Since it was announced at CES 2009, Lenovo's newest sleek and shiny All-in-One IdeaCentre A600 desktop has been drawing eyes and envy with its thin form factor and pretty design. Lenovo claims it's the thinnest AIO computer
in the market at the moment, and from the looks of it, it's most likely to be true as we found from tinkering with the prototype unit. It's certainly thin at the top, though the bottom is much thicker, but that's where the bulk of the hardware components are located so there's no avoiding that. The gorgeous brightly lit high-definition 16:9 screen is definitely a winner in our books, but the glossy reflective panel is a no-no. Though the gloss finish looks swell and works out well when watching movies, more often than not, we found ourselves staring at our gorgeous reflections when the screen changed to a dark scene.
While it's not a touchscreen AIO like HP's TouchSmart series, the A600 introduces a different form of interaction altogether in the form of its 4-in-1 remote control. So what's so great about a remote control you ask? Well, Lenovo's remote control isn't just your normal TV remote; sure it works fine as a Windows Media Center remote control, but this accelerometer equipped device also triples up as a game controller, mouse pointer and VoIP phone.
Currently there aren't any third-party games that make use of this unique controller, but the A600 does come with some games from Lenovo that show off the functionality of the controller. They do look remarkably similar to a certain sporty Nintendo Wii game and also play out quite similarly (with support for up to four controllers), though the controls aren't quite as polished. They will do if you're into really casual gaming though, and Lenovo did inform us that they'll be introducing newer games in the near future. We were also told that they aren't ruling out a touchscreen version in the future when Windows 7 hits the market, so that's something else to watch out for.
We weren't allowed to conduct any benchmarks on our prototype unit, but our experience was a smooth and snappy one. If nothing's changed too much in the retail version, then you can expect a pretty decent multimedia AIO desktop that does what it's supposed to perform while serving some value-added frills in the form of the 4-in-1 controller and some accelerometer based games. It's definitely a looker and we can't wait to get our hands on a retail-ready version for a full review. For now, we'll leave you with a video of us bowling on the Lenovo A600 (and you can catch the HD version of the video over at YouTube).