Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 review

£1454
Price when reviewed

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.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

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.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

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

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 27.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 2.40GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155

Motherboard

Motherboard chipset Intel HM76 Express
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 2

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
HDMI outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Western Digital Scorpio Blue
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

Case

Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 650 x 480 x Unknownmm (WDH)

Rear ports

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

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 39fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.89
Responsiveness score 0.80
Media score 0.97
Multitasking score 0.91

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