Screen time. Kids always want it, parents often feel judged by how much time they let their children spend on devices, and pediatricians tend to ask about it from a health perspective. But not all screen time is the same especially when you consider what kids are doing on their devices and who they’re engaging with. New technology is always paving the way for the way we think about how devices fit into our lives and the new Lenovo Horizon 2 has the potential to change the way families interact with computers.
Before we get into what the Lenovo Horizon 2 can do, take a step back. Remember the days of sitting around the table and playing a board game? Or how about sitting side by side on the couch looking at a photo album and reminiscing about the past? Laptops, tablets, and even smartphones have transformed formerly engaging experiences into more solitary ones just because of the size of the screen. It’s hard for individuals to cluster around a small screen and interact with content together but that’s where the Lenovo Horizon 2 multimode table PC with Windows 8.1 attempts to change the way we think about, interact with, and engage with each other.
One thing I immediately noticed about the Lenovo Horizon 2 when I saw it at CES is its size. Measuring at 27”, this Windows 8.1 tablet isn’t the most portable but it’s perfect for laying on the kitchen table for family members to use the touch screen together. Unlike other tablets, the Horizon 2 allows multiple users to interact with content at the same time.
This means that on the days that both kids come home with homework that needs to be done on the computer, they can sit at the kitchen table with the tablet and my daughter engage in online research while my son practices his math skills on the site that his teacher has assigned using the split screen mode of Windows 8.1. When they’re done, they can pull up a game like Air Hockey and use optional gaming peripherals to slide the puck on the screen just as they would on a traditional air hockey table. They can also access educational apps from Scholastic or when a younger friend comes to visit, pull up the Crayola Songbook and color on the giant size screen.
Another thing that I loved the Horizon 2 for was the ability to use Near Field Communication (NFC) to easily transfer my photos from my phone to the tablet. Gone are the days of having to use a cable to connect your phone to your tablet. Photos can be shaken off your Android phone and dropped on to the surface of the tablet or placing your phone on the tablet transfers your photo and video content straight to the surface of the tablet thanks to the Aura 2.0 Android app.
Aura 2.0 makes it easy to arrange photos by dragging them with your fingertips and edit thanks to quick gestures. Another impressive feature is photo sharing. Other Android users only have to place their phones on the surface of the Horizon 2 and drag the photos they want around their phone to have them uploaded. This is a great way to share photos and video content with immediate family, friends, and visiting relatives quickly and easily!
The Lenovo Horizon 2 is also a multimode tablet the means it can be used flat or standing at a variety of different viewing angles. The stand adjusts easily to varying degrees so the tablet top tablet does double duty as a workstation especially when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard or a wireless mouse. The low profile stand that hides on the back of the Horizon 2 is sleek and strong enough to hold the 14 pound tablet. There are also stands that can be purchased for the Horizon 2 to rest on in the event it needs to be used as a presentation station in front of an audience during meetings.
While immediately wowed by the Horizon 2’s size, it also features impressive specs including:
- Multimode capabilities to transform from tablet to desktop machine that can be viewed at multiple angles
- Windows 8.1
- Intel i7 processor
- 10 point touch screen (meaning 5 people can use both hands to touch it at the same time)
- NVidia graphics card for vivid images
- Aura 1.0 for games, apps, and a TV mode
- 27” screen
- 19.5 mm thin
- 15.4 lbs
- 4 hours battery life
- Optional accessories for digital gaming such as e-Dice, joystick, and strikers that work onscreen
Apparently I wasn’t the only one impressed with the Lenovo Horizon 2. It was awarded Laptop Mag “Readers’ Choice Award” for Best of CES 2014. Here’s what the Laptop Mag editors had to say about it:
“The original family-size tablet from Lenovo was cool, but the new Horizon 2 offers even more oodles of fun. This $1,499 Windows 8.1 tablet comes boasts a beautiful 27-inch 1080p touchscreen display that can be configured with an optional retina-like resolution of 2560 x 1440. We really like Lenovo’s new app called Aura AI that allows Android users to transfer content such as photos and video to the Table PC by shaking your phone or tablet. It makes it look as if the photos or videos actually “fall” onto the Horizon 2′s table surface.”
To get a better sense of it’s size and how it works, here’s a quick Instagram video I shot while in the Lenovo suite!
The Horizon 2 Table PC will be available beginning in June with models starting at $1,499 via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.
This post was written as part of the Lenovo Moms program. As a member of the Lenovo Moms, I have been given Lenovo products, compensated for my involvement, and Lenovo paid my expenses to attend CES however, all opinions are my own and I was not required to write about the products I saw at CES but was truly impressed with the Horizon 2.