PROS / Thanks to 4K resolution on a 27-inch screen, using the Ideacentre AIO is a visual feast.
CONS / Lenovo’s customer service can be plagued by long call times.
VERDICT / The Ideacentre AIO is an attractive all-in-one with a brilliant display, strong performance and the connectivity necessary for a home office PC.
Lenovo has built its brand on crafting dependable, no-frills hardware. Its ThinkPads are used in businesses the world over, while its consumer laptops have both style and performance on their side. The company’s Ideacentre series is all about easy at-home use, and the AOI 700 fits that mold. It has a big, high-resolution screen; a solid graphics card under the hood; and HDMI inputs and outputs so you can attach both a Blu-ray player and a second monitor to watch movies while you work. There’s no better way to experience 4K in an all-in-one Windows computer, which is why the Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 700 earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
The Ideacentre’s biggest selling point is its 4K screen. Stretching 27 inches from corner to corner and packing 3840 x 2160 pixels, the display is bright and crisp with incredibly dense pixels-per-inch for a computer monitor – you probably won’t see any jagged lines in your programs, even if you squint. When so much of the competition continues to offer 1080p screens, using a display four times as clear is an absolute delight.
The AIO 700’s screen also happens to be touch sensitive, which means you can make full use of Windows 10’s built-in touchscreen compatibility. With only 30 degrees of motion to the display’s tilt, don’t expect to turn it flat and treat the system like a writing desk. Still, it’s enough adjustability to let you easily share your screen with friends and swipe through photos or applications together.
On the multimedia side, a built-in DVD-RW drive lets you play and burn CDs and DVDs, but not Blu-rays. It’s an oversight that’s common enough to all-in-one desktop computers, but the absence is still felt; Blu-rays have been around for many years now, and most people have long since upgraded their movie collections. The DVD drive is obviously more intended for program installation and file transfers than entertainment.
The Ideacenter’s internal components aren’t groundbreaking, but they can handle any task the average family can throw at them. The heart of the system is a sixth-generation Intel i5-6400 CPU, clocked at 2.7GHz; it’s well above-average, but not quite outstanding. PassMark, our favorite independent provider of benchmarks for virtually every CPU ever made, gives the i5-6400 a score of 6,538. Anything above 5,000 is pretty good, while anything above 7,000 can be considered excellent. The Ideacentre’s score is up there, so there’s no need to worry about performance.
On the gaming front, the AIO 700 comes with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950A graphics card. It’s decent and can handle long gaming sessions, but you can’t crank your games up to full quality. Even the best all-in-one computers have limited space to fit high-end graphics cards, sacrificing game performance for the convenience of the all-in-one form factor. In this, Lenovo is no different from everyone else.
Like the competition, the Ideacentre packs 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space. If you like, you can pay for a higher-end model that comes with 16GB of RAM and an extra 128GB solid-state drive, which drastically improves boot-up times.
Even a computer that’s designed to minimize cable clutter needs to support peripherals. The AIO 700 comes with five USB ports for your accessory needs – two legacy USB 2.0 ports for older gadgets and three USB 3.0 ports for electronics that can take advantage of the newer standard’s higher transfer speeds.
There are also two HDMI ports on the side of the monitor: one input and one output. The HDMI output is useful if you want to plug in a projector or a second monitor and work with multiple displays. The HDMI input lets you plug in a Blu-ray player or cable box, transforming that 4K display into a 4K TV for all your multimedia-consuming needs. You can even plug a video game console into the system and play your favorite games, never leaving your desk chair.
Help & Support
Lenovo’s customer service isn’t terrible, but it’s not particularly great, either. Our sister site Laptop Magazine runs an annual evaluation of all the major computer brands’ tech support, judging call times and the quality of service both online and over the phone. Lenovo placed right in the middle, fifth out of 10 companies. Its web support is quite good, but its call times were long, averaging 27 minutes – the third longest in Laptop’s tests. If you call Lenovo looking for help, you’ll definitely get your questions answered, but you might spend a little while on hold in the process.
The Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 700 is the consummate all-in-one, a computer with a stunning 4K display and quality parts to match. It may not have the signature polish of Apple products, but with plenty of connections for all your peripherals and a dedicated graphics card to keep the young ones in the house happy, it will still delight. This is the best Windows all-in-one we reviewed.