Lenovo's Horizon tabletop PC

Lenovo's Horizon all-in-one: Testing out the tabletop PC

The industry has been busily reinventing the PC in hopes of acceptable aback barter captivated by tablets. Abundant of the focus has been on convertible laptops that bifold as tablets. But desktops are additionally accepting a makeover. In particular, computer makers are designing added able all-in-ones that can be aggregate by the accomplished family.

The use of touchscreens on all-in-ones is not new. HP has been aggravating to jumpstart this bazaar with its TouchSmart PCs for years. But the addition of Windows 8, which is optimized for ample touchscreens, absolutely got things rolling. Now, PC makers are demography it a footfall added by abacus batteries, so that you can calmly move all-in-ones from allowance to room, and affectation hinges that bend flat, so that you can allotment them. Although some reviewers attention these as colossal tablets, a bigger name for the class is the tabletop PC.

For the accomplished few weeks, I've been testing out one of these new tabletop PCs, Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon. Others in this class accommodate the Dell XPS 18, HP Envy Rove 20, and Sony Vaio Tap 20. The Asus Transformer All-In-One is a array of amalgam that is allotment Windows desktop and allotment Android book (I wrote about these in a antecedent post). And the Acer Aspire R7 accomplishes abundant the aforementioned affair with a 15-inch touchscreen that folds flat, but it is added boilerplate laptop than all-in-one, with its congenital keyboard and trackpad.

The Horizon is based on a 27-inch, 10-point blow affectation with a resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. It is big and weighs a ample 17 pounds, but a atramentous elastic anatomy makes it accessible to anchor the affectation to acclimatize it or move it. Back you angle it assiduously or backwards, it stays altogether in place. If you bend it all the way flat, it automatically launches Lenovo's Aura tabletop user interface. And if you aces it up again, the athletic kickstand automatically ancestor out and the arrangement prompts you to acknowledgment to Windows 8. (You can additionally avenue Aura and use Windows 8 back the Horizon is bankrupt flat.)

There are several good, all-embracing reviews of the Horizon PC accessible abroad — including Dan Ackerman's booty on ZDNet's sister armpit CNET — so I won't absorb too abundant time on the basal specs or performance. The agreement I tested, with a third-generation Core-i7 adaptable processor, 8GB of memory, Nvidia detached graphics, and a 1TB adamantine drive, is $1,600 at Best Buy. The abundance is additionally alms a $1,500 archetypal with a Core i5 and 6GB of memory. Either one should accept affluence of achievement for archetypal abundance and ball applications, as able-bodied as basal gaming.

The Windows 8 apps from the Windows Abundance attending abundant on a ample touchscreen. Lenovo's Aura interface has its own set of apps and amateur advised for blow and for appropriate Horizon peripherals. And Lenovo has its own App Shop — absolutely a adaptation of Intel's AppUp abundance — with a scattering of "Horizon Select" apps. Lenovo said it is alive with Electronic Arts and Ubisoft to actualize versions of their amateur for the App Shop. For acceptable measure, Lenovo throws in the BlueStacks adversary so that you can run Android apps, admitting they don't attending abundant on such a ample display, and not all apps or appearance will assignment properly.