenovo ThinkPad considerably light for a notebook, it should be noted that it does feel a bit bulky in tablet form. While the magnesium coating does make the device easy to grip, users will still have a difficult time using the ultrabook comfortably with one hand. The tablet mode is best used while placed on a user’s lap or a flat surface.
Ports and Features:
The ThinkPad offers all of the essential basic ports and manages to space them adequately, so that they are all accessible and easy to reach. The left side offers an SD card reader, Ethernet port, mini-HDMI, USB 3.0, and headphone jack. The right side is equipped with a power jack, mini-Display Port, and a USB 3.0 port. All image descriptions are listed from left to right.
Left: SIM card slot (behind door), SD card read6er, Ethernet port, mini-HDMI, USB 3.0, and headphone jack
Right: USB 3.0, mini-Display Port, and AC power jack
While this notebook does offer everything you would expect from a business ultrabook, the mini visual ports could serve as an annoyance. Most likely users will need to purchase adapters to connect either the mini-HDMI port or mini-display port to other external displays or projectors.
Screen and Speakers:
Equipped with Gorilla Glass the compact 12.5-inch HD touch display adds to the durability of the device. Offering the standard 1366 x 768 resolution the Lenovo ThinkPad’s screen won’t blow you away, but it does manage to offer a clear crisp image with solid color contrast. While the resolution may not be stellar, the exceptionally wide viewing angles more than make up for it.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist boasts 170 degree viewing angles, allowing users to view the display at almost every conceivable angle. This is especially welcomed given the displays multiple forms. Thus, whether you are viewing the device in tent, tablet, or standard mode; users are guaranteed a clear image. Due to the displays glossy finish it is rather reflective. While the display will hold up in normal circumstances, excessive lighting causes the display to become reflective.
The touchscreen is extremely accurate especially after calibrating it to your specific touch. Each point and gesture reads beautifuly with little to no lag. The only concern is that for optimal performance users will need to calibrate their displays, but the option is hidden in the back alley of menus where most users will not see it. The anti-smudge coating does help to prevent most finger print marks when using the touchscreen. However, excessive use of the touchscreen will still result in a few smudges. I’d recommend having some method of cleaning the display if you plan on using the touchscreen.
The display is equipped with sensors that are supposed to change the screen’s orientation based on its position, providing users with a horizontal view in standard mode or a vertical display in tablet mode. Unfortunately the sensors are inaccurate and often fail to adjust to the correct orientation. Luckily the display can be locked and the orientation can be adjusted manually using the alt + crl + arrow key function. Obliviously using the auto-correct screen function is ideal, but given just how inconsistent it is, it is currently not feasible on the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist.
Despite this ultrabook’s slender frame it is quite boisterous, making it perfect for meetings or personal use. The speakers are located on the bottom right side of the chassis. While located at the bottom of the machine the sound quality remains intact regardless of the surface the notebook is resting on.
At 50 percent the speakers are easily loud enough for personal use and deliver clear crisp quality. Even at 70 percent capacity the speakers hold up rather nicely, only showing small signs of distortion when surpassing this point. While the audio quality does degrade slowly past 70 percent the quality is still more than serviceable at 100 percent capcity, though slight distortions are noticeable, especially when listening to music.
As with most notebooks if you are looking for an audio experience that offers exceptional range and clarity, then you will be best served with an external device; but for everything else these speakers will do just fine.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The ThinkPad sports a compact Chiclet style keyboard. Despite its condensed frame the keyboard still feels adequately spaced and the keys are easy to reach. Similar to the chassis, the keys offers a smooth texture that mages to grip your finger pads. That combined with the slight cures of the keys makes it easy for users to have a sense of security. The keyboard also provides a surprising amount of depth given the small 0.8″ width of the device. In conjunction with the keyboards responsive tactile feedback, users will confidently know when they have struck the desired key.
The only noticeable drawback to the keyboard is that a few keys have been moved. The PrtScn (Print Screen) key is located at the bottom right side of the keyboard, while the insert key has been removed. However, these slight changes can be overlooked as a few shortcut keys have also been introduced. The F9 through F12 keys also double as Windows 8 shortcuts allowing users to quickly access apps, use the Windows 8 universal search function, and change their Windows 8 settings.
With exceptional utility and quality the keyboard is one of the highlights of the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist.
The touchpad (using synaptic drivers) also offers exceptional utility. The generously sized touchpad is accurate, clearly reading user movements and multi-gesture inputs. Additionally, the touchpad compresses when clicked allowing users to know when they have applied enough pressure for a click to read.
Left, middle, and right click buttons are located at the top of the touchpad. While their positioning is rather strange they are all responsive and work as desired. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the Lenovo touchpad’s layout, but you can’t argue with the accurate lag-free input.