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While the Lenovo Horizon 2s looks and operates like a smaller version of the 27-inch Horizon 2, the computer is designed to compete with the more portable 2-in-1 desktop systems, like the Dell XPS 18 Touch. Both these all-in-one computers can be used as large tablets that can be stood upright using legs or dropped onto stands for a desktop experience.
The Horizon 2s beats the XPS 18 when it comes to screen size and price. But, given how the Dell has a battery that lasts almost three times as long, can be lifted from its stand without hassle, and has an angled reading mode, the XPS 18 comes out ahead in overall usability.
Here is the Lenovo Horizon 2s configuration given to TechRadar for review:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400
- RAM: 4GB DDR3
- Screen: 19.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) touchscreen display
- Storage: Seagate 500GB SSHD with 8GB NAND Flash
- Optical drive: None
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0; 3-in-1 card reader; headphone jack
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.0; NFC
- Camera: 2MP,1080p webcam
- Weight: 5.73 pounds
- Size: 19.29 x 0.62 x 11.53 inches (W x D x H)
The Dell XPS 18 has comparable features and weight, but costs significantly more ($1,499 with stand included), while lacking inputs like media card reader and NFC antenna. The XPS also has a slightly smaller screen, but it compensates with a fast Intel Core i7 processor, twice the memory, and a 256GB SSD.
Given its significantly lower price and features, the Lenovo Horizon 2s is a better value on paper. However, it is held back by poor battery life and quirks, makingit less than ideal in comparison
There are Horizon 2s configurations that feature a slightly faster processor, more memory, and a larger hard drive, but the system reviewed here is on the higher end of the performance scale.
Although its 3D performance is lacking, the Lenovo Horizon 2s works well with everyday tasks. It's non-glare screen makes it ideal for reading or browsing the internet, and it generally responds well to touch gestures. However, as I've said, the unit whiffs in the longevity department, and its speakers leave much to be desired.
Here's how the Lenovo Horizon 2s performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 4,308; Sky Diver: 2,472; Fire Strike: 527
- Cinebench CPU: 236 points; Graphics: 24.37 fps
- PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2,371 points
- PCMark 8 Battery Life: 1 hours and 36 minutes
Given how the Horizon 2s's hardware matches against the Dell XPS 18's, it's no surprise that the benchmark results look very similar. The XPS 18's 3DMark scores are: Cloud Gate: 4,543; Sky Diver: 2,489; Fire Strike: 621 with a PCMark 8 Home test score of 2,499. Cinebench scores include CPU: 271 and Graphics: 25.36 fps. The Horizon 2s scores marginally worse in all tests, but not enough to warrant judgment one way or the other.
Battery life and audio performance
The area in which the XPS 18 flatout wins is battery life. Dell's XPS 18 can last for about 3 hours with basic use before needing to be charged. I can't emphasize enough how disappointing the battery is on the Horizon 2s.
This unit barely beats out its sibling, the Horizon 2, and that computer sports a 27-inch screen, backed by Nvidia GeForce GT 840A graphics, and a host of other power-consuming features. Between the battery and the clunky kickstand, the Horizon 2s isn't the pick-up-and go portable desktop it initially appears to be.
And sadly, when it comes to watching movies and listening to tunes, the Horizon 2s left me wanting. I had to turn the volume all the way up to hear anything while watching Netflix, and even then, the speakers don't have much bass. I ended up pairing the system with a JBL Charge Bluetooth speaker for better sound.
On the other hand, the XPS 18 has louder, fullersounding speakers, which makes it the preferable computer for watching streaming video or listening to music. Of course, this is balanced out by a hefty price tag. But in this case, the better hardware could be worth the extra expense.
- Aura: Lenovo's multi-user touch program for accessing photos, video, music, and games as though they were digital cards on a table.
- Dragon Assistant: Voice activated software that, like Siri on Mac systems, can send email, post status updates, and search the internet without having to use a keyboard.
- Lenovo Solution Center: Software that monitors your computer's health and alerts you to updates and tasks that require attention, like backing up your data.
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