Is it time to subscribe to a printer service from HP?

Ever since my dad brought home an...

What’s the best way of buying a phone today?

How did you buy your latest phone?...

MWC: What device highlights did you miss?

So, early last week I predicted that...

Lenovo’s 27″ tablet is a smart idea, costs £1,000 and is due this summer

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 17.10.48

I caught this one from a recent BGR story. Lenovo is apparently launching a 27″ ‘table tablet’ running Windows 8. It’s called IdeaCentre Horizon so keep an eye out.

I can think of of a ton of different applications for huge tablet form factors. Everything from mortgage calculators at point of sale in banks to functioning as dynamic information screens at exhibitions.

I don’t think they’ll sell trillions but I think the form factor could well become a favourite for shops and businesses wanting display and touch facilities. Apparently it’s due to ship for $1,700 (£1,045) in the summertime. I reckon there are some home use cases too. Here’s what Lenovo has to say:

As a Table PC, Horizon can lie flat on any surface, lets two or more people use the screen at the same time, supports interactive physical gaming accessories and is designed for touch screen game-play among several players. Horizon takes advantage of Windows 8 touch functionality to bring customized games from Electronic Arts and Ubisoft to life in a way players have never seen before. Horizon can also easily transform into a 27-inch high-performance desktop to handle whatever productivity tasks users need to do.

It’ll take a bit of getting used to. Have a look at this screen capture from their introductory video (embedded below):

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 17.13.29

It looks like the lady in question has just robbed the two girls of a television, right?

No. It’s mum — she’s just walked into the room and spotted that there’s a call coming in from her friend on the ‘tablet’. She takes the HUGE tablet (that, in this case, looks like a TV) through to the sitting room and sits and does the obligatory Skypeish video call.

Yup. It’s a different use case paradigm to what we’ve been accustomed to with the likes of a 7″ or 9″ tablet, but I’m pleased to see Lenovo giving it a go.

Have a watch of the video below (just under two mins) and tell me what you think…


  1. Notionally, a “Table Computer” might make sense, for some tasks – moreso, at least, for a touch device, than a Normal PC With A Touch Screen.

    Ape-arm is a real problem. Lenovo can’t “engineer” around that.

    (With a high-sensitivity touchscreen ala a Wacom tablet? Brilliant for artistic ends… if it was 2560×1440 or better. Which it won’t have at that price point, since everyone else’s 2560×1440 27″ monitors cost $800+)

    As it is, well… it better be hardened and waterproofed to hell, or those kids are going to ruin it. People WILL set a glass on it, etc.

    It’s going to take a lot more potential damage than even a normal laptop, and that’s saying something.

    As a trans-portable, no. God, no. Nobody wants to manhandle that.

    “Taking it to take a call?” NO.

    (Video calls at all, especially not on a phone/laptop? No. This is not really something people want to do more than very rarely. Stop it.)

    Good on Lenovo for trying something radical. But it will fail, miserably.

  2. Yeah, but a spinet was vastly MORE portable than a normal piano…

    This is less portable than a normal tablet or laptop, and the probable/potential benefits don’t compel moving it hardly ever.

    I expect the ten people who buy one will leave it on a table until it breaks.

    (About the only use I can see for moving it, is moving it to another table every week for game night – this thing COULD be awesome for tabletop gaming, with the right software.)

  3. This is not a tablet. It’s an all-in-one PC with a very simple stand and a touchscreen. I think the biggest mistake here is marketing it as anything even remotely mobile, because it’s not. Not even in the home like shown here. The first bit, where he starts working with it upright on his desk and then flips it down to use it like a drafting table, makes sense. It’s the first time someone showed me a touchscreen PC that didn’t make me immediately laugh.

    The rest of it though? Carrying it from room to room, letting the kids play with it on the floor? No. Especially not at that price point. Hell no. It’s big, it’s awkward, it’s probably not something those two kids would get to the floor safely on their own in a real household. The 720p camera is a bit disappointing too. If the idea is to give everybody huge displays they can see each other on, why skimp on the resolution?

    It’s an interesting idea, but it’s not done yet, and it’s not a tablet no matter how badly they want to market it as one.

  4. Love these early April Fool’s day announcements! It might indeed have some limited utility in shops (and Pentagon war rooms?) but not a household. Could be the designer took the brief “design us a tablet” a little too Biblically…

  5. I think it will find its market. And in fact I think every form factor in this emerging product category – from wrist wearable to MS’s original Surface size will end up in the commercial, personal, artistic, medical, educational, entertainment, mobile, luggable and other places it makes sense (or creative nonsense).

    And, yeah, not ready to plop down $1700 right now, but I wouldn’t mind having one…..

