Lenovo Crafts Horizon 2 PC for Tabletop Collaboration

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-12-21 Print this article Print

But a more important issue is that the applications you're probably going to want to use in a collaborative work environment aren't the ones that are available from within Aura, which leans toward gaming and home use, although you can use it as a virtual slide sorter with photos on the device's 1TB hard drive.

Fortunately, Lenovo apparently realized that its use as a tabletop computer would also expose the screen to both reflections and fingerprints. To combat these problems, the Horizon has a matte finish on the screen to combat glare, and it comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth to deal with the fingerprints.

Even if you're not using the Aura interface, the Horizon 2 is still easy to use as a collaborative device. It includes the <CTRL><ALT><arrow key> sequence to control the image orientation on the screen that Lenovo uses on some of its laptops. This means that you can rotate the screen image to look upright to anyone seated around the table.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of annoying usability issues with the Horizon 2. The matte screen finish may cut down on reflections, but it also makes the colors on the screen look washed out. This may not matter if you're looking at a Word document, but it's a problem if you are viewing photos or video.

The review unit came with an Intel Core i5 1.7 GHz processor and 8GB of memory. However, a faster Core i7 2.0 GHz is also available. The Horizon 2 also comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and near-field communications (NFC), although it's unclear how exactly you'd use NFC with a tablet of this size.

What's disappointing about the Horizon 2 is that there's so little real business collaboration software available for the tabletop computer. In fact, despite the Aura interface and its available apps, there's really not much that would be of a lot of use to business users. This lack of application support for the tabletop mode means that users will always be in a position of having to make things work, rather than of finding that it meets their needs out of the box.

Of course, there are things that the Horizon 2 is well-suited for, especially in the photo department of a magazine or newspaper. There the photo display apps would work well and can lend a big help to story production, but in other types of enterprises, finding a fit may be more difficult.

The Lenovo Horizon 2 as tested is available from retailers for about $1,500. Considering the relatively low cost, it could make sense to add a Horizon 2 to your company's inventory. It just might be worth picking one up to see how workgroups could use it, even if business applications for tabletop PCs are in limited supply.



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