Sometimes you need exercise a little patience before new technology or hardware actually becomes useful. Years ago, in the era of Windows Vista, the first all-in-one PCs with touch-screens hit the market. HP with its TouchSmart series was ahead of the curve at that time, a computer with a huge display that you could operate like a smartphone. That HP product was definitely ahead of its time, and the same can be said of the new Lenovo IdeaCentre A720. It's an all-in-one running on Windows 7, but clearly made for Windows 8.
With Windows 7 Microsoft improved the compatibility for touch-screens, but that OS lacked a good interface suitable for finger input. Windows 8 changes that. The new design, formerly known as Metro, is made for tablets but will also work fine on a larger display.
The IdeaCentre A720 currently still comes with Windows 7, so that is how we tested it. We also played around with Windows 8 on it, and you immediately notice the advantages of this system compared to the ASUS ET2411INTI or the MSI Wind Top 2281G. The screen is edge-less which makes the Windows 8 charms work well.
The design of the all-in-one is exceptionally stylish. The 27-inch display is attached via a sleek arm to the base, which contains the hardware. This is different than most all-in-ones, where all the hardware is located inside of the display. The IdeaCentre A720 has a high-quality finish, although it's a bit of a shame you can see the flat cable from the display inside the hinges. It's a minor detail.