The trailblazer of sorts for the table PC market, the Lenovo Horizon, is getting an upgrade this year. The Horizon 2 brings much of the same in terms of specs, but in a thinner, lighter frame with a few new bells and whistles tacked on.
Inside, you can still expect 4th generation Intel core processors (up to i7), with Dolby Home Theater v4 running audio. Windows 8.1 will be running out of the box. That will all come in a thinner frame this time – 19.5 mm thick, which Lenovo points out is about the thickness of a standard deck of cards. And, although it’s by no means mobile, it’s nice to know you’ll get a good four hours of battery life.
Another big change is the addition of NFC. If you have an NFC-capable smartphone, you can now throw files onto the Horizon 2 by either shaking your phone near the Horizon or just laying it on top of the surface, which will prompt a control menu to appear for file transfers. This is one of the best implementations of NFC that we have seen yet, and it’s not just a lot of fun to try out, but it’s also practical, since you no longer have to wait to transfer your photos off of your phone and onto the Horizon. Instead, the whole process of offloading files from your phone to the Horizon 2 happens in real time. This feels like the future, but the Horizon 2 will be available as soon as this summer.
That last part works when the Horizon 2 is laying flat, putting it into Aura mode. Aura mode, which also allows multiple people to use the touchscreen at once, will get a boost from even more games designed just for the Horizon and its stable of board game-like accessories.
Lenovo is also announcing the A740 all-in-one PC, a 27’’ computer with a 4 mm thick display. Speaking of the display, you’ll have the option of adding a pretty impressive WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution screen with a 178 degree viewing angle. You can also get up to 1 TB of storage and NFC capabilities. The rest of the specs are equally impressive – an NVIDIA GeForce graphics processor and JBL speakers backed up by Dolby Home Theater v4 technology. Like the Horizon 2, the A740 will also run Windows 8.1 out of the box. The A740 also promises to be a solid centerpiece to a home entertainment system, with that solid display, HDMI-in support, and an optional TV tuner. Like Lenovo’s table PC above, this AIO can lay flat, but you won’t be getting Aura mode.
You can expect the Horizon 2 and the A740 to arrive in June, with both starting at $1,500.