  6. I would LOVE one of these. I’ve been hoping apple would do a Cintiq 24HD style imac with that whole flexible joint that lets you use it as a tablet or monitor or whatever(not saying mac is superior to bla bla bla, I just use macs for music since they just work better for me for that kinda stuff.) I can tell you that large tablets will sell like delicious cookies in the home studio and musician demographic. Having ipad-like synths on a massive screen with way less latency than you get on the ipad.. I’m sweating right now.

    Just because you (whoever you might be) don’t see a purpose for these things doesn’t mean there’s no use for it. Galaxy note seems absolutely moronic to me, yet people love it, and that’s awesome.

  7. A big household tablet isn’t fundamentally a bad idea, but if they expect people to carry it around, why the heck doesn’t it have a handle?

    My Mac in 1984 had a handle. This thing is quite a bit bigger, quite a bit heavier, and is of a form factor (no cables) that suggests portability. I can’t imagine what they were thinking when they designed it.

    I expect that people who buy them will put them on their coffee table and never move them, or stand them up on their desk and never move them. Then I expect that, inside the first month, some little company pops up that sells “cases” for them which basically amount to a handle you attach to it.

    Your website is called “Mobile Industry Review”. When’s the last time you saw any product that required two hands to carry that you considered “mobile”? What’s next, microwave ovens?

  8. Wow, I don’t get what people hate so much about this. Yeah, it has got some pretty serious problems (thick, so probably heavy; dpi isn’t high enough; no one likes Windows 8), but the idea is cool.

  9. I couldn’t get past the first scene of the guy standing with a coffee cup over his $1700 table without thinking “Well, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

    The idea of a very large touchscreen display that sits flat isn’t all that bad (of course, Microsoft already tried it with their original “Surface” initiative), and it’s about the only way you can possibly make a touch interface even remotely usable on a large-screen device. You’re still not going to want to use it for extended periods, but it has some real-world use cases.

    This thing, however, this giant, luggable, waiting-for-you-to-spill-coffee-on-it monstrosity, this thing that is just begging for your six year old kid to drop on the floor when they try to move it (I wanted to see the two kids hefting the thing, one on each end, in the video), is a solution without a problem. Or just a problem, period.

    Also, 720p webcam? I realize you’ve got to cut corners somewhere, but at that price you’d think they could have at least matched the camera in a high-end cell phone.

    Maybe if you were buying one to permanently put on a table (and tell your drunk friends at the party to keep their drinks the hell away from), or for niche touchscreen wall installations, it’ll find a few happy users. I sure wouldn’t buy one, though.

  10. This is actually on par with what I’ve been waiting to see available after getting to play with the original Microsoft Surface at PAX a few years back. I was thinking it was kind of stupid too, right up until they showed the feature with the screen detecting physical items on it. That right there means this thing suddenly becomes a zillion board games in one package.

    Now, if it was a 1:1 aspect ratio (yup, I like squares) that’d be pretty neat.

    As it is though, I like it quite a bit. I’d buy one for my own personal use at home if the price can get down to around $1200 and they can get a good solid list of applications that run on it.

    Catan is a great place to start!

  11. It’s the REAL “surface” – a worthy successor to Microsoft’s Surface table.

    However, the form factor is a bit insane here – just looking at the woman in the picture is painful. Imagine dropping that thing on your foot (or your kid’s foot).

    There’s a reason that iMacs and monitors have stands – if one of those things topple it’s likely either going to get hurt or hurt someone else… forget the “toss your wiimote” – look for a new meme – slippery Surface.

  12. You know what shops and businesses that want display capabilities are using? Tons of iPads and iPhones. As point-of-sale terminals, as data terminals, as presentation terminals.

    Generally speaking, people do not want to have to go to the mountain — they want the mountain to come to them. Especially now that we have fast Wi-Fi and 10 hour iPad batteries. So 4–6 iPads is better than this one giant screen. Plus, the iPad software is exponentially better than what this runs.

  13. Six year olds lugging a 27″ computer around the house and putting it on the floor… what could possibly go wrong?!

  14. I love how it’s pictured with a keyboard and mouse. So, basically the only difference between this revolutionary new product and any old PC with a touchscreen is that it doesn’t have a stand…. That handy device that lets you actually look at your screen without suspending yourself from the ceiling.

  15. it does look like a spoof on the picture of the woman carrying it towards the little kid… but on second thoughts… might come in quite handy, if it works out cheaper than big touch screen monitors….

  16. Leaning over, stretching your arm out, and staring down is ‘great’ for your back. Also, kids carrying around a TWENTY SEVEN INCH MONITOR? Uh… Smash.

    Director off-camera to ‘Mom:’ Ok, try it again, but try to look like you’re not uncomfortable carrying a TELEVISION around.

