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The Overall Efficiency And Value Of Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon

Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon 27 Review: Our First Table PC
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Lenovo’s IdeaCentre Horizon costs far less than Dell’s XPS One 2710, and more affordable parts often translate to better value, even in the face of performance deficits. If that’s the case here, then the IdeaCentre’s portability is going to be icing on the cake.

Using the average of both systems as a baseline (100%), the IdeaCentre performs almost half as well as Dell's pricier XPS One.

All of our comparison charts use a 100% baseline for calculations. Since efficiency can’t exceed 100%, we zero out its chart by subtracting the 100% baseline after making those calculations.

Because its performance trails so far behind, the IdeaCentre Horizon's efficiency is lower, despite using notably less power. Because we're dealing with two large 27" displays, similar energy needs could be hindering Lenovo's efficiency story.

Performance per dollar also suffers. The same exception concerning screen size applies to this measurement as well, but not to the same extent since the lower price you pay for an IdeaCentre Horizon gets you a far lower resolution (1920x1080) than Dell's XPS One (2560x1440). Factoring out the storage tests for those who aren't as worried about boot times narrows the IdeaCentre’s loss by only 5%, and deleting games from the overall results actually increases the XPS One’s victory by 10%.

Paying The Price For Portability

If we ignore differences between screen resolution, Lenovo's slower IdeaCentre Horizon could still use a discount to match the value of Dell's XPS One. If you absolutely need the portability of a battery-equipped touchscreen all-in-one, you're going to have to tolerate the lackluster performance of a 17 W CPU and entry-level graphics processor. But let's say you don't really care about cutting-edge performance. Is there enough cool-factor in a big all-in-one that'll run for almost two hours away from the wall to justify that compromise? I sought out an impression from someone who spends most of her time on tablets.

Spoiled by Dell's choice of a quicker quad-core processor and accustomed to the lighter software load of her portable devices, the same person who wrote the glowing blurb at the end of my XPS One review, yet wished it could lay completely flat and play the same type of touch-oriented games that the Horizon is designed for, threw her hands up after a few hours and decided that the IdeaCentre's dual-core chip just wasn't fast enough for a desktop PC (even a portable all-in-one). Doh.

Fortunately, the $1500 model we reviewed isn't Lenovo's only offering. The company sells three other designs with Core i7s that are still dual-core, Hyper-Threading-equipped, 17 W chips, but run at higher frequencies. There's even a version with an SSD cache. Just bear in mind that two of the four configurations don't come with batteries. Portability has its price, after all.

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  • 1 Hide
    Pyree , July 29, 2013 12:30 AM
    Would be nice if they have truth or dare.
  • 0 Hide
    majudhu , July 29, 2013 2:06 AM
    This explains the "for those who do" part
  • 1 Hide
    sgadadish , July 29, 2013 4:18 AM
    My only question is why not Haswell?? with all it's benefits for mobility where are the portable with the processor...
  • 1 Hide
    stupiduser , July 29, 2013 6:42 AM
    As reported on Slashdot IT - "defence agencies of key Western governments such as Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have banned Lenovo gear from being used in sensitive areas, because of concerns that the Chinese vendor has been leaving back doors in its devices for the Chinese Government."

    I wish Tom's would aim their incredible testing abilities at these types of claims. I would like to know if MY Lenova is making me vulnerable.
  • 0 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , July 29, 2013 6:49 AM
    Thanks to Lenovo's horrific customer support, I won't ever have to consider purchasing a product of theirs. No, I'm not just saying this out of spite. I've had the misfortune of dealing with Lenovo dozens of times over the past few years. I can't say that I've had one pleasant experience. Now, if I have to deal with Lenovo for any reason, I'm forced to record the phone call due to the crazy amount of lying their reps are trained to do.
  • 0 Hide
    az0937 , July 29, 2013 8:00 AM
    http://forums.overclockersclub.com/
  • 0 Hide
    az0937 , July 29, 2013 8:00 AM
    http://technologygian.blogspot.com/
  • 0 Hide
    tourist , July 29, 2013 2:53 PM
    Try using this for any length of time as a table pc and your neck and back will be in knots. Not enough gpu power to really make it interesting for gamers but i can see this in industrial, medical applications, schools etc. I can see apu's being used in this application at a much lower price point.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , July 30, 2013 2:23 AM
    Quote:
    Try using this for any length of time as a table pc and your neck and back will be in knots. Not enough gpu power to really make it interesting for gamers but i can see this in industrial, medical applications, schools etc. I can see apu's being used in this application at a much lower price point.
    You're right, if we treat this as a huge tablet or an IPC, it looks pretty good. Thanks!

