Review: Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon is proof the PC is not dead

mfortner@newsobserver.comSeptember 18, 2013 

— The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is a 27-inch, touch-enabled all-in-one PC that some could mistake for a small television or an insanely large tablet. The Horizon can lay flat on a table or be propped upright thanks to a built-in kickstand.

In addition to the prerequisite Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are paddles or “strikers” for games like Air Hockey, joysticks, and e-dice for boardgames.

What’s good:

The 27-inch touchscreen combined with battery power and the ability to lie flat transforms the PC from a productivity appliance into a digital toy box that can entertain the family or the office.

The large screen size and touch interface open a world of potential for an organic computing experience sharable among a group kids or adults.

You can run Android apps with BlueStacks Android emulator.

Where there’s room to improve:

The 27-inch Horizon weighs in at a substantial yet portable 18 pounds, but I found the spring-loaded kickstand more of an issue as far as transporting it. The stand’s default is to spring outward to support the Horzon at a nearly vertical position. Depressing the stiff spring mechanism while securing in the down position with the supplied hook-and-loop strap can be cumbersome.

Battery power is handy, but we always found ourselves digging out the power adapter after 2-3 hours of fun - or “productivity” of course.

Verdict:

Full disclosure, I’m an Apple user at least 90 percent of the time. I dip into the Windows environment occasionally, but while using the Horizon I got the sense Lenovo is still excited about making PCs.

They have after all taken the No. 1 PC maker crown. In a world crammed full of smartphones and tablets, it is much harder for a gadget to stand out, but the Horizon drew more attention than any other device in months.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon seems more likely to be hauled from the family room to the kitchen counter rather than across town, but it can do it without too much trouble -a few gripes aside. Starting at over $1,400, this is not a budget PC, but the Horizon serves double-duty as a sound desktop for serious tasks and an as engaging source of entertainment serving media and games.

Specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i5 and i7

- OS: Windows 8

- Display: 27-inch 1920x1080 resolution multi-touch

- Hard drive: 1TB SATA

- Memory: 8GB RAM

- Sound: Stereo, Dolby Home Theater V4

- Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI input, mic and audio jacks, media card slot supporting SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, MS Pro

- 720p webcam

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