Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 review
Lenovo is well known for its high-quality business systems, but its consumer machines don’t earn as much recognition. That’s all set to change with the 27in IdeaCentre A720, which arrived in the Labs looking surprisingly debonair.
It gets off to a great start, with the slimmest profile of any Windows 27in all-in-one we’ve seen. The screen is only 18mm thick, and is supported on a base that houses all the system’s components, but which stands at only 30mm high.
The A720 is so slim it looks more like a high-end monitor than a PC, and its attractive design is paired with good accessibility: the top of the base can be easily removed to provide access to the components in the event any need to be replaced.
On the outside the A720 is versatile: the screen tilts back until it folds completely flat. The display itself isn’t as good. Its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is ample, and it’s bright at a maximum 251cd/m[sup]2[/sup], but we found colour accuracy below par. The A720’s display returned an average Delta E of 5.1 – worse than most of its rivals. Black levels are very dark, ensuring a high contrast ratio of 2,510:1, but there’s no subtlety in the shadows – the deepest shades are crushed together. If you’re looking for a big screen that’s ideal for tasks such as photo editing, the Dell XPS One 27 is better.
The Lenovo’s Core i7-3630QM processor sits at the low end of Intel’s mobile Core i7 range, and has a low stock speed of 2.4GHz. Despite this, the Lenovo’s benchmark result of 0.89 is still quick enough for most purposes. Its Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics helped it to a score of 39fps in Crysis at Medium quality settings – again, reasonably quick for an all-in-one. Elsewhere, the A720 offers a Blu-ray drive, a DVB-T TV tuner, a 1TB hard disk and single-band wireless. If there’s a price to pay for having such a powerful specification inside such a small chassis, it’s noise. Under load, the system’s fan is louder than all its rivals.
There’s a bigger problem, though, and that’s the touchscreen. At 27in it’s simply too large a display to be operated comfortably by touch; the sheer amount of arm movement required by Windows 8’s various gestures makes it tiring to use. Alas, there’s no way of dropping the touchscreen and saving money – an option that’s available with the Dell.
That puts this Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 in an awkward position. On the one hand, it offers plenty for the money: a 27in Full HD screen, fast performance and a practical design. On the other, you can get the more powerful Dell XPS One 27in – with a better-quality, higher-resolution, non-touchscreen display – for less.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||1,000GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i7|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.40GHz|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM76 Express|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Memory sockets free||0|
|Memory sockets total||2|
|Graphics card||Nvidia GeForce GT 630M|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GT 630M|
|Number of graphics cards||1|
|Hard disk||Western Digital Scorpio Blue|
|Hard disk usable capacity||931GB|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Dimensions||650 x 480 x Unknownmm (WDH)|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||Lenovo wireless keyboard and mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 8|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||45W|
|Peak power consumption||154W|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||39fps|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.89|