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Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon 27 Review: Our First Table PC

The Overall Efficiency And Value Of Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon

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.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.