While some see the future for desktop computing as being bleak, others see it as a chance to reinvent the desktop to suit the ever-changing needs of home users. Clearly, Lenovo has opted to pursue the latter path, and its efforts are paying off. In a media event held at Illuma, in Singapore, on 7 September, the company officially unveiled three new AIOs sold under the Idea brand: the A310, A700 and B310.
When it comes to computers, there is no such thing as a ‘one style fits all’ form factor. And while many have claimed that the notebook computer will eventually replace the humble desktop as the platform of choice for computing, there is still nothing out on the market which can truly replicate the feeling of hammering away on a proper full-sized keyboard while staring at a large monitor connected to a powerful desktop PC.
However, the desktop PC is also not without its flaws. While no laptop or netbook can hope to match its raw power, the desktop PC has become synonymous with unsightly black towers and cable management nightmares. Which, in all fairness, is a fairly common sight in most homes and offices. That is precisely the issue Lenovo is seeking to tackle with its new IdeaCentre All-In-One (AIO) PCs: the A310, A700 and B300.
The new AIOs were officially unveiled at a press conference held at Illuma, in Singapore yesterday.
“The demand for space-saving PCs wielding high performance has spurred the AIO category to be one of the fastest growing segments in the world,” he said. “Lenovo’s AIOs are designed to simplify personal computing and meet a wide range of needs, from professional requirements to having fun,” says Eugene Liew, Country Manager for Home and Small-Medium Business, Lenovo Singapore. (Above pic)
Matthew Kohut, Worldwide Competitive Analyst for Lenovo, was also present at the event to elaborate about the new Idea AIOs. “The Idea brand is about fun, it is about lifestyle. And taking it, combining it with the best Microsoft has to offer with our Windows 7 Enhanced experience for faster boot up and faster recovery is really what sets Lenovo apart,” he said.
Lenovo IdeaCentre A310
Touted as one of the world’s slimmest AIO PC, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A310 comes with a 21.5-inch full HD, LED backlit display and is designed to serve as an all-in-one entertainment hub.
Powering the A310 is Intel’s Core i5 processor and HD graphics solution, while integrated stereo speakers and an optional TV tuner allows of plug-and-play enjoyment of multimedia content.
The A310 also comes standard with HDMI ports, 802.11n WiFi, USB 2.0 ports and a 5-in-1 card reader. Last but not least, Lenovo is also bundling a wireless keyboard and mouse with the A310 for immediate out-of-the-box operation.
“The A310 is about style in the living room,” said Kohut. “We really wanted to make it stand out, so that it captures the attention of anybody who sees it in the living room.”
Lenovo IdeaCentre A700
With a 23-inch full-HD touchscreen display, the A700 is the biggest AIO unveiled by Lenovo. However, its size does not equate to unnecessary heft: the A700 measures a mere 0.8 inches at its thinnest and a respectable 2.5 inches at its thickest.
In addition to its looks, the A700 also boasts some serious hardware hidden beneath the hood. The A700 comes with many different processor configurations, one of which includes the option of using Intel’s high-end Core i7 processors for maximum performance. In addition, the A700 also features JBL-designed speakers and an optional DirectX11-compatible AMD Mobility Radeon HD5600 graphics card with 1GB of graphics memory.
The A700 can also be configured to take up to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 memory and 2TB of HDD storage, making it an ideal storage solution for multimedia content Lastly, the A700 also has the honour of being the world’s first PC which makes use of Surface Accoustic Wave (SAW) touch technology. This technology makes use of ultrasonic frequencies to accurately detect and respond to finger movements and gestures on the display. Kohut explains that Lenovo opted for SAW technology because of the target market the A700 is intended for.
“If we think about this as a family PC, one of the reasons we chose this technology is that it’ is a little more resistant to fingerprints, dust, dirt and grime. Which is what we really expect of a PC that is designed to be an AIO for the home family use,” he said.
Lenovo IdeaCentre B300
Unlike the A310 and A700, the B300 is targeted towards the average home user who needs a more general-purpose PC for everyday computing tasks.
Specs-wise, the B300 makes use of the older but decent-peforming Core 2 Duo processors, and is available in either a 20 or 21.5-inch form factor. However, the 21.5-inch version will sport LED-backlit screens instead for greater image clarity and sharper colours.
Pricing and availability
The IdeaCentre A310 will only be available for sale from end-October: pricing has yet to be announced for this particular model. However, A700 and B300 are already available for S$2,399 and S$1,699 respectively and can be purchased through Lenovo’s retail channels.