Tech Review: Lenovo Horizon 2e

Along with Sony, Lenovo was the table PC trailblazer with the original Horizon, a huge all in one PC that can switch into a tablet never sounded that practical to me.  The Horizon 2e is a yet another solid tablet/PC hybrid that further bridges the gap between power and portability.

Features and Design:
The Horizon 2e features a full HD (1,920x1,080) display and a built-in kickstand that lets the system go from propped up in desktop mode to horizontal in table PC mode.  When you bring in a much more portable system, you gotta expect a bit of a trade off when it comes to horsepower.  The Horizon 2e features basic budget specs: an Intel Core i3 processor with integrated graphics, 4GB of memory, and a 1TB hard drive.  With a piano-black bezel framing the display, edge-to-edge glass, and a silver back panel, the Horizon 2e features the standard tablet look of today. It measures roughly 1.5 inches thick, which doesn't necessarily make it a thick by today's standards. There are numerous other AIO's that are thinner however, but the system's width was just fine for me. A U-shaped kickstand sits on the back panel, and lets you position the display from nearly vertical to completely horizontal. For connectivity, there's 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and assorted ports residing in a recessed panel on the Lenovo's left side. You get three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an audio jack, and a flash-card slot. On the right edge you'll find the power button and volume adjuster.  The 21.5-inch display features LED backlighting, a matte finish, and 1,920x1080 resolution that supports 1080p HD video. The screen won't blow you away by any means, but for multi-media purposes, the screen did it's job well. The accompanying audio was fairly impressive. It can get louder than the typical laptop's audio output with better bass response, but you'll want a set of external speakers or a set of bluetooth headphones.  Lenovo bundles a wireless mouse and keyboard with the Horizon 2e. The keyboard is thin like a blade, and if you're a fan of the chiclet style keys, you're going to be in luck. I found the keyboard and mouse both solid, and they never felt cheap.
Quality and Performance:
The screen's 10-point multi-touch support works smoothly and precisely, and Lenovo's Aura tabletop interface takes full advantage of the touch-screen display. The Aura software loads automatically when you tilt the system back to lie flat, which is pretty intuitive. My $749 Horizon 2e review unit features a 1.9GHz Core i3-4030U processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel integrated graphics, and a 1TB hard drive. Its performance is fine for basic use—Web surfing, viewing photos and watching movies, and Aura's touch apps—but it struggled with media editing chores as most Core i3-based PCs with integrated graphics tend to do.  It would have been nice if Lenovo had plucked a 500GB SSD instead of the standard hard drive, but it's hard for me to complain about a TB hard dive. As expected, the Horizon 2e is not really suitable for gaming. An additional disadvantage is the limited number of resolution settings that the display supports. Bioshock Infinite on low, for example, requires a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which doesn't happen to be one of the choices. The very common setting of 1366 x 768 pixels is also not available. The Sims 3 ran stutter-free at 60 fps with the settings on low and a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.  Although the fan of the Horizon 2e is running at all times, the system is overall very quiet. The whooshing of the hard drive is more audible than the fan under normal idle conditions, however. Under load, the system does not get much loud at all.  The battery isn't very good, with Lenovo claiming 3 hours of potential battery life.  With the amount of apps I generally run at one time, the AIO made it to 2.5 hours off the power supply, which isn't terrible.  

Final Thoughts:
Lenovo's Horizon 2e is an interesting All-In-One design. The system is best used in a home setting, since moving it longer distances is a bit of a hassle seeing how massive the screen is. Performance is solid for the home user, though gaming enthusiasts need to look further up the price tree for better equipped machines.

+Intuitive Aura Interface
+Impressive 27 inch Screen
+Performs very well with day to day tasks
-Lackluster Battery Life
-A bit heavy
S&S Rating: 8/10


  1. My heart broke a bit. But that gameplay footage is bad ass.


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