Screen Quality

I really, really want to give Lenovo a gold star on the IdeaCentre A7 for opting to include an IPS panel. Even if it's 1080p instead of the more fashionable 2560x1440 resolution, it's still high resolution and a big step up from just using a TN panel instead. That it has ten-finger touch is just an added bonus; I'm mostly just happy to see a halfway decent display being used for once.

Unfortunately the IdeaCentre's default monitor calibration is absolutely awful. There are three different settings for the display, but you're really just choosing what color cast the display is going to have on it. The default ("Web") makes everything blue, while the "Movie" one makes everything just a bit less blue, and the "Document" one makes everything green. That's before getting into how frustrating the touch-based controls at the bottom of the display can be. I've never liked touch controls on displays; they've always complicated the job that a few regular buttons were able to do just fine.

Calibration takes most of the edge off, but out of the box the blue hue on everything is distracting and just feels cheap.

LCD Quality - White

LCD Quality - Black

LCD Quality - Contrast

LCD Quality - Color Accuracy

LCD Quality - Color Gamut

You can see just how well the display can perform after calibration. It's very bright and offers excellent contrast; only the HP TouchSmart 610 is able to produce a contrast ratio as impressive. Gamut isn't great, but accuracy is fine.

It's just a shame that the default calibration of the display is as poor as it is. Worse still, while doing game testing I noticed what appeared to be some fairly serious ghosting. It's not awful and it's not quite an overdrive smear, but response time of the display seems to be on the slow side. So while I can appreciate that Lenovo included an IPS panel, I'm disheartened that they weren't more responsible with it.

System and Gaming Performance User Experience, Heat, and Power Consumption


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  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    This AIO is definitely interesting. I like the looks of it. I think the hardware of AIOs should always be in the base instead of behind the display. The port location is strange but not a deal breaker. But they should have included an SSD of at least 128GB, maybe in turn cap the HDD at 500/750GB to offset cost. And that Geforce 630 is just insulting. If you go with an Intel CPU, give us a midway decent GPU as well. Or give us the option to go with AMD Trinity. I hope you can get some AIOs with Trinity to review (if there even are some).

    On another note: 3k+ contrast on an IPS? Holy cow, I've only seen that kind of static contrast on *VA panels. IPS topped out at 1.5k for the best panels I've seen.
  • Orvtrebor - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    At this price it does fall a little short, but overall it would work perfectly for most people.

    The hardware is more than good enough for the type of people who want small and silent low power rigs.

    Gamers will never touch a rig like this, and casual gamers (non 3D type games) will be fine with this hardware.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    With an SSD, sure, but nobody is happy paying $1500 for a machine and getting a 5400 rpm disk. Reply
  • Orvtrebor - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    I completely agree on the storage front, like I said it falls short, but at 1500 you shouldn't have to add anything to it day 1 like an ssd Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    An SSD, a real graphics card (with displayport for a 1440p 2nd screen). Could do without the touchscreen (is there really a demand for that?) Reply
  • tukkas - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    the lenovo page lists broadcom, not realtek, as the network/wfi interface -- am i missing something?

    Network Card
    Broadcom 11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    The WiFi in the review unit comes up as Realtek. Reply
  • geniekid - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    If I'm a gamer, a 630M isn't going to be adequate. If I use this computer professionally, the mediocre screen isn't going to be adequate. If I'm a casual user, I probably do all my computing solely off my laptop.

    I don't understand who would want an all-in-one standalone that can't play games and doesn't have an amazing display.
  • Sadheal - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    I think you're wrong on the IPS panel.
    3000:1 contrast ratio + serious ghosting = VA panel (mostly MVA)

    No IPS panel does 3000:1 contrast.
    MVA panel are horrible ghosters.

    By the way, 1,67 DeltaE is great (it's considered OK under 3).
  • tim851 - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    The 27" iMac starts at just 250$ more. You get a better screen, better graphics card and better hard disk.

    I feel cheated by Apple enough as it is, but this is Lenovo offering a worse bang for the buck. The 250$ upmark will be almost negated if you sell this thing within 3 years, as Lenovos hold their value far worse.

    I don't like the course the IT industry is taking, with everything being either cheap and flimsy or high quality and Apple-priced. Apple has insane profit margins, there must be manufacturers willing to offer the same quality for less money.

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