Sunday, January 06, 2013

Ahead of CES, Lenovo intros IdeaCentre Horizon 27 Desktop / Table PC

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is coming this week, and thus you can expect a huge number of announcements, including some made before the show even begins. Thus, on Sunday, Lenovo announced the IdeaCentre Horizon 27 Table PC.

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A full-fledged, battery-powered desktop PC, the computer can be collapsed into a table-top mode, making it into a 27-inch, 1080p tablet optimized for multi-user touch input. Naturally, it makes it perfect for -- what else -- Windows 8.

Battery life is limited to an estimated 2 hours, but it's really designed to be a multi-user device, rather than a standard PC or transportable. On top of the Windows 8 underpinnings, Lenovo has added its own skin called Aura. Think of it as what manufacturers add on top of Android.

The pain, the pain: Are we seeing Windows fragmentation much like Android fragmentation? Let's hope not.

Aura is deeply integrated into the Horizon, particularly when in its (most likely pushed by Lenovo) table-top mode. In that mode, you'll see a somewhat intuitive software control wheel from which users can launch various touch-supported applications.

As you might expect, in its table-top mode, the Horizon is perfect for multi-player games. For CES, that ability constitutes much of Lenovo's focus. The Horizon has variants of air hockey, a top-down shooting game, a rather complex multiplayer board game, along with various card and casino-style games -- and more, including some EA Games (yes, Monopoly is on-board).

Since there's an air hockey game, you might wonder how you can play that without air hockey paddles. The answer is that you get those, along with a set of joysticks, and even a large six-sided die. The joysticks even fit into dedicated onscreen spots onscreen for the shooter, and the die integrates with the Horizon, too, having the ability to transmit the number you "roll" to the system via wi-fi.

You can also use the Horizon with the standard Windows 8 interface. In addition to the standard system, there will also be an optional stand, which you can use with the Horizon in either table-top mode or desktop mode, with an included keyboard, as well.

Pricing isn't cheap, though. Lenovo said that it will start at "approximately $1,699," with a release date slated for early summer. Specifications, such as processor speed, graphics processor, RAM, storage, etc. are still unclear.

Hands-on videos are available below. A slideshow of images can be seen here.







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