It’s expensive and doesn’t have the high-resolution screen of Apple’s iMacs, but this powerful all-in-one PC is both highly capable and very stylish
2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM, 8GB RAM, 27in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Big all-in-one PCs are becoming increasingly popular, both as office workstations and as home systems which can replace both your TV and your old-fashioned desktop PC. Lenovo’s IdeaCentre is beautifully designed and would easily take pride of place in your home office or living room. Its massive 27in touchscreen looks stunning and the entire PC feels incredibly well made.
The PC bears more than a passing resemblance to a 27-inch Apple iMac, particularly given the large glossy screen and silver finish. There are some significant differences, though. Rather than being built into the back of the display, the PC’s hardware is all housed in the base, which has cooling vents at the bottom. We were pleased to find that it didn’t get very hot at all during use, which is a notable advantage when compared to most other powerful all-in-ones, including the iMac.
While Apple – like most manufactures of all-in-one computers – has yet to roll out its promised range of Ivy Bridge iMacs, the A720 has an Ivy Bridge 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM processor. It’s certainly powerful, producing an overall score of 110 in our benchmarks, which is particularly impressive considering the low-power mobile processor. The 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card is also a mobile version, and its score of 49fps in the laptop version of our Dirt 3 test, which we run at 1,280×720 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing, shows you’ll be able to play some modern games on this all-in-one.
Unlike the 2,560×1,440 resolution displays of 27in iMacs, the A720’s panel is a standard 1,920×1,080 screen. However, it’s also a capacitive touchscreen, which is handy if you want to use it as a sitting room media and entertainment PC, as you don’t have to fish out the keyboard and mouse every time you want to watch something. The PC also comes with a media centre remote control along with its keyboard and mouse.
There’s also a high-definition Avermedia H339BA DVB-T TV tuner and a media centre remote control to go with it, as well as a Blu-ray re-writer drive, making this PC all you need to watch and record TV (although not at the same time, as it’s a single tuner) and view HD movies. The PC comes with a copy of CyberLink’s PowerDVD 10 to help you watch Blu-ray discs. If the sizeable screen is still too small for you, there’s an HDMI output which lets you connect the PC to a projector or second monitor. There’s also an HDMI input, so you can connect a console or cable TV tuner and use the IdeaCentre’s screen as a standalone display.
We were generally impressed with the A720’s screen, although it suffers from the annoying reflectiveness that goes with glossy coatings, despite its claimed anti-glare coating. The screen’s viewing angles are wider than average, but our test images revealed a slight over-emphasis of yellow tones which leads to a warm image, but can give a slightly jaundiced tint to pale flesh tones. The backlight is fairly even, but we noticed slightly lighter patches towards the left and right edges of the display. These are all very minor issues which would be easy to overlook on a less expensive system, but at this price, we’re inclined to expect near-perfection.
|Intel Core i7-3610QM
|Processor external bus
|Processor clock speed
|Lenovo ChiefRiver QS00652391
|USB2 ports (front/rear)
|Firewire ports (front/rear)
|eSATA ports (front/rear)
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)
|Free memory slots
|Free 3.5in drive bays
|Hard disk model(s)
|Western Digital Caviar WD7500BPVT-24HXZ
|Total storage capacity
|2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
|3.5mm stereo line out, 3.5mm mic in
|Supported memory cards
|SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
|Optical drive type(s)
|BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW +/-DL, DVD+/-RW +/-DL
|ArcSoft PhotoStudio Paint, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, CyberLink PowerCinema, CyberLink YouCam, Dolby Home Theater, Lenovo Idea Touch, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
|Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
|Operating system restore option
|restore partition, burn own restore disc
|one year RTB