We’ve only just finished looking at the HP Z1, which is pretty much the pinnacle of all-in-one PCs. However, if you don’t have £1,700 plus change burning a hole in your pocket, you don’t want a beast that weighs over 20kg, or indeed if you want an all-in-one (AIO) with touch, it’s not for you. In that case, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 might be just the slim, sleek and frankly gorgeous AIO PC you’re after.
As you may know, an AIO PC is essentially a computer integrated into a display, making for a convenient single unit. The disadvantages are that these machines usually use laptop parts, lack upgrade potential (the Z1 is the only exception here) and demand a premium over buying a similarly performing machine with separate monitor.
With that out of the way, how does the IdeaCentre A720 hold up? Well, Lenovo has made this 27in all-in-one something special. Its screen may not be the 2,560 x 1,440 IPS affair found on the 27in iMac and HP Z1, as Lenovo has opted for a Full HD MVA panel instead, but everything else certainly impresses.
To begin with, that ‘frameless’, glass-fronted display supports simultaneous 10-point multi-touch – unlike most touch-enabled all-in-one PCs so far, which merely support two points. It’s mounted on one of the most elegant, flexible chassis we’ve seen, which allows the A720 to fold flatter than any other AIO – giving you a comfortable touch position.
The A720 is also backed by some pretty impressive specs, from its quad-core Core i7 processor and dedicated GeForce graphics, to 8GB of RAM as standard, an optional Blu-ray drive, and digital TV tuner.
Design & Build
The Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 is hailed as the world’s slimmest 27 inch all-in-one, and based on what we’ve seen and the screen’s sub-30mm thinness, we certainly wouldn’t argue – though Lenovo does ‘cheat’ just a little by integrating many of the gubbins into the PC’s base, and by giving its A7-series a massive external power brick.
Still, there’s no denying that the design is truly special, with beautifully sleek, minimalist lines. Thanks to its entire chassis consisting of flawless anodised aluminium, it’s reminiscent of nothing so much as Apple’s own 27in iMac, but the design here is both more flexible and more convenient. Lenovo has also gone for similar ‘unibody’ appeal, and only where the A720’s leg touches its base and display rear will you find a seam.
Build quality is, in a word, great. There’s a bit of give at the rear of the screen, but this is the only minor downer on a machine that otherwise feels every inch as premium as it looks.
Like the HP Z1, Lenovo’s AIO PC can fold completely flat so that the screen is horizontal, but not only does the A720 have multi-touch to make the most of this, it’s also far easier to actually make the adjustments.
In fact, it requires just one hand to push the screen down and out or to fold it down altogether. So not only does the A720 go beyond offering height adjustment, it does so with finesse to complement its looks. All of which makes it quite simply the most flexible all-in-one we’ve yet seen.