As I was looking for a top-notch gaming machine that wouldn’t cost me a fortune, I ran across two great but surprising options. I was already prepared for getting stuck with a graphics card that I’d have to swap out for a better one (that was specifically designed for optimum gaming performance) but both got around this problem, albeit in different ways.
The first, the Lenovo K450, was actually built with gaming expandability in mind. See, they didn’t put in a discreet graphics card, giving you the option to easily add your own without any tools. If you don’t plan to use it for intense gaming, its integrated graphics still can handle anything you want to throw at it. It also has a 3 speed power control switch so you can dial its power up or down, depending on how you’re using it: red for speed and power, blue for normal use, and green for quiet, energy-saving use.
The K450 seemed perfect but as I was about to buy it (with a discount) my wife brought up a good point – getting this would mean I would spend even more time shut in my office, depriving her and our kids of “quality family time.” Hmm. That’s when I decided to go with the other Lenovo computer I had been looking at. “Aha,” I said, “Then I’ll get one that is perfect for family game night. How’s that?” She looked at me skeptically, so I explained...
The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is a great desktop computer, but what really makes it special is that it is also a “tabletop” computer. Basically, it’s a huge, 27 inch, portable tablet – think of it as a computerized game-board that you lay flat and whole family gathers around to play. After looking at it online, my 10 year old son said that it makes an iPad look like a wimp.
Upright, it’s a standard touch-based desktop. However, when you lay it flat it automatically switches operating systems from Windows 8 to a different one to called Aura. This is where things really get cool. A wheel appears on the screen that lets you spin it to various categories, including many pre-loaded games like Monopoly, Air Hockey, etc. Up to four people can play at once and it can be used as a TV. “See?, I said, “Perfect for quality family time.”
The kids immediately said “Get that one!,” so we did. I postponed getting the K450...but just for a little while. Someday soon, it will be mine.
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