Sunday, December 1, 2013

A week with the Lenovo Horizon

I first heard of  the Horizon PC when Lenovo announced it in CES this year. But what made it to gain recognition from the rest of the products was something which fascinated me. Because this is a family of PC's which no other company out there had ever attempted to set their foot in. Rightly called as table PC due to its form factor and usage, Lenovo has rolled the ball which has allowed other PC manufacturers to follow suite.

Luckily for me, I've finally got the opportunity to share my thoughts about this amazing machine which brings in  a whole new breed of PC's in the market. 

For starters,the horizon looks like a big tablet albeit till you understand the exact form factor. While it's an all  in one PC in purpose, the main intention of the horizon has been to bring people together to spend some quality time be it for multi user gaming or as a  weekend entertainment hotspot. 

The Horizon which  I got came with the following specifications 

                 Operating System : Windows 8 64bits 
               CPU                    : Intel Core i7 3667U @ 2.00GHz
               RAM                   : 8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3
               Graphics              :Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT620M
                Storage               : 1 TB segate HDD

Depending on what model of Horizon you get, there might be variations in CPU make  and the graphics processing unit. The display of the Horizon is approximately 27 inches - making it a perfect instrument for your multimedia and  multi user gaming. I upgraded mine to windows 8.1 and I do feel the fluidness of the OS throughout the UI and in the desktop mode as well. The screen comes with a resolution of  1920 x 1080 (Full HD) . If you have a switchable graphics model,there is the advantage of taking the help of both the GPU's depending on your power management mode. 

It was a delight to watch the colors come to life when I started using the desktop backgrounds which come with windows8/8.1 . I've actually found some wonderful wallpapers some having panoramic views - which bring a sense of liveliness to the horizon! It is one thing to experience them on a regular desktop but when you have such a system it is sometimes hard to choose the right wallpaper too! Another good thing of using a big screen AIO would be the full screen experience which you get with the metro apps in windows 8. It feels intuitive when you open them for the first time and there is natural interaction between you and the system. 

Watching movies or playing multi user games is what the Horizon has been designed apart from saving space in our homes.The system comes with built in support for Dolby home theater .Watching movies has been a delight on the horizon. You will get to know the full potential of the pc when running a high definition movie. I was watching Life of Pi on it the other day and the presence of the tiger on the screen was thrilling experience. 

With one of the main purpose being to save space, the horizon comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.It reduces the overall clutter on your desk which also helps you to concentrate on your work rather than messing around with wires which happens on a conventional desktop. The keyboard is of an accutype one but I haven't really found as comfortable as a traditional one. So I keep using my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard at times.The mouse is my favorite though .You will always feel that things are in control as long as you are using it because it is a big screen and once again requires a clutter free environment.You need to rotate the mouse to 180 degrees to switch it on and vice versa. I never saw these kind of devices but that could be just me 

One of the other main features of the horizon is the ability to play multi user games. It comes pre loaded with variety of games like Roulette, Monopoly,Tycoon and Air hockey and many other which are available in the Lenovo app shop. There also a number of education based titles which can be useful to parents who might want to teach to their kids.Whether playing a multi user game or working on your photos or education,the table mode brings in people together which also creates more interaction between people on a same thing. Lenovo has made this possible though an interface called "Aura" which kicks into action once you lay down the horizon. 

  While I have enjoyed this PC for a week,there are certain hiccups which I have faced and I hope lenovo takes note of them for the future versions. There are only two USB ports which are not really enough when one of the port taken up by the wireless keyboard and mouse. While there is an option to increase and decrease the volume via the capacitive touch buttons,it is not in the case of screen brightness - where only a single button has been given to increase/decrease the brightness value.This means if you want to decrease to the lowest level or next, you need to increase it to the full level before decreasing it down. The included battery has lasted for 3 hours This has been a noble attempt from Lenovo to produce a new breed of PC's. If you are looking to fill the gap between your multimedia centers and your conventional TV this would help you do that.It would also be a great way to spend some time with your family with the level of interactive features that this PC has to offer. Disclosure : - I am a member of the Lenovo Influencer network. Been lucky to be a part of the group which allows me to share my experiences and stories of the tech side of my life.