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Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U – Specs, Performance, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price £870.00

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U – Specs

As is usually the case with ThinkPads, you can buy the Twist in a variety of fixed configurations from third-party (r)etailers, or you can go through Lenovo’s own website and get the setup that best suits your needs. You can go for the £870-ish base spec, like our review sample, which will net you a Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a hard drive, or plump for the £1,080 high-end version with a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and mobile broadband. Either way, there’s performance to suit.

PCMark 07

General: 2993

Entertainment: 2531

Our Twist rocks an Intel Core i5-3317U, which runs at 1.7GHz by default and can turbo clock up to 2.6GHz. It’s backed by the standard 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which is what you’ll find on most laptops and plenty for the average user.

ThinkPad Twist S230U 14

The cheapest ThinkPad Twist also sports a 7200rpm 320GB HDD /24GB SSD hybrid hard drive, though you can upgrade this to the 500GB model on our test sample for a mere £13. As ever with Intel’s integrated HD 4000 graphics, only casual gamers need apply. Thankfully, the Twist stayed nice and quiet even under load.

Gaming

TrackMania Nations Forever (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)

39.7

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)

20

ThinkPad Twist S230U 1

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U – Battery Life

Longevity away from a power socket is where the Twist nosedives and hits the mud. Keep in mind that our new battery test is a little more demanding than the old one, but even so, under four and a half hours from the 42.4Wh battery just isn’t great.

Battery

(40 percent screen brightness, mixed productivity and web-browsing)

4 hours 25 minutes

Those who just need to cover the commute and short trips will be fine with this, but even with careful use this convertible laptop won’t last you through the day. It’s especially disappointing considering that Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X1 Carbon managed top marks.

ThinkPad Twist S230U 10

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U – Price

When ruminating on the Twist’s foibles, it’s important to remember that with a starting price of £870, this is one of the cheaper ‘full-fat’ Windows 8 convertibles going – and by full-fat we mean it runs a proper Core-i processor with 4-8GB of RAM, rather than the Atom and 2GB found on £700 solutions like the Asus Vivo Tab.

ThinkPad Twist S230U 4

The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U’s closest rival both in terms of features and price is probably the £890 Toshiba Satellite U920t. It’s the same 12.5-inch size and offers virtually identical base specs. It’s more streamlined and weighs a little less too.

However, its slider form factor isn’t nearly as flexible or convenient as the Twist’s swivel, its keyboard is nowhere near as good and the touchpad is tiny, its specs aren’t as flexible, there’s no optional 3G, and connectivity is inferior. While we can’t definitely recommend one over the other until we fully test the U920t, battery life aside we would pick the Twist so far.

Verdict

The snazzily named ThinkPad Twist S230U is a generally great little Windows 8 touch-enabled convertible Ultrabook in a tried and proven swivel form factor, surprisingly let down by minor build quality niggles and poor battery life, while we also miss a Wacom stylus with digitizer option. Otherwise it offers good connectivity including 3G, flexible specs, nice ergonomics and excellent usability. If you can live with the Twist’s foibles, its relatively low starting price makes it an attractive option.

Scores In Detail

Battery Life
4/10
Design
7/10
Features
9/10
Performance
8/10
Screen Quality
8/10
Value
8/10

Our Score

7/10
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Steven Weiler

January 23, 2013, 2:25 am

Great, if not THE BEST Windows 8 laptop for the launch of the new OS. Needs some polish, and a year from now other laptops will probably far exceed this one in both use, features, and upgradability. But hey, if you wait for the perfect time to buy the perfect machine, you'll always be waiting, right?
Being stuck with 4GB of (non-upgradable) ram does bother me, but Windows 8 is darn fast, so it seems to be fine so far. Even editing photos in Photoshop goes pretty smooth and fast. The screen orientation issue has finally been addressed with a update, so "tent-mode" now works.
I've been using this since the last week of October (early adopter), and if asked would I buy it gain, I would!
Happy Computing Everyone!!!

Joseph Mammaski

April 14, 2014, 8:58 pm

4 hours battery life? Not likely! Try 90 minutes TOPS! And.. don't
expect battery power to be there the next day when you shut down the
laptop. I literally turn OFF the laptop, and do not "suspend, hibernate,
or sleep" it in any way. I TURN IT OFF because it only takes a few
seconds to boot up. Problem is, the battery still drains when it's off.
Worse yet, even though I only used this laptop 5 times in the last year
when I was on the road, because it's a few days over the one year
warranty, lenovo REFUSED to help me troubleshoot the issue even though
it's their problem. And no, I don't have the screen brightness maxed or
any other battery drain problems. And even if I did, when you TURN OFF a
laptop you expect it to TURN OFF so as to save on battery.

They
have lost me as a customer as well as everyone else I do business with.
I used to think IBM/Lenovo was the best. Not any more. I guess I will
stick with Dell from now on. At least they will help you with tech
support. In today's online community customer service is everything!

PS.. if anyone wants a purchase this laptop, let me know. I'll be letting it go cheap as I really don't want it. I also have a newer desktop I will be trashing as soon as possible as well.

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