Apparently Lenovo liked what it saw from Sony's Tap 20, because here at CES the company is introducing its own "portable" desktop PC. The IdeaCentre Horizon is primarily a Windows 8-enabled all-in-one — Lenovo calls it a "table PC" — with a 27-inch, 1080p 10-finger touchscreen, Intel's Core i7 processors and discrete graphics. But it's also portable, at least in theory, thanks to an internal battery that Lenovo says will power the gigantic device for two hours at a time. The gigantic slate is only 1.06 inches thick, but it weighs 17 pounds, so its actual viability as a tablet will vary with your upper-body strength. In a more practical nod to the Horizon's touch-friendliness, Its hinge lets it either sit up at a normal angle for a PC, or lay flat on a table.
When you lay the Horizon flat, Lenovo's "Moon Dial" interface automatically opens, providing a wheel-based interface for launching apps, flipping through pictures, and moving things around. It's incredibly reminiscent of Microsoft's original Surface interface, turning your table into a giant touchscreen. Gestures let you move things around, fling them to the edges, shake them to show similar objects, and much more. The Horizon doesn't interact with other devices — which was maybe the coolest feature of the original Surface — but it's a pretty fun concept nonetheless. We spent a few minutes using the Horizon, and though it's definitely a gimmicky idea, it's definitely fun to use and play with.
Almost as cool as the Microsoft Surface — but much more gimmicky
Lenovo designed the Horizon for families and offices, for more than one person to use at a time. It comes with a handful of specific accessories to that end, too: four joysticks, e-dice, and strikers, which Lenovo says creates a more physical gaming experience than is typical with a laptop. (It's calling that experience "phygital." No, really, that's what it's called.) A number of games also come pre-loaded, like Monopoly, King of the Opera, Raiding Company, and others. We played Air Hockey using the included joysticks, and it was fun, though using a physical joystick to hit a virtual puck felt a little odd. We're not so sold on this phygital thing yet.
The Horizon will be available "in early summer," and will start at $1,699. The beginning of a trend for Lenovo, with more of these table PCs coming soon — the company's showing off a 36-inch prototype called "Gamma" at CES as well. Whether that one can be carried around too, we're not quite sure.