You’re reading this correctly, Lenovo has already released a twenty seven inch tablet. At 27″ you can make the argument it’s more a table than a tablet. Well, it is a table, and yes we’ve heard all the jokes. We put this beast of a device to the test of practicality, see below.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is technically a table PC – which is an all-in-one PC that runs full Windows 8. As a Windows 8 computer it’s completely touch-optimized and runs all legacy Windows applications and Windows Store tablet applications. The 27″ touchscreen is full 1080P and recognizes up to 10 touchpoints at a time.
Here’s some of the highlights of the Lenovo Horizon All-in-one Table(t) in meme form:
Even though the Horizon is a tablet, it’s a completely capable Windows 8 computer too. It comes with a wireless keyboard/mouse and is equipped with the latest PC hardware: 3rd Gen Core i5 or i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce graphics, 1TB hard drive, webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, and more.
That’s right, the Lenovo Horizon is completely wireless (as most tablets are). It has a built-in 8 cell lithium polymer battery capable of lasting two hours. That is not a ton of time by today’s standards, but it’s enough to watch a full movie or have a gameplay session. There’s also a built-in 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a wireless keyboard/mouse, and other wireless accessories. So other than charging with the power cable, you’ll almost never need wires.
Gotta love standard ports–no adapters required. There’s a regular HDMI for video output or even video input (you can use the huge screen as a display for any HDMI device). There’s two USB 3.0 ports, a 6-in-1 memory card reader, microphone and headphone ports.
Yes it’s a mega tablet. It’s just as much a tablet as the Microsoft Surface or any other Windows 8 tablet. Sure, you’re not going to bring this with you on your morning commute, but it is running the same software as the Surface Pro Tablet. There’s complete access to the Microsoft Store for all sorts of touch screen optimized applications. It supports 10 fingers and the touchscreen response is perfect.
Kids of all ages (that includes you) can take advantage of the Horizon’s Aura table mode which includes a bunch of fun games, as well as a very fun and visual way of sorting through your media. Some Horizon models include accessories for enhancing the game play of certain games. There’s a joy stick, electronic die, and striker available.
Any device with Internet can pretty much become a TV, just load up YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, your favorite online streaming site. It’s wireless, so just drop it on any surface and start watching. The speakers are loud, but not the best. You can queue up your media straight from your favorite browser, or find a dedicated app in the Windows Store. And since Horizon has HDMI-in, you can actually turn it into a TV.
The only area where the Horizon loses points with us is portability. The device is heavy (nearly 18lbs), but that’s not the problem–the problem is there’s no built in handle and the stand won’t lock closed. The stand is great for tilting Horizon at multiple angles, but it’s actively trying to fully extend, making Horizon tricky to carry. For getting around the house, it’s not a big deal, but taking it between houses or offices is annoying.
If anyone remembers the original Microsoft Surface (later renamed PixelSense), it was a giant multi-touch touchscreen table that debuted around the time of the original iPhone release (2008). It was the first real device to feature minority report type multitouch actions and media organization. The Lenovo Horizon does that, and more. When you lay the device flat the Aura software automatically opens; this interface allows you to fan out and shuffle through all of your images as if they were actually sitting on the table. Multiple users can use multitouch gestures to move and resize all sorts of media. It’s fun, but gimmicky.
The Lenovo Horizon 27″ is an awesome device with just a few caveats. The main selling point is that it’s a full Windows 8 all-in-one desktop that’s completely portable; everything else is just a really nice bonus. Horizon will have no problem filling a need in any household. You can even throw a cable box next to it and turn it into a 27″ television. My only gripes, which are minimal compared to what Horizon offers, is that the battery life is only two hours (not so bad), there’s no handle for traveling with it, the stand doesn’t lock closed, and there’s no option for a solid state hard drive–you’re stuck with a 5400rpm spinning hard drive. Other than that, it’s a really well powered computer with a lot of great features. Pricing in under $1,500, I have to say this product is very fairly priced. There’s a few different models depending on computing specs. The most affordable is $1,249.99 from Amazon.com powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and 6GB of RAM.
Good: Included keyboard and mouse look and feel great, Ports, HDMI-In or HDMI-Out, stand is great for easily tilting at different angles, touch screen is very responsive, runs full Windows 8, Lots of uses, games included, neat accessories available, and a very family friendly and socially oriented device.
Bad: No lock for stand, subpar speaker quality, no solid state hard drive option, two hour battery life and not practical for transport.
Update 9/24/2013: If you’re looking for a smaller sized table PC that is similar to the Horizon, check out Lenovo’s new Flex 20.