When I got the invite from 3 Monkeys to a gaming night I didn’t expect I’d end up playing air hockey on a tablet. I didn’t expect it would be on a 27″ tablet either.
Yes, 27 inch tablet. The Lenovo Ideacentre Horizon seeks to bring the family together by creating an entertainment device that all the family can gather round, play games, browse the family album or listen to music. I wasn’t initially sold on the idea of how this device would bring the family together with my current experience of tablets in the home, but the enthusiasm of other journos and bloggers such as Monika from mumonthebrink.com was evident. I was still undecided especially after watching a pretty heated final in the air hockey tournament (you know how adults get when winning is everything). That and the fact that we currently don’t have a coffee table to put it on. Well you try mixing toddlers with coffee tables and see how you get on.
After a second look, at the Christmas in June Windows 8 tablet event, I’ve been converted.
As I said earlier it’s a 27″ tablet running on Windows 8 that comes with a sexy looking stand making it a great family PC and entertainment centre. Lenovo actually call it a table PC (love how they dropped the ‘t’ there) and it really is a better way to describe it.
It has 10 points of touch so everyone can get their grubby fingers on it and the size makes it perfect for a game of Monopoly (included) as well other other games and edutainment apps. The kickstand converts it from table PC to desktop PC so you can switch from table games to watching a movie; raising it up to desktop mode launches the Windows 8 Start screen. As it’s a tablet (let’s not get hung up about an extra ‘t’ or even the extra 17 inches) you can disconnect it from the mains and carry it around the house to whichever room you wish to play in. There’s also an integrated 720P HD camera but I’m not sure you’ll be able to lift the 8kg device with one hand to get that steady shot. Most likely use would be for apps like Skype when your kids are sharing homework tips with their friends, or unbeknownst to you, sharing gossip about the cute (read sullen) new boy in school.
The package comes with a cool silver wireless keyboard and mouse, 1 e-dice, 4 strikers (great for air-hockey) and 4 joysticks. Looks like this was designed for the family of four then.
Under the hood?
The Horizon runs on 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 processor currently up to Windows 8 64bit, should be able to handle 8.1 when it comes out later this year. It boasts a 27″ backlit full HD (1920×1080) multitouch display in 16:9 Widescreen format. Gives you up to 2 hours battery life for when you want to put it on the floor (or coffee table) and your room is as big as the ones in the furniture ads. Connectivity comes in form of 11b/g/n WiFi and 2 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, HDMI-in and a 6-in-1 card reader. There’s up to a terabyte of storage and an 8GB SSHD, and you can get up to 8GB DDR3 RAM. That’s plenty.
If you’re thinking of buying a tablet or games console for the kids this Christmas (never to early to plan) and you’re wondering if you should get them something for school or playtime, I would give the Horizon a serious look. Might save you money on getting individual 10 or 7 inch tablets for each sprog, problems with age difference and instead of isolating the family, it might just give everyone a reason to do things together especially if you have a designated games night. It should also sort out that age old problem of what to do when you have friends round and the Queen’s Speech is on the beeb.
The Horizon is listed on Lenovo’s UK site at £1,499.99 which sounds about right for a device of this size, capability and build.