Lenovo, Acer Bracket the AIO PC Market

Lenovo unveils an all-in-one system with a massive 29-inch screen, while Acer’s newest AIO offers a 19.5-inch display.

Lenovo and Acer are growing their respective all-in-one PC portfolios with new systems that are going in opposite directions, at least in regard to their screen sizes.

Most all-in-one (AIO) systems in the increasingly competitive market have display sizes in the 21- to 23-inch range. However, Lenovo, the world’s top PC vendor, on Sept. 30 unveiled the B750, a system designed to be a powerful PC or multimedia center that sports a 29-inch screen. A day later, Acer announced the Aspire ZC-605 Series, which offers a 19.5-inch screen. Acer officials in a statement are promoting the system’s “understated look and feel” and “neat, uncluttered appearance.”

The new system “is an excellent choice for those wanting to try an all-in-one for the first time,” Frank Change, director of desktop product management for Acer America, said in a statement.

Competition in the AIO PC space is growing as vendors look to offer customers cost-effective, convenient systems that offer the same capabilities as traditional PCs. In addition, OEMs are looking for ways to boost sales in a global PC market that continues to see shipments decline in the wake of the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones. In July, Gartner analysts said second-quarter PC shipments fell 10.9 percent compared with the same time in 2012.

Most recently, Acer in July rolled out the Z3-605 Series all-in-one, a system with a 23-inch touch-enabled screen. A week later, Hewlett-Packard unveiled the Slate 21 AIO, a system with a 21-inch screen and which can be used as a tablet or traditional desktop PC.

“AIO desktops have become the first-choice option for many consumers seeking a home PC with power and flexibility,” Jun Ouyang, vice president and general manager of Lenovo Business Group’s desktop business unit, said in a statement. “Whether as a home entertainment center, a desktop for productivity or a gaming and multimedia device, we believe an AIO should adapt to our customers’ needs quickly and smoothly and offer them a level of performance on par with a traditional desktop.”

Lenovo’s B750 includes a frameless 29-inch high-definition 21:9 aspect (2,560-by-1,080) display, a 2.1 speaker system designed by JBL and Lenovo’s Split Screen technology, which enables users to simultaneously view and work in multiple windows. It’s powered by an Intel fourth-generation Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX760A graphics technology.

The B750 includes WiFi and optional Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity, a six-in-one card reader, and optional HDMI ports.

The massive system was one of several new AIOs rolled out by Lenovo. Another is the A530, a 23-inch high-definition system that is 0.8 inches thick and encased in an all-aluminum chassis. It offers a range of viewing angles and can be folded flat atop a 1.3-inch base. It’s powered by an Intel fourth-generation Core i7 chip, and offers up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and 1TB of hard-disk or solid-state disk storage.

Other new systems are the B550 and B350, with 23- and 21-inch displays, respectively, integrated Dolby stereo sound systems, and fourth-generation Core i7 chips. They also both have integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, optical drives and connectors, including HDMI.

The B550 is available now, while the A530 and B350 will be available later this month. The B750 will come out in January 2014. Pricing starts at $799.

Acer’s Aspire ZC-605 comes with a 19.5-inch screen, which is not much larger than many notebooks or traditional PCs. It has an integrated HD Webcam that can be adjusted up to 20 degrees and a chassis that can tilt from 10 to 30 degrees. In addition, frequently used controls such as the on-screen display button, SD card reader and USB 3.0 port are located on the front of the chassis.

The ZC-605 offers Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity, full 1TB of hard-disk drive storage, two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI input. It’s powered by an Intel Pentium chip and starts at $599.99.