Desktop Systems Guide
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The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is an interesting product that serves the dual functions of a desktop AIO and a multi-user tablet. Unfortunately, it does so with some compromises.
Looking at its performance in our benchmarks, it is clear the Horizon is underpowered when compared to some of the more recent desktop AIOs we have reviewed. This is not surprising when you recall that it is powered by a low-voltage dual-core processor, whereas its rivals are all sporting quad-core processors with higher clock speeds.
On top of this, the Horizon is also equipped with a rather dated GeForce GT 620M GPU, while its rivals are powered either by the slightly faster GeForce GT 630M or the newer Kepler-based GeForce GT 730M. It doesn’t help also that the GPU is called on to drive a large 27-inch Full-HD display. The best way to summarize the Horizon is that it feels like a big car that has been mismatched with a small engine.
Obviously, the decision to opt for a low-voltage processor and entry-level GPU is to give the Horizon decent battery life, but we cannot help but feel that it is a compromise that has gone too far. The result is that with its current specifications, the Horizon does not function ideally in its dual roles. It’s much too slow compared to its desktop AIOs rivals and even as multi-user table PC, the user experience is not ideal as games sometimes felt sluggish.
The Horizon is also not helped by its steep asking price, which stands at an eye-watering S$2899 - this includes the multi-mode table cart and all game accessories. Although this is comparable to the Lenovo IdeaCentre A720, the A720 has more powerful hardware and better entertainment features including a Blu-ray player and integrated TV tuner. It is also able to fold flat for gaming and sharing content and loses out only in terms of portability - it does not have a built-in battery nor mobile table cart.
At the end of the day, the Horizon tries to be too many things at once and ends up being too much of a compromise. However, if you are still keen on the concept of a desktop AIO that can be converted into a family gaming device, the ASUS Transformer AIO is worth considering. Its main problem lies with the size of the screen (too small for a desktop, too large for a tablet), but if you can get around that, it offers better all-round performance and has a much lower asking price.
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