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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Lync Server MVP (2010-2013). My day job is titled "Principal Consulting Engineer" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2013/03/03

Lenovo Twist

OK, I like toys.  My toys tend to fall into three categories:  wood working, motorcycles, and (duh) computer-related stuff.  Recently, I gave into lust and desire and purchased a Lenovo Twist – similar to a Levovo Yoga.  The difference?  I have zero idea, really.  However, the Twist is on the “tablet” page, while the Yoga is on the “Ultrabook” page.  The Yoga is a “versatile multimode ultraportable,” while the Twist is touted as a “convertible Ultrabook.”  Huh?  Seriously, marketing spiel loses me most of the time.

Why did I buy one over the other?  Why this instead of a Surface or Surface Pro?  For why the Twist over the Yoga, that is easy.  When I walked into the store, the Twist they had was $300 less than the Yoga they had.  As to the Ultrabook style over a Surface or Surface Pro?  The Twist was an easy $350 less than a Surface Pro when the Pro has the keyboard cover.  And the Surface RT requires different software – and I like my software consistent.  And I already have an iPad, so the “pure” tablet need is already met.  Justification enough?  OK, I wanted it.

Build

Typical Lenovo quality.  Keyboard (the zippy “chiclet” type feels good.  The function keys are friggin backwards!  If you want Shift-F3 in word to, you need to use Function-Shift-F3.  Otherwise the F3 key increases volume.  I get it in the end, but it took a few times around the block before I caught on. The screen is very nice.  Good, crisp resolution.  What I appreciate more than anything – especially when comparing this to the HP Envy or the Dell flippy floppy thing, is how solid the screen pivot and fold mechanism is.

If I have a complaint about that screen-twist-flip feature is the low-rent accelerometer (or whatever it is) that controls sending screen orientation to the video.  Several time I have gotten things upside down, and when I turned it the other way, the screen flipped and I was still upside down.  Nothing a seasoned professional such as myself can’t handle, but what a PITA.

While I am at it, when the Twist in folder over into pure tablet mode, the power button is in the very spot my hand holds the unit. And the power button is sensitive.  Several times I have turned the whole thing off just by picking it up.  Other than those items, overall all quality seems to be very good.

Performance

Not too bad!  Given the i5 is sort a slow, and the Twist operates in a paired SSD+HD configuration, not too bad!  Easily as fast in overall response as the iPad.  The screen is quite nice.

Coming out of sleep mode is a tad pokey, but once there, all is good.  File transfers (this is a full Win8 machine – Apple boy eat your heart out – zip right along.  Wireless has connected easily to everyplace I tried.  I wish the battery lasted longer; but the silly thing appears to charge from zero to full in about 2 hours.

Overall Microsoft Office 2013 performance – what I really bought this thing for in the first place is quite good.  I have full workloads:  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook, and Lync.

Lync

But let’s talk about Lync!  After all, what is more important than Lync?  The speakers are good, the microphone is sensitive, and the camera is flawless, with good contrast.  On the Twist, Lync never asked me to setup anything, it all just worked.  Plugging in my USB headset resulted in Lync simply starting to use it.  I also played with pairing with a variety of Lync-optimized devices such as external cameras, headsets, and a speaker phone device.  All flawless.

YMMV.

2 comments:

tech love said...

Thanks for the review on the twist. I was debating whether I should get it or not but your review convinced me to get one.

You can see the difference between the Twist (from both models) and the Yoga at

http://www.whatisrightforme.com/laptop/compare-Lenovo-ThinkPad-Twist-S230u-33472GU-vs-Lenovo-ThinkPad-Twist-S230u-33472HU-vs-Lenovo-IdeaPad-Yoga-13-59359567-97-100-66.php?share=yk632j5b

The biggest difference is the SSD for the Yoga. A beastie 128gb.

tsoorad said...

Cool! I replaced the 500G HD with a 250G SSD. Faster. Cooler. I wanted it. Battery life got better by about an hour.
I also ran Lenovo updates twice now and screen accelerometer is much improved.