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Lenovo IdeaCentre A720: a Microsoft Surface for the rest of us (hands-on video)

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720: a Microsoft Surface for the rest of us (hands-on video)


Lenovo IdeaCentre A720's hinge allows the screen to rotate to different angles.

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Okay, so it's not a 46-inch table that supports 20 points of input, but Lenovo's IdeaCentre A720 does morph into a pretty sweet flat panel horizontal surface for only $1,299. Not only does it have a unique hinge that allows it to adjust the screen at almost any angle — it can be folded back to a 90 degree angle and then be pulled forward to a 5 degree angle — it's also only 25.4mm thick. Lenovo's claiming that's the "industry's thinnest" 27-inch all-in-one, but I have to say that Samsung's Series 7 seems to have a thinner profile, although that only has a 23-inch display. The A720 won't be available for a while — though it will be sometime in the first half of the year — but we do know that it will have Intel Core processors, Nvidia graphics, and up to a terabyte of storage.

I got a quick look at the A720 here at CES 2012, and found the sliding mechanism to be extremely sturdy. In fact, it may be too sturdy; it required a bit of force to pull the display forward. Lenovo's preloaded its own software on top of Windows 7, and while it's definitely not very attractive, the bigger issue I saw with the display was the touch response. Although, it supports 10-finger input and has wide viewing angles, I had to swipe really firmly on the display to get to the other application screen in Lenovo's UI, and even when playing Angry Birds I had to pull the slingshot with more force than I would on a tablet. Hopefully, Lenovo improves that before it ships it in the second half of the year, but hey, I never said it was going to be as good as the Surface.