Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon - review

Lenovo's huge Windows 8 PC doubles as a games table. Air hockey, anyone?
  • Lenovo Horizon side angle with keyboard and mouse
    Richard Melville
    Last updated: 07 August 2013, 11:54 BST

    Price: £1,500

    Website: Lenovo

    This home All-in-one PC is a first for several reasons – it’s called a “table PC”, comes with a wireless dice and includes a couple of wireless stick sliders for air hockey.

    What does that all mean? Good question.

    Rather than refer to the obvious fact that this is a machine for the home office, the 'table top' label means that the 27-inch screen can be laid flat on a table for touchscreen Windows 8 games. Essentially, this means the Horizon is the largest 'tablet' we've ever seen.

    Build and accessories

    The benefit of the giant tablet screen is that the Horizon set-up looks slim - all the tech is inside the adjustable screen.

    Lenovo has focused on the family fun aspect of the machine and even developed a four wheeled cart/stand style system to transport the screen and keyboard.

    The drawback when using the screen as a tablet around the home is the weight - it's over 8kg, or around 23 times the weight of an iPad Mini. So not one for the kids.

    A mouse and keyboard are supplied. The mouse looks unique but is style over substance as the curved shape feels odd in the hand and incredibly lightweight. The keyboard fares better, but the whole level of performance doesn't fit with the premium price tag.


    The hardware inside the Horizon is entry-level standard, not a world apart from the specification you would find on a laptop selling for half the price.

    The Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM can struggle when powering complex apps, the big screen and multitasking, but it’s fine for tablet-style tasks.

    Inside there's a 1TB hard drive providing plenty of storage.

    The killer is that the battery lasts just over two hours. But when it weighs 8kg, you probably won’t be moving far from a plug.


    For a PC that is based around a TV-sized screen, it's no surprise to learn that it has a decent picture thanks to a 1920x1080 Full HD pixel display.

    Movies look sharp and if you want to use this as a replacement TV in a spare room, it's an excellent choice, though admittedly pricier than a similar sized TV.

    The touchscreen allows two hands to control the apps and games. Angry Birds has never looked so impressive – and air hockey is great, too.

    There's a new drive from manufacturers to make sure modern PCs are all touchscreen-enabled in order that users get the best from Windows 8 functions and extras.

    The problem is that Windows 8 hasn't made the most of touchscreen tech just yet and, games aside, many programs don't benefit from touch features.

    Lenovo Horizon being used as game table


    The idea of table-top PC sounds great on paper but this isn't the hero product the next-generation of PCs needs.

    The smaller Sony Vaio Tap 20 All-In-One PC is smarter, slicker and £500 cheaper than this clunky attempt at bringing a home office PC into the living room.

    The demand for touchscreen apps and games will mean that the Horizon will become more useful over time. But when a pretty decent laptop costs around £800 and a tablet costs half as much, you have to question the benefit of fusing the two products on this scale.


    BT.com verdict: 2 stars


    Richard Melville
    Last updated: 07 August 2013, 11:54 BST

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