Lenovo IdeaCentre A720: Ready for Windows 8: review

Summary:The A720 is a 27-inch all-in-one with an added benefit. The gorgeous big screen is a touch screen. That makes this PC ready to capitalize on all Windows 8 will have to offer.

Windows 8 with its mobile-focused interface is begging for a touch screen to take full advantage of its unique features. The Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 is designed to do exactly that, and does it quite well.

Lenovo A720

The all-in-one form of the A720 attaches a 27-inch high-resolution display to a thin base with all of the trimmings. It works well in testing with Windows 7, even the giant touch screen display.

While having such a massive touch screen doesn't seem like an advantage over conventional displays, the implementation by Lenovo proves that wrong.

The pivoting monitor stand can be adjusted in a wide variety of poses to fit any work environment. The 27-inch touch display can even be swiveled until it is virtually flat on the desktop, to fully leverage touch operation.

Hardware specs as reviewed:

  • Processor: Intel Core i55-3210M (2.5 GHz)
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • HDD: 500 GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
  • Optical drive: Blu-ray
  • Slots/Ports: 2-USB 3.0, 2-USB 2.0, HDMI in, HDMI out, TV Tuner, Multicard
  • Screen: 27-inch HD (1920x1080), 10-point multi-touch
  • Wireless: WiFi b,g,n
  • Keyboard/mouse: 2.5 G wireless
  • Webcam: 720p
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The performance of the A720 is as expected for a Core i5 processor with 6GB of memory. All operations of the PC are fast and hassle-free.

Side view

The 27-inch display is simply gorgeous whether working on the desktop or playing video in full-screen glory. The latter is a key function of the A720, whether using the Blu-ray drive or other video source. There is an optional TV tuner and full remote control to turn the system into an HD TV system.

This is such a good desktop PC that it's easy to forget that it supports full touch operation. This is very precise and handles 10 finger touch. The display swivels down at virtually any angle for touch operation, including almost flat on the desktop.

Piano

The touch implementation is well done and Lenovo has included lots of software to take advantage of it. That runs from special touch interfaces to games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. It is quite an experience playing Fruit Ninja on a 27-inch screen.

The A720 has loud integrated stereo speakers that sound nice for a PC system. The integrated microphone and 720p webcam makes high quality Skype calls very good in my testing.

The wireless keyboard and mouse included with the A720 are not the best but good enough for heavy use.

Lenovo hasn't officially stated when Windows 8 will be available for the A720 but it is obvious the system is designed to take full advantage of all it has to offer. The system as reviewed retails for $1,449 but can be configured both cheaper or more expensive depending on individual needs.

Topics: Lenovo, PCs, Windows

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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