Lenovo, while the company has been at it’s ears in laptop designing, such as the highly notable Air 13 Pro- a.k.a. it’s obvious stab at the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air, the tech giant has a couple of gaming PCs to freshen up its lineup. Shown off at the Gamescon event in Cologne, Germany, both towers come from the IdeaCentre family, dubbed the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube and the IdeaCentre all-in-one AIO Y910. Both Windows 10 desktops are compact, highly powerful, VR-ready, and, well of course, quite crazy looking (but that goes with the territory).
See, when you take a glance at the desktop PC market these days, it’s most definitely not doing as well as it used to be. Not that good things aren’t out there, but multiple companies (ahem, Alienware, MSI, Acer, Dell, Asus) are making mobile PC gaming hard to beat. They’re simply more desirable than they used to be, with all their power standing straight up against that which normally comes in a much larger, desktop form-factor.
But these desktops from Lenovo are being marketed as VR-capable, ready to take on highly demanding virtual reality applications. Heck, they have the graphics quality that can handle both the HTV Vive and Oculus Rift. To start, let’s consider the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube desktop, a pretty mobile, easy to carry package with a built-in carry handle. Its buddy, the AIO Y910 is said to be easy to take places as well. The Y710 Cube is small for a desktop at 16.3 pounds. It features an Intel 6th gen Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chip, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, up to 2TB of hard disk drive space, and even room for a 256GB SSD. There’s support for 4K gaming, VR, and amazing video streaming with Dolby Audio. Additionally, there’s something Lenovo calls KillerTM DoubleShot Pro Wi-Fi to boot.
As far as connectivity, you can expect 4 USB ports, two 3.0’s on the front, one 3.0 and one 2.0 on the rear. Hmm, what about most gaming laptops, which feature at least a USB or two on the keyboard, considering you’d want to plug in at least a mouse and headset? As a consensus, this computer doesn’t have enough ports for full connectivity freedom. Not related to helping connectivity, the Cube happens to have an extra perk for Xbox lovers- an Xbox One Wireless receiver, supporting up to 8 Xbox One controllers for gaming with friends, plus a controller of your very own. That is SO much stuff; so much compatibility for gaming. Plus, if you desire, get the bundle that comes with beautifully matched peripherals, including the Y Series Gaming Precision Mouse.
Then we have the AIO Y910, the all-in-one machine, that is well, attempting to do just that. Most of its specs match the desktop unit (including the GTX 1080, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive or 256GB of regular storage, and an Intel Core i7 chip). The difference is the desktop setup, complete with a 27-inch display monitor, featuring a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution, a borderless panel, a 144Hz refresh rate, as well as 5ms response time.
Despite Lenovo dubbing its Y710 “the console conqueror”, which I would agree with considering all the Xbox compatibility and some of the highest specs around to handle 4K gaming, VR, and high-quality streaming, your average Joe may not be able to scrunge up the dough for a desktop, as it starts at $1,299. As for the Y910, which is also VR-ready, has a display worth talking about, something that could make your gaming sesh worth inviting your friends over for. Additionally, there is also a pair of 5W Harmon Kardon speakers, and a 7.1 channel Dolby Audio connector for external sound. It’s touted as the all-in-one PC that can also show its worth as a gaming machine, and It sure sounds like this could be true. The AIO Y910 starts at $1,799, but of course you can up the specs to your liking, which will inherently up the price significantly.
All the VR happening in tech has to mean its the next big thing, right? I mean, if we sit and ponder its worth, how much do we actually know about its current, or near future? It’s as if we are building these types of mad machines for handling what is necessary when gaming in VR. I think the entire role of VR is still in development, meaning, still trying to reach mainstream gamer audiences. PC gamers are very used to their type of habitat. They game in their room, at their desks, or now their mobile workstations, and “tra-la-la” they are fine. Until we start seeing the numbers roll in regarding who is VR gaming on the consumer level, I can't help but keep picturing this all as an experiment. Not to make a literal comparison but, like Google Glass, which was particular, niched, and truly made for the dorks that desired such a thing, we have yet to know how VR will actually affect the lives of the people around us.
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