Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC review

Running battery benchmarks on a Windows 8 All in One? We're in undiscovered territory now…

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The Horizon is a Windows 8 system, so the usual host of features and functions (and frustrations, for some) are here.

However, in order to further emphasize the table-top nature of the PC, Lenovo has developed its own custom Win8 UX named Aura. This interface skin is literally built for a table. This means a circular, 360 degree interface that allows anyone sitting around a table to quickly select options and activities.

If you're thinking to yourself that a custom skin built for a fairly unique and specific use must not have a whole lot of available software options, you are correct. At review time, the activities are limited to what Lenovo has bundled with the device and/or worked on development partners with.

For the most part, the end result is fairly uninspiring…at least for now. Monopoly, Air Hockey, Poker, Roulette, and a few custom games are available. Yes, these are table-top games, and they take advantage of the special controllers Lenovo has bundled with this system, including joystick-shaped air hockey controllers bearing sensors that the Aura interface can detect, but they're not particularly exciting over long stretches of time. Truth be told, they're kind of boring once the novelty value of playing games on an enormous tablet wears off.

Games like Lenovo Tycoon are only a little more interesting because they allow you to play with the e-dice that Lenovo has bundled with the system. E-dice work just like regular dice—you roll them on top of the screen—except that the Horizon is able to detect what number you've rolled. (The other big difference: you have to charge e-dice.)

So who would be interested in using the Horizon in table mode? I could imagine a group of kids being interested in playing games on this thing for a short amount of time.

Another possibility: board game fans, assuming that Lenovo is able to convince some of them to make games for the Aura skin.