Lenovo strongly believes that table PCs deserve a place in our lives, and the company thinks we can't do any better than its new 27-inch Horizon 2 touchscreen, which I had the opportunity to try out at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
Lenovo first introduced the Horizon as an all-in-one touchscreen desktop at last year's CES, and then went on to sell the original model for a starting price of US$1,499. The Horizon 2 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor and also adds NFC, which creates some new capabilities for interacting with other devices, and some of the more unique new computing features on display at this year's show.
When the Horizon 2 lays flat in table mode (when it stands vertical it functions like any other large-screen Windows PC made for productivity) with its Aura multi-user interface activated, it can connect to nearby Android devices running the Horizon app. When an Android user shakes their phone over the Horizon 2, content like photos "falls" down onto the surface of the Horizon 2.
Before I fully understood what was going on, a Lenovo representative asked me to pose for a quick photo he took with his phone, and one quick shake later, my image was staring back at me from the top of the Horizon 2.
Demonstrating another similar feature, he snapped my picture again a few more times with the same phone, then laid that phone down on top of the Horizon 2. A second later he picked the phone up, and beneath it, on the Horizon screen, was a representation of what appeared as a "stack" of photos – the photos he'd just taken seconds earlier. From there, photos can be easily edited and shared to Facebook.
It all makes for some pretty interesting party tricks, and a nifty tool for presentations or novel gaming, all in a system that easily converts back to a widescreen Windows PC when the fun and games are done.
Lenovo says some big name developers have created multi-user touch titles with the Horizon in mind, including Ubisoft’s Chubby Kings; a four-player family game, Omnivision’s Halli Galli; and Crayola’s Songbook, which is a "children’s interactive musical and drawing experience."
The company says the Horizon 2 also carries four hours worth of battery reserve. It's expected to be available in June, again starting at $1,499.