Compared to a scant 6 months ago, today Lenovo is awash in All in One PCs. There is no question that we see this category as a growth area. For anyone considering an All in One, allow me to present my compact guide to help you choose from our myriad of offerings. For those who have followed this industry, it is interesting to see the all-in-one finally gain traction and prominence. As IBM, about 8 years ago we had the NetVista X40. It had a built in 15” flat panel display with the internals piggybacked to the rear of the system. Unlike other offerings like the Gateway Profile, the NetVista X40 was incredibly compact (relatively speaking). Since LCD display technology was in its infancy for PCs, it was incredibly expensive. Customers didn’t want to lose their investment in the flat panel display and wanted some assurance that the display could live on through their next refresh. The X40 did not have that capability, plus it was a major pain in the rear to service. We followed it with the NetVista X41 with a 17” display and easier serviceability, but still hadn’t addressed the need to use the display after the PC itself was out of date. Unfortunately, we killed the NetVista X42 before it came to market. Had it been introduced, it would finally have achieved complete modularity. Now there are all types of all in ones on the market. A modern version of these machines is significantly thinner and less costly than that NetVista of long ago. Plus, since displays are so cheap these days, not many people care about reusing flat panel displays. Enough history. IdeaCentre C100– We introduced this system several months ago. It is a nettop, meaning it has an Atom processor and is designed to hit an entry price point starting @$349. If you are not familiar with the term “nettop” think “netbook” in a desktop form factor. With an 18.5” screen, we’ve suggested this system as a secondary or tertiary system designed for the kitchen or child’s bedroom. No touch screen capabilities available, it is designed for low cost computing.
IdeaCentre C300– Compared to the C100, this machine has more capability with a bigger display, better graphics (suitable for HD playback), integrated card readers, and more ports. Due to its better functionality and larger screen, pricing starts @ $449. No touch capabilities on this system either.
IdeaCentre A600 – We introduced the A600 at CES 2009. At the time it was the industry’s thinnest all-in-one PC and for those used to Lenovo’s older designs, quite a shock. It is a slim multimedia system with integrated TV tuner, slot loading DVD or Blu-Ray, and an 18.5” HD display. In addition to a wireless keyboard and mouse, it has a unique 4 in 1 remote control. This remote control acts as either a standard TV remote, Windows Media remote, VoIP handset, or Wii-like motion controller. It ships with several games allowing families to play games like bowling, table tennis, and the like. Up to 4 remotes will work per system.
IdeaCentre B500 – Lenovo introduced this machine just this past quarter. Unlike the C series systems I mentioned above, the B500 was designed for performance computing in a compact package. With specs like high end quad core CPUs, up to 1GB of graphics memory, 23” 16:9 widescreen, Blu-Ray drives, and TV tuners, we designed this system to be a primary entertainment PC. It is equally happy recording high definition TV shows as playing WoW or Crysis. Yet, being an all-in-one, it eliminated cable clutter that distracted from the entire computing experience.
NEW IdeaCentre A300 – The A300 is the industry’s slimmest all-in-one measuring at just 18.5 mm deep. We’re targeting this machine as a video/audio home entertainment hub. To that end, it features both HDMI in and out ports, digital TV tuner, lots of storage, and a beautiful 21.5” HD display. You can make the argument either way as to whether we should have built in an optical drive. We decided not to include it as it would have made the base significantly larger and thicker, and most media is diskless these days anyway. However, if you do want to add a Blu-Ray drive, we have a matching external drive for not much extra cost. We didn’t add touch as it would have required a bigger base, and as a home entertainment hub, touch isn’t as useful as it would be on other all-in-one offerings.
NEW IdeaCentre C310– This machine is the follow on to the C300 I mentioned above and addresses a major shortcoming – the need to add touch capabilities to our all-in-one portfolio at a very low price point. It is our first multi-touch all in one desktop. It has surprisingly responsive capacitive touch capabilities despite its low price point. We’ve included our own VeriTouch software which allows you to log in and out of your PC (plus a few other goodies) by using simple gestures. Try Microsoft Surface Auto Collage to rotate, zoom, and flick pictures using your two fingers and you’ll be hooked on touch.
NEW ThinkCentre A70z–Unlike our IdeaCentre line, the ThinkCentre lineup is for business use. We introduced the A70z for small to medium sized businesses who wanted the simplicity of small, energy efficient all-in-one PCs. Despite being a slim all-in-one that takes 70% less desk space, it has full function PC power inside. Our team claims “box to boot” in 3 minutes and with our Windows 7 Enhanced Experience, you can get to a usable Windows desktop in about 35 seconds. It uses less electricity and can be easily serviced. Plus, it has a VESA mount so you can have a completely clean desk. Unlike the earliest all-in-one NetVista X40, it starts at a much more affordable price point of $499. Unlike 8 years ago, all-in-ones are finally ready for widespread business usage.