A large all-in-one PC that converts into a tabletop PC is the sort of thing a person might already have a purpose in mind for before buying it. This is the kind of computer that can switch between work and entertainment as easily as it can go from a desktop system to table PC.
However, you might not be very impressed with it if you stick solely with the Aura 2.0 software. Putting the Horizon 2 into tabletop mode challenges you to find uses for it. Fortunately, its Core i5 chip, current GeForce GPU, and giant hard drive all help in accomplishing that task. Here's what else Lenovo included in the review unit sent to TechRadar:
- CPU: 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-4210U (dual-core)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 840A; Intel HD 4600 graphics
- RAM: 8GB DDR3 (1600Mhz)
- Screen: 27-inch 1,920 x 1,080, anti-glare, 10-point multi-touch
- Storage: 1TB, 5400 rpm HDD
- Ports: 3 USB 3.0 ports (side); HDMI-in; NFC; Bluetooth 4.0
- Connectivity: 802.11a/c Wi-Fi
- Camera: 2MP, 1080p webcam
- Size: 26.3 x 0.8 x 16.1 inches (W x D x H)
As shown, the Lenovo Horizon 2 has an impressive set of hardware features. Its tabletop mode opens up a range of possibilities, including touchscreen board games and puzzles. No one should be surprised that a 27-inch touchscreen quickly eats up the battery life, so you'll end up having to plug the system in if you want to use it for more than an hour.
There are few things that the Lenovo Horizon 2 can't handle. It can even play recent video games, like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare set to medium graphics. Its main drawbacks, besides the uncomfortably small volume and power buttons, is that it gets scorching hot with extended use.
- 3DMark: Fire Strike: 1,421; Sky Diver: 5,177; Cloud Gate: 5,177; Ice Storm: 37,334
- PCMark 8 Home: 2,249
- PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hour and 14 minutes
- Cinebench Graphics: 53.05 fps; CPU: 230 cb
As demonstrated by these benchmark scores, the Horizon 2 is a decently powered system that's more than capable of handling most everyday tasks, including some gaming. However, its portability comes into some question when you take its battery life into consideration.
Running the PCMark 8 benchmark for about 1 hour and 14 minutes, consuming about 80% of the battery. So, if family and friends decide to gather around the Lenovo for board game night, someone will end up with the power cord side.
The Lenovo Horizon 2 sports a spacious 27-inch matte anti-glare screen with very good touch response. It's backed by some decent hardware, including an Nvidia graphics chip, and has the ability to lay flat to become a tabletop PC. All of which do nothing but enhance the experience – there's little in the way of superfluous features here.
One of my main issues with the Horizon 2's design is the small, cheap feeling, power and volume buttons on the side. The system also runs pretty hot, and its fan gets loud under a full load. One might take issue with the relatively low battery life, but I wasn't surprised by it, given its hardware and screen size.
What really bothers me are the limitations of the Aura 2.0 software and its suite of cheap applications (one wasn't even translated from Chinese). These fail to demonstrate the Horizon 2's capabilities in an impressive way. It automatically launches when the computer is tilted to table mode, and there doesn't appear to be a way to turn that off.
Accessories like the Strikers, joysticks, and e-die seem like fun accessories, but they don't perform well when put to use. (This could also be a software issue.) Similarly, the wireless mouse and keyboard that come with the system might look good, but don't feel as nice when in use.
At a cool $1,500, the Lenovo Horizon 2 may be competitively priced, but it's still a considerable investment. A tabletop mode might not sound like much of a feature, but I quickly learned to like it despite annoying software issues. Hopefully these software bugs and whatnot are resolved soon, because otherwise this is an excellent all-in-one system.
Even if you end up never laying the computer flat, the Horizon 2 still has the hardware and performance of a powerful all-in-one PC. Flat or standing, the Horizon 2 is a worthwhile all-around computer for both work and play – just keep an ear to ground for software updates.