  • -1 Hide
    rcald2000 , July 30, 2013 6:54 PM
    I'm a help desk technician and I'll tell you one thing that I've learned about mobile graphics cards in all-in-one PCs; they are a very bad idea. Just yesterday I had the pleasure of troubleshooting a 4-5 year old Dell all-in-one, which had a problem with the video going black for thirty seconds at a time. I of course attempted to upgrade the video drivers, and found out that neither Dell nor nVidia had ever updated the drivers. I believe the computer originally shipped with Vista 32 bit but was advertised as being Windows 7 upgradeable. I base this opinion on the reviews that I read about the machine, and also on the fact that it had both a Windows Vista and Windows 7 logo sticker on it. Dell's site didn't have any drivers newer than 2009 and nVidia's own auto video driver detection application couldn't identify the video card. In conclusion, I think using a mobile video card in a like this size is lame. But I do applaud Lenovo for trying out new ideas. I would have more faith in the form factor if a company like Samsung was behind it. Also, I should mention that I'm typing this very review on my Lenovo X230.

    Lenovo X230
    i7 ivy bridge processor
    16 GB RAM
    500 GB 7200 rpm drive
    HD4000 integrated graphics
    * connected to one external Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" monitor.
  • 0 Hide
    Ed Chombeau , August 3, 2013 10:38 PM
    Retired; and need big screen to see ; would take it on car travel but airline travel?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , August 5, 2013 2:45 PM
    Quote:
    Try using this for any length of time as a table pc and your neck and back will be in knots. Not enough gpu power to really make it interesting for gamers but i can see this in industrial, medical applications, schools etc. I can see apu's being used in this application at a much lower price point.


    Quote:
    Retired; and need big screen to see ; would take it on car travel but airline travel?
    It's about as long and wide as an oversized carry-on bag. Which means you may get it past the gate, or not, depending on how strict the airline staff is being at that gate. And you'd want something to protect the screen.

  • 0 Hide
    Marlin Schwanke , August 5, 2013 4:05 PM
    Buying budget priced gear from any Asian company is a crap shoot. I don't think Samsung, Acer, Asus or Lenovo have very good customer service. They all just shift product out the door and start working on the next one.
  • 0 Hide
    magic couch , August 7, 2013 12:43 PM
    Anyone else find it strange how in the photoshop CS6 test enabling OpenCL actually slowed down the rendering for the Dell tablepc? What's up with that?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , August 7, 2013 3:05 PM
    Quote:
    Anyone else find it strange how in the photoshop CS6 test enabling OpenCL actually slowed down the rendering for the Dell tablepc? What's up with that?
    Certain filters are threaded, and others are OpenCL-enabled. So OpenCL and CPU-only tests are different.
  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , August 7, 2013 6:24 PM
    These monster screen thingies are awesome. Most likely the future (for airplane entertainment awesomeness). Reminds me of the (fake) old Microsoft Surface commercial.

    Why have a PC? Just buy a big a## table.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , August 7, 2013 6:45 PM
    Quote:
    These monster screen thingies are awesome. Most likely the future (for airplane entertainment awesomeness). Reminds me of the (fake) old Microsoft Surface commercial.

    Why have a PC? Just buy a big a## table.
    Maybe, but they'd need CPU and SSD upgrades to appeal to a wider market.

  • 0 Hide
    magic couch , August 10, 2013 7:27 PM
    Quote:
    Certain filters are threaded, and others are OpenCL-enabled. So OpenCL and CPU-only tests are different.

    Ahh, I thought it used both as I've seen some reviews on this website where software uses the cpu and gpu accelerated openCL together.

    Also a weird thing I've noticed is that in this article 7zip hands down beats every other program in both file compression time and size, yet in articles such as this one winrar is faster by a factor of over 2. Why is there such a discrepency? The articles are even using the same versions of the program.


  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , August 10, 2013 8:21 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Certain filters are threaded, and others are OpenCL-enabled. So OpenCL and CPU-only tests are different.

    Ahh, I thought it used both as I've seen some reviews on this website where software uses the cpu and gpu accelerated openCL together.

    Also a weird thing I've noticed is that in this article 7zip hands down beats every other program in both file compression time and size, yet in articles such as this one winrar is faster by a factor of over 2. Why is there such a discrepency? The articles are even using the same versions of the program.
    The would be a great question for our developer. I think the command line switches outlined in the "test setup" page might provide the answer, but only if I knew what those switches meant :p 

  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 8:50 PM
    Crashman, thank you for your reply in the comments for all your articles.
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