Lenovo IdeaCentre A720: Ready for Windows 8: review

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.

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TOPICS: Lenovo, PCs, Windows
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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

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12 comments
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  • Very nice

    I don't know why manufacturers like Apple can't make systems this nice.
    toddbottom3
    • I'm sure they could

      but it'd be pointless without an OS that is meant to take advantage of touch. I doubt that OS X is going to go down that route any time soon, if at all.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre A720: Ready for Windows 8: review

    It is quite nice. I can see this being put in many different places for public use.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • So it can essentially become

    a 27" tablet, is that what I'm reading?
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Yes ...

      ... But just imagine this monitor with Office 13, where you can manipulate program elements and documents via touch. Do high fidelity manipulation and input via a stylus or a mouse. And also bang away at your physical keyboard to your heart's content. Imagine a modern UI version of Autocad where you can use touch, a stylus, as well as a physical keyboard to do the same. The experience will be much better than it is in traditional GUI applications.

      When MS is able to demonstrate scenarios like the above with rich, modern UI versions of productivity apps, a lot of people will eat their words about Windows 8. Windows 8 need, rich compelling apps. Also Windows 8 need to support reading experiences that go way beyond what the browser is able to provide. (I mean way beyond!) This is the only way modern publishing will be able to be saved, and properly monetized.
      P. Douglas
      • I wasn't saying it's a bad thing

        I was just putting the first thought that came to mind.

        A lot of people would love a 27" tablet.

        HD? Good.

        I'd like to see how this works on Windows 8 RTM.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Works well

          A friend of mine owns one and has installed Win8 on it. He says it works perfectly.
          JamesKendrick
          • Thanks for the heads up

            I thought that it might, but it's good to know that it definitely does.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Yes, works great

            I bought this one 2 months ago with i7 processor, 8Gb , and 2GB Nvidia graphics. Works great with Windows 8. I do have a minor issue though with touch flick gestures. James can you connect me to your friend, may be I can check with him if he has the same issue.
            gupta.rajeshk
  • Oct will be an expensive month!

    All machines upgrade to Windows 8, plus Surface Tablets and now this!
    ninjacut
  • Just a small typo

    Don't you mean Core i5?
    Michael Alan Goff
  • Wacom stylus support someday soon?

    I saw some of these all-in-one big screen babies while window(s) shopping today. Very appealing rigs. I'd buy this Lenovo right now if that screen had an active digitizer in it. Wacom Cintiq must be getting a bit nervous about now.
    Jorj_X_McKie