Lenovo Horizon 'Table PC' ushers old-timey board games into the Windows 8 era (video)

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LAS VEGAS—Don’t be alarmed, children. Yes, mommy and daddy really are dragging the new PC from its perch in the office, and placing it flat on the living room coffee table. It’s time to play Monopoly, and everyone’s invited to roll the e-dice.

image: lenovo
The new IdeaCentre Horizon can lay flat or stand at an angle like a traditional desktop.

At CES Sunday, Lenovo unveiled the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, a 27-inch all-in-one that can be laid flat on a table for multi-user, multitouch game play and entertainment. In essence, two or more people can use the “table” surface at the very same time, throwing a whole new spin on PC gaming and creative collaboration.

The Horizon’s 1920x1080 display supports 10-point multitouch, and is intended to reinvent good, old-fashioned family time with Windows 8 versions of classic board games and other touch-oriented pursuits like digital finger painting.

And get this: The Horizon comes with hardware game controllers to augment the newfangled gaming experience. You get an e-dice (it’s unclear exactly how it works; we should know more once we receive our hands-on CES demo) as well as a set of four joysticks and strikers to complement the “part physical, part digital” gaming action, which Lenovo has dubbed “phygital.”

Yes, “phygital.” We’re not sure if this is a word that should be spoken in polite company.

image: lenovo
Real-world testing will prove out how the e-dice works in practice.

It’s all an intriguing proposition. In fact, I love the new game play possibilities that Lenovo and Sony envision with their table-like tablets. But like Sony did a few months ago, Lenovo is announcing the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC with a rather limited set of games. Besides Monopoly, Lenovo has announced partnerships with FishingJoy, Raiding Company, Draw Race 2 HD and King of the Opera (these titles are available for iOS, but weren’t available in the Windows Store at press time). I’d definitely like to see more pure board games added to the mix before the Horizon launches in early summer with prices starting around $1,699.

Oh well, at least you can also use the Lenovo all-in-one to create music tracks in Stagelight, explore painting in various Windows 8 coloring apps, and play “contest games” via a title called Lenovo Best Guess.

When the 1.1-inch thick Horizon isn’t lying flat in family mode, it’s a solid, ultra-thin, all-in-one desktop packed with a nice array of components. You get a Core i7 processor; an Nvidia GeForce GT 620M GPU; up to 8GB of DDR3 memory; and up to 1TB of storage space with an optional 64GB SSD. There’s also a 720p webcam, USB 3.0 and HDMI support, and a 6-in-1 card reader.

Battery life? It’s rated at only two hours. So if you plan on playing Monopoly in the living room with this sucker and you don’t want to thread an extension cord to the middle of the room you may want to avoid the all-to-common “Free Parking House Rule,” or your games will outlast available battery power.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation’s largest consumer electronics show, check out our complete coverage of CES 2013.

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