I bought my Lenovo Twist on Black Friday for $699 (then $200 off the going price) and it has rapidly become the center of my computer life, supplanting my dual-monitor desktop and a MacBook Pro that I have for music teaching in a lab at school.
Though the Twist had some issues out of the box, especially with regard to the ďauto-rotateĒ settings, but most of those have been taken care of by software updates and me learning a few new tricks. (I actually considered returning it within the 14-day time limit, but saw enough improvement even during that time that I decided it was the best option for me. Since then the situation as improved even more.)
I had been following all the news about Windows 8 hybrid laptop tablets for months... Sony Vaio Duo, Lenovo Yoga 13, HP Envy2x, Microsoft Surface Pro. (I never wanted anything less than full Windows 8 and ability to run all legacy software and use a keyboard, and iPad never interested me at all, since Iím more a producer than just a consumer of content.)
The Sony went off my list real quick. I wanted a touch pad, and I didnít like the way the wires and supports were exposed from the side when the screen slid up.
There was a lot to like about the Yoga, but the price was high and the screen was bigger than I needed. Mainly, I never could get used to the idea of having the keyboard facing down against the table top or under my fingers when in tablet mode. I took it off my list.
The HP is very attractive. I love the way it looks, but I decided Iíd rather have a full Core i5 processor, not an Atom. Also, I came to the conclusion that any hybrid with a separating keyboard was not good for me. What do you do with the keyboard when itís detached from the tablet?
The Surface Pro isnít even out yet, though I had a few minutes of hands-on with the RT version after that one came out. Iíll admit that I do feel a twinge of ďenvyĒ when I read advance reviews of the Pro. However, I like a computer that sits comfortably on the lap, say sitting up in bed, with an adjustable screen angle. The Surfaceís screen is at a fixed angle with a kickstand ridge that would sit against my thighs and I doubt that would be stable or comfortable. Also, the type cover may not be stable or stiff enough for typing on the lap.
The 12.5 inch screen on the Twist is big enough for the music editing and basic graphic art that I do. The HP is one inch smaller and the MS is two inches smaller. I might get a little claustrophobic on such small screens.
While I use laptop mode for any serious writing or music editing, etc., I really like ďdisplayĒ mode, with the screen twisted around and standing up in front of me at any angle I wish, for web-browsing and some basic game playing (Bejeweled, Free Cell, etc.). It also worked great with my grandkids during the holidays, where they could play some fun games and activities with touch screen only and no keyboard in the way.
Having the keyboard always attached makes the tablet a bit heavy (3.5 lb) for one-handed use, but the situations when I would use it strictly as a tablet are limited, mostly on a lectern for teaching or on a music stand or piano rack for reading music, so I donít have to hold it. At least I donít have to worry about where to put the keyboard half when I convert it.
The RAM, screen resolution, and other similar issues are not huge to me. I do like the full-size SD slot for importing photos, etc. I keep an empty 32gb card in it for whatever random need might come up (havenít needed it yet). The battery life is a negative, but Iím not an all-day power user and I havenít really put it to the test. I donít mind keeping the power cord handy and using it when I can.
The keyboard has a good feel to it, probably better than the Surfaceís type cover, and I do a ton of typing. The sound isnít great, but I never really expect that from a laptop. When I want music, I normally use an extension speaker unit or headphones anyway.
On the topic of Windows 8, it has taken some getting used to, but the real positive for me was when I found Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/), which adds a Start button and many other features to Windows 8. I spend most of my time in the ďdesktopĒ interface, as opposed to the ďmetroĒ screen, and this makes it feel pretty much like Windows 7, which is fine with me. One thing I have noticed is that my programs seem to open a lot faster under Win 8.
There are probably other things I should add, but these are the basics of my experience with the Lenovo Twist. I recommend it to anyone with needs similar to mine, and I am now quite content with it!