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I am still thinking to pull the trigger or not...
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*************** Product Descriptions **************
Item #623846
Manufacturer #33474HU
processor brand Intel
processor model Core i5
processor number Core i5-3317U
diagonal screen size 12.5 inches
memory 4 GB
hard drive capacity 500 GB; 24 GB solid-state drive
screen resolution 1366 x 768
weight 3.48 lb
touch-screen yes
average battery life 7 hours
optical drive none
operating system Windows 8
processor speed 1.7 GHz
frontside bus speed 1600 MHz
memory type DDR3 SDRAM
maximum memory capacity 8 GB
wireless connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n; Bluetooth; Intel Wireless Display
network connectivity 10/100 Ethernet
modem no modem
webcam yes
numeric keypad no
ports 2 USB 3.0; 1 Ethernet; 1 mini-HDMI; 1 mini-DisplayPort
memory card reader yes
video graphics integrated Intel HD 4000 Graphics with shared memory
integrated speakers yes
audio hardware Dolby Home Theatre v.4
peripherals included none
hard drive type HDD (hard disk drive)
segmentation Professional
form factor laptop computer
warranty length 1-year limited
brand name Lenovo
manufacturer Lenovo
model name S230u (3347-4HU)
***************

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Funny, I was just looking at Twist options on the Lenovo website. While this deal is cheaper than their list price, I was concerned about the 4GB versus 8GB RAM. Further digging turned up:

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=ThinkPad%20Twi...
"All system memory is soldered onboard."

So, if you ever need more RAM, you are stuck. This appears to be a rather unsettling trend in the industry.

The only other minor issue is Win8 versus Win8Pro, but that can be remedied with the Win8 ProPack.

Also, I don't know about the HD+SSD Cache. I'm guessing that replacing the 500GB HDD with an SSD might have some issues with the 24GB Cache SSD (maybe not a functional problem, but you would then be using an SSD to Cache an SSD if it cannot be retrofit.) Don't know if the 24GB Cache can be yanked or not or if it is actually just a hybrid HDD with self contained SSD Cache.

So, if I was going to pop on one, I would seriously consider the 8GB RAM version.

Sure looks cool though.
justacog

Just upgraded this same model to a ssd drive for a friend this past weekend. The 24GB Cache ssd is not part of a hybrid drive. It appears to be soldered on. Doesn't seem to be used after installing the new ssd drive, anyway.

Also, you have to modify some of the bios parameters to install on the new ssd drive. The default bios doesn't allow boot devices (including usb) except for the original drive. It's a pretty simple process after getting past this point.

I played around with it a little after installation. Seems like a very nice laptop/tablet.


justacog said:   Funny, I was just looking at Twist options on the Lenovo website. While this deal is cheaper than their list price, I was concerned about the 4GB versus 8GB RAM. Further digging turned up:

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=ThinkPad%20Twi...
"All system memory is soldered onboard."

So, if you ever need more RAM, you are stuck. This appears to be a rather unsettling trend in the industry.

The only other minor issue is Win8 versus Win8Pro, but that can be remedied with the Win8 ProPack.

Also, I don't know about the HD+SSD Cache. I'm guessing that replacing the 500GB HDD with an SSD might have some issues with the 24GB Cache SSD (maybe not a functional problem, but you would then be using an SSD to Cache an SSD if it cannot be retrofit.) Don't know if the 24GB Cache can be yanked or not or if it is actually just a hybrid HDD with self contained SSD Cache.

So, if I was going to pop on one, I would seriously consider the 8GB RAM version.

Sure looks cool though.
justacog

I got this on Black Friday at Staples for $699.

It was challenging to work with to say the least. I'm guessing mine was malfunctioning or the software is crazy buggy. The screen flips automatically. You don't control it. So sometimes it wouldn't be the proper orientation. Like sometimes you'd be using the tablet and flip it to a laptop and the screen would still be upside down. You'd have to flip it back to a tablet, then back to a laptop to see if it would correct itself. Sometimes it would. Sometimes you'd have to do that AGAIN a second time.

I used the webcam a couple times as trials. One time the webcam window was upside down but the rest of the screen was correct. Just all kinds of minor annoyances like that with the Twist. I think you would look ridiculous using it in a business or even semi-professional environment if it acted in that way.

Windows 8... ah. I'm not sold on it yet. If I had a directory of MP3 files in Windows desktop mode I'd click an MP3 to listen. It'd open Winamp (in the Desktop mode). Then I could click a PDF containing information about the songs and it would take me totally out of the classic Windows desktop mode into the new Windows metro interface. Why? That's kinda ridiculous. It reminds me of when Windows and DOS were separated environments.

It's a premium price product but the specs aren't necessarily premium. In particular, I was disappointed with the sound system/speakers. Yes, I'm used to having speakers on a laptop you can barely hear. But I'm used to paying about $400 for laptops too. The last laptop I bought was a step up when an i7 was on sale in the $550 range. It's a Toshiba Satellite P755-S5390 and it has very good sound I can actually hear. harman/kardon something or other, and Dolby Advanced Audio. After that, it was difficult to go back to barely hearing things again.

Luckily I was able to sell the unit for what I paid for it easily. Maybe I just got a lemon. Still looking for the perfect tablet myself...

Thank for sharing this great deal. I am willing to buy this.

The 24GB mSATA drive is not soldered onto the motherboard and can be easily taken out. There are 2 keyboard screws that can be removed and then the keyboard lifts up. The mSata drive is located under the keyboard and can be removed. I actually bought at 128GB mSata drive and no longer have any other drive in the system. The mSata drive uses half the power of the other drives.

Hope this helps...

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!

I got one of these and the Yoga 13 and love them both. The keyboard on the Twist is one of the best of any laptop. The demo machine I looked at in Fry's was having the same problem as Jaason was describing with the flipping screen. I have not had any of that with the actual unit I bought directly from Lenovo. I highly recommend either one, both have excellent build quality. 4 Gigs is not a problem for 99% of users.

Lwcom -I really appreciate your complete write up. I also purchased the Twist on Black Friday. I make use of the button on the side that freezes (and unfreezes) the orientation. You mentioned correcting some annoyances with updates. Are these Window's updates or Lenovo updates. Did you install the Lenovo Small Business processes? We're they useful.

CompFan03: I think the updates that did the most good in terms of the annoyances (especially the auto-rotate issues, and a jittery screen issue for a short while) were all Lenovo updates. There have been several of those, as well as Windows 8 updates, that have been installed over these weeks.

More recently-purchased Twist laptops may have already had some of those installed. Mine dates from late November, at least the purchase date.

I haven't applied the "Small Business Solutions," as they don't seem to pertain to my situation.

Hope this helps!

Is this a real ThinkPad or just rebadged Lenovo consumer grade laptop?



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