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Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 1,299
inc VAT

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

Specifications

2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM, 8GB RAM, 27in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

http://www.johnlewis.com

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.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

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.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

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.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i7-3610QM
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x23
Processor clock speed 2.3GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 8
Memory type PC3-12800
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Lenovo ChiefRiver QS00652391
Motherboard chipset Intel HM76

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 1/3
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n

Internal Expansion

Case all-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free) N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free) N/A
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar WD7500BPVT-24HXZ
Interface SATA2
Total storage capacity 750GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s) 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
Graphics/video ports HDMI

Sound

Sound Realtek ALC272
Sound outputs 3.5mm stereo line out, 3.5mm mic in
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Optical drive type(s) BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW +/-DL, DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size 27 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs HDMI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Lenovo SK-8861
Mouse Lenovo SM-8861

Software

Software included ArcSoft PhotoStudio Paint, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, CyberLink PowerCinema, CyberLink YouCam, Dolby Home Theater, Lenovo Idea Touch, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition, burn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £1,299
Supplier http://www.johnlewis.com
Details www.lenovo.co.uk

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