Let’s face it, part of the fun of attending big tech exhibitions is mucking about with the kind of gadgets you don’t normally get to play with. At the Gadget Show 2013, we’ve been firing off crossbows, racing bad ass toy cars, and listening to a mildly deranged old geezer tell us why interactive dustbins are the key to happiness in the home.
But intermittent tomfoolery aside, the real lure is the opportunity to see and interact with the latest and greatest products from big manufacturers, and much of the buzz around the NEC in Birmingham today has centred on Lenovo.
It was difficult to miss the Lenovo installation – the Chinese hardware manufacturer’s stall stood out by virtue of its jazzy appearance and because it housed some of the most eye-catching consumer gadgets at the event.
Centre stage was the Windows 8-based IdeaCentre Horizon, a 27in multimode computer that’s part Table PC, part supersize all-in-one. Billed as an entertainment centre for the 21st century, Horizon can prop up to a 90 degree angle for media consumption on its Full HD, 10-point multitouch display, or lay flat and serve as a social sharing portal. It can also be used for recreational purposes, and its range of slickly-styled accessories couldn’t help but remind of the simpler gaming pleasures of yesteryear – the striker in particular had more than a faint whiff of ye olde air hockey paddle about it.
A Lenovo representative told us that the IdeaCentre is expected to retail from £1,600 when it releases towards the end of Q2 2013 – “late-June” was mooted in our conversation. Under the hood, the IdeaCentre Horizon will feature up to 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.
Elsewhere, Lenovo trotted out a rash of its latest Windows 8 notebooks, and the product that really caught our eye here – enough having been said about the Yoga 11 and its bendy bedfellows by now – was the IdeaPad U310 Touch. Like its predecessor, 2012’s U310, the U310 Touch features a 13.3in HD display with a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution – only now, the screen supports 10-point multitouch.
The device maintains its UltraBook standard slimline physique – it measures just 18mm in girth and weighs 1.7Kg – and offers a similar brushed shell finish, which we think rather doggy. The U310 Touch will come with 4GB of RAM and a hard drive capable of storing up to 500GB – see our slideshow of hands-on photos below for a look at the forthcoming product.
Lenovo revealed that the U310 Touch will start hitting UK shelves in early-May, and is set to retail from £600 for a basic configuration featuring an Intel Core i3 processor, though there will be Core i5 and Core i7 options available at a premium. The firm added that the higher calibre IdeaPad U410 would also be on the receiving end of a touchscreen boost in the near future.