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Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix laptop / tablet hybrid is now thinner and cheaper

Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix laptop / tablet hybrid is now thinner and cheaper

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The Lenovo Helix was one of the more interesting concepts we've seen in the ongoing effort to merge tablets and laptops, but it suffered from some design implementation issues and a high price point. Lenovo's trying to fix both of those issues with the a newly-updated Lenovo Helix model — while the tablet portion still weighs in at a somewhat-hefty 1.8 pounds, its now 15 percent thinner than its predecessor. Hopefully that'll help with the somewhat top-heavy awkwardness we felt when using the original Helix. The screen stays the same size at 11.6 inches and features a 1080p resolution, just like the original model.

Rather than use full Intel Core i5 or i7 processors like the original Helix, the new model will run on Intel's new fanless Core M platform — something that Lenovo says will allow the Helix achieve 12 hours of battery life. The original Helix wasn't exactly lacking in the battery department, but for a machine such as this, more is always appreciated. Of course, to achieve this extended battery life, you'll need to use the Helix paired with Lenovo's Ultrabook Pro Keyboard (the standard Ultrabook Keyboard is rated for 8 hours of battery).

If you want that pro keyboard, you'll just have to wait a bit: Lenovo says the Helix will launch in October at $999 with the standard keyboard dock, with the pro keyboard launching in January. Still, the $999 entry price point for the new Helix is quite a bit more palatable than the last-generation model. We'll need to put this model through its paces to find out if it is an improvement over the original, but we're hopeful that Lenovo got it right this time around.

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Lenovo is also introducing a slightly more traditional convertible laptop, the Edge 15. It's an aluminum clad, 15-inch laptop that has a 300-degree hinge that lets users flip it all the way around and use it in "stand" mode with the keyboard hidden. The 15-inch, 1080p screen is touch-capable, so users can keep interfacing with the machine in that mode without the need for a mouse.

Other specs include a Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, either a standard hard drive or solid-state drive, and an option for the Nvidia GeoForce GT840M graphics processor. Lenovo says it'll be available in October starting at $899 from either Best Buy or on Lenovo's site.