  17. How many actual board games can I buy for $1200? Not thousands, I suppose – but then again software is rarely free either, and how much time to play games do I have. DOA.

  18. I wish there was some form of retribution for people who roast new and innovative forms of tech before it’s even out of the gate. Because it was probably the same naysayers who doubted the Galaxy Note. So please, let history be your guide, sit down, shut up, and watch.

  19. At the 0:57 second mark, the way she pulls the kickstand out it would immediately fold back up and fall over.

  20. Mom’s gonna break her back or pull a ligament or drop it on one of the kids breaking their leg. This is a nightmare. Just get an iPad and be done with it. Really? How long until the kids knocks over a can of soda all over the thing?

  21. If it supported pressure sensitive styluses it would be popular with artists and designers. One thing though, if they are showing people drinking over it and kids moving it, I hope the screen is super sturdy and water resistant.

  22. first we had computer that required a table to hold them they were so big,
    then we had “portable computers” what we used to affectionately called “luggables”, the Compaq I had actually had a crt built into it. It weighed 30lbs.
    then came the “laptops” and we finally had a truly mobile computer.
    now we are back to a new portable that is literally the table.

  23. I guess I didn’t word that bet well, did I? You win if it ships–I win when reality as we know it ends. I need to rethink my wager phraseology.

  24. Ewan, I see this having more legs with the younger generation. In the states, one’s monthly cable television bill can easily reach $160. Just for the cable and add on services. What I am noticing is the younger generation, those under 30, wanting nothing to do with the cable operators. Instead, they are buying into Hulu, Netflix, PlayOn, Roku, AppleTV, etc. They get to watch what they want when they want over their computer or stream from computer to television. What this might play into is a way to view their tele with a larger screen without having to pay up for a flat screen and have a new computer? Just a thought….

  25. As one of those you mention, I think this is analysis is generally true. But I can say that I would still rather own a “dumb” TV and then buy one much cheaper device on a regular basis (year-to-year probably) that allows me to do all the things on the TV I want to do, like watch Hulu, Netflix, NHL, etc.

    A gigantic touch screen TV, even when as (let’s be honest) immobile as this, actually strikes me as something much more geared towards families. I think this product is a good idea that can eventually turn into a great one if they execute the hardware + software integration right (think Apple). My iPad generally has two uses: more focus-driven personal creation and consumption activities, and fun times with friends and family; the latter is almost always games. This is not necessarily an underserved market but one which is bordering on fragmentation. I think there is certainly room for a Home/Family/Coffee Table iPad and that a bigger form factor works to its advantage.

  26. Wow. Listen to the iHate. Ohhh ohhh, “only” 720p camera. Yeah, right…like 90% of the people in the world can tell. Ohh Ohhh, it is not “portable”! Yeah, right…it is and a heck of a lot more powerful, has tons more storage, and actually does things other than allow you to buy apps from one ecosystem…apps that you will use once and throw away. Oh boo hoo, does it have a memory card slot? with 1 TB of hard drive space, who the #*$&^ cares???? However, if you care, it has 2 USB3 slots, HDMI, and lo and behold, an SD card slot. Whoda thunk it…not iPad.

    Get over yourself haters. Really. This is not targeted as an iPad anything. It is a large scale slate PC. It will kick your iAss. If you want a toy to throw birds, go ahead. This has a market or else they would not bring it to market. I have Sony’s version on a demo and I love it. I will also be getting this on a demo.
    Tablets are limited. This is not a tablet. It is not meant to go snob out at your local Schmuckbucks and revel at your novel-long coffee order.

  27. Merely making something bigger is not innovative, its just making something bigger. Just like the iPad mini isn’t innovative, its just smaller.

    And grow up, this is the real world, people get to voice their opinions. I have seen very few invalid points in the comments.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recently Published

Is it time to subscribe to a printer service from HP?

Ever since my dad brought home an HP LaserJet printer (version 3, if memory serves), I have been printing with an HP. Over the...

What’s the best way of buying a phone today?

How did you buy your latest phone? I'm asking because I'm thinking about what I should be doing. When I was living in Oman, I...

MWC: What device highlights did you miss?

So, early last week I predicted that next to nothing from Mobile World Congress would break through into the mainstream media. I was right,...

How Wireless Will Pave the Path to Neobank Profitability

I'm delighted to bring you an opinion piece from Rafa Plantier at I think it's particularly relevant given the recent eSIM news from...

An end of an era: Vodafone UK turns off 3G services

I thought it was worthwhile highlighting this one from the Vodafone UK team. For so long - for what feels like years, seeing the...

Mobile World Congress: Did the mainstream media notice?

I resolved this year to make sure I wrote something - anything - about Mobile World Congress, the huge mobile industry trade show taking...