lenovo-y910-aio_2017_01All-in-One PC has evolved from “Familly computers” limited by their relatively thin form-factor, they have now become one of the best-selling categories this year. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y910 AiO breathes Gaming Performance (including VR-Capability) into the All-in-One category, opening a Pandora box that will never be close from now on.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y910 AiO should have been called Lenovo Legion Y920 AiO. The thing is: Lenovo went public with this computer before the “Lenovo Legion” gaming brand was made official at CES 2017. Therefore, the closest line of product that it would fit in is the IdeaCentre, which is typically family/productivity oriented. This is not your regular IdeaCentre computer (not that there anything wrong with productivity computers, lol).

Display: good, image quality could be better

“The display is the computer” – this line which NVIDIA came up with fits the all-in-one category. The Y920 AiO display uses LCD TN technology, which offers some (but not all) benefits of LCD IPS, and historically had the better ratio between price, (image) quality and fast response time. Although IPS LCD have come down in price, this is still true overall. As such, this makes this display an excellent candidate for a gaming computer.

Quick display specs:

  • 27” (2560×1440) 144Hz LCD TN with AMD FreeSync support.
  • Monitor-only mode (HDMI-in)
  • 96% RGB gamut, 75% Adobe RGB gamut
  • 340 Nit brightness, 5ms response time
  • 144 FPS games possible at 1080p

One thing that some of you may notice is that the display is compatible with AMD FreeSync stutter-free technology, while it may ship with an NVIDIA GPU, which has NVIDIA G-Sync, a similar, but otherwise incompatible technology.

Important: The Y920 AiO computers configured with NVIDIA GPUs will not have a stutter-free technology because the screen is only AMD FreeSync compatible. I don’t see a Y910 AiO model with AMD GPU on the Lenovo website at publishing time, but sources tell me that Lenovo should come up with an AMD option at some point. You can visit the official site, or contact Lenovo directly to inquire about “when/where”.

In theory, it would be possible to support both G-Sync and FreeSync, because the technologies are very similar. However, my understanding is that this is a licensing (and licensing fee) issue, with NVIDIA being the most expensive option (by $100, says AMD). One possible solution would be to choose the standard at order time, but there won’t be such an option.

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That aside, the display looks decent with a resolution of 2560×1440 (called WQHD) and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. When we played with it, the image quality was quite acceptable. It’s fair to say that you can easily find better image quality among PC monitors. However, most of those monitors would not be “gaming friendly” (fast refresh, response), so it’s an important distinction to make.

The image quality and view angle could use some improvements. Although view angle is typically not an issue for single-user computers, this monitor tends to color-shift quickly as you look at an angle. In terms of image quality, it is not better than my 10 year old Dell 3007WFP or my more recent Samsung S27C750 monitors.

This weakness will cost this computer in our final review score, but I think that the image quality is not a problem for gaming, but I would not recommend this monitor for graphic design and photo retouching purposes. Multi-monitor users can of course alleviate this with a secondary screen (max 4K/60FPS via HDMI).

"AT 1080P, SOME GAMES CAN EVEN HIT 144HZ"The 2560×1440 resolution is a fine choice. On the one hand, the GPU should be fast enough to play many current games at 60FPS at the native resolution. On the other hand, the text and interface are sharp and clear. If you decide to play at 1080p (with scaling), some games can even hit the maximum 144Hz rate.

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From the front, the monitor bezