Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another iMac Killer: The Lenovo A600

Todays the day that Apple will be making it's final appearance at MacWorld, but in the meantime, to show just how influential Apple has become, it's been announced that another major PC manufacturer, Lenovo, has officially jumped into the iMac inspired, all-in-one computer race, a race that not long ago was a one-horse show that belonged exclusively to Apple with it's sleek line of Mac computers.

Apple, of course, wasn't the first company to come out with an all-in-one, but it was Apple that single-handedly kept cranking them out for years and, naturally, when people think of all-in-ones, they think of Apple and the Mac. Ever since then, however, PC manufacturer's such as Dell, Gateway, Avertec, eMachines and others, have all entered the all-in-one PC market, and now we can also add Lenovo to the mix and it's iMac wannabe killer, the IdeaCentre A600.

Speaking of the latest iMac killer, the A600 is another black beauty with some very unique differences. One of those differences is it's rather strange curvy shape! The shape is up for debate. Some might find it sleek and appealing, while others still rather odd looking. Myself, I'm not really sure - I think it looks sexy, but yet, at the same time, rather a little odd looking too.  

Shape aside, this baby has a lot of features packed into it, including a beautiful 21 inch monitor with a 16:9 (1900x1,080) resolution. That's not all folks - no way - this baby just happens to throw in something that no Mac, up until now at least, has ever had, namely - a built-in Blu-ray drive and a HDTV tuner. And this beauty even sports a Dolby-certified "Tru-Hi-Def" logos to prove it's credentials.

Another unique feature is it's remote. This multi-remote isn't your fathers remote, no way, because this baby not only controls your TV tuner, it also acts as a wireless keyboard and mouse, but even more than that -  it can even work just like a Wiimote gaming controller! This is the first, I believe, for any desktop computer. I also like the fact that the A600 built-in web cam can act as a biometric login device with the A600's included Veriface security software.

PCMagazine  states the following: 

"Like all new Lenovo systems, the IdeaCentre 600 comes with Lenovo's Rescue and Recovery system, which can recover a hard drive to factory specs or to user-driven backup points. The Rescue system can also do an antivirus scan and sweep even if the system can't boot into Windows, as well as recover data to an external device or a special system partition if the hard drive becomes damaged and won't boot."

That's a nice touch and even though I'm not sure about whether or not I like the A600's 'bent' or curvy shape, I have to admit that it's a pretty impressive machine. It's biggest flaw, unfortunately, is not of it's making, namely that it runs the much maligned Vista OS. Of course, one advantage that any owner of this black beauty can take comfort in, is knowing that Windows 7 should be out, or so says Microsoft, something later this year or early next. With a half decent OS this is a worthy competitor to any iMac, at least in the hardware department, that I have yet seen. Too bad this thing couldn't legally run OS X. If it did, then it would definitely be a machine that I would personally consider in purchasing and owning, as well as many others.

Of course, as nice as Lenovo's first all-in-one desktop is, I'm sure that future Lenovo's will be even more impressive. This Chinese powerhouse has already produced, in the IdeaCentre A600, a hot computer with a very cool look that many will feel right at home with. 

However, just as Lenovo won't be standing still with the A600, neither will Apple or it's iMac line of computers. Today, at MacWorld, it's expected that Apple will be updating not only  it's baby computer,  the Mac Mini and the 17 inch MacBook Pro, but also, as well, the iMac itself. The biggest and most important update to any new iMac, or for that matter, any previous iMac model, will be the forth coming Snow Leopard version of OS X, Apple's next major OS update that Phil Schiller should be shedding a lot more light on this afternoon.

Speculation is that Apple is about to up the ante with a high-end iMac featuring a whopping 28 inch monitor! Take that A600!  Some are even speculating that Apple might be including OLED monitors, but that is something I sincerely doubt, especially for the 28 inch model, if indeed they are forth coming. Again, I don't think OLED's computers, PC or Mac's, are coming to a desktop anytime soon, because, unfortunately, they are just too expensive, at this time, to manufacture and, frankly, when you consider that Sony charges about $1,200 for an 11 inch OLED TV, well you can just imagine how much a 28 inch monitor would go for! But, boy-oh-boy, wouldn't it be lovely if they could and would?

The A series of Lenovo computers, including the new A600, have a lot going for them and I only hope that Apple would at least consider adopting some of it's many features, such as including an HD TV tuner, and, even more so for that Wiimote like remote controller! The biometric login feature would also be cool and together they would be truly awesome to see in any Mac, so don't just pussy-foot around - start your photo copiers Cupertino!  

And thats my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, January 06 , 2009

A600 Photo via:  PCMagazine


Jan said...

You're right, the design is a little odd, takes a lot to get used to. But Lenovo has got to differentiate itself, so there it is.

I am a lover of children's literature said...

Thanks Jan for your comment. Apparently, according to some who have played with the machine first hand, not only does the new A600 look worse in person, but it's Wii like remote is very flaky and works like crap! Too bad for that.