Review Price £1,299.00
Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 – Connectivity, Accessories and Controls
The IdeaCentre A720 doesn’t skimp on connections, and they’re all easily accessible in the unit’s base. On the right are both HDMI in- and outputs, for hooking up external devices like consoles/tablets etc or for playing back content on a second monitor/your TV, along with a speedy USB 3.0 port. On the left you’ll find the slot-loading Blu-ray drive with physical eject button and multi-format SD card reader.
The rear hosts the rest of the connectivity, with a TV antenna jack, headphone and microphone jacks, a second USB 3.0 port, twin USB 2.0 ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack along with the power socket and Kensington lock slot. Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 3.0 are on hand for wireless duties.
Like most all-in-one PCs, the A720 comes with its own bundled wireless keyboard and mouse. Usually, these included peripherals are at best instantly forgettable, but thankfully that’s not the case here.
While the ambidextrous mouse is not particularly impressive, it looks the part, features notched feedback on its broad, rubberised scroll wheel and, best of all, uses a laser sensor rather than the usual optical affairs. It requires a single AA battery which can be replaced with a rechargeable model, and stores the micro USB dongle that connects both it and the keyboard inside its battery compartment.
The keyboard, meanwhile, is one of the more attractive non-Apple models we’ve encountered. Made from strong, lightly textured silver plastic that superbly matches the chassis’ aluminium contrasted by black keys, it certainly looks the part. Even its unusual battery cover has been carefully thought out to minimise negative visual impact.
It didn’t quite supply the supreme typing experience we’ve come to expect from Lenovo products, but was nonetheless very usable, with its concave-shaped keys helping to guide your fingertips.
There’s also a generic Windows remote, which can be used to control the IdeaCentre A720’s media and TV functionality. It’s comfy in the hand but uses inconvenient cell batteries.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 has a large, physical power button on its left side, and a range of white LED-illuminated touch controls in its lower bezel. From the left we have a handy ‘button’ for turning the screen off, an input selector, shortcut to preset touch-based launchers, volume and screen brightness controls.
They’re easy to find in the dark as the ‘screen on/off’ button is constantly backlit, and the others light up if you press anywhere to its left. They’re all reasonably responsive, and if you dislike them the keyboard and remote both offer volume controls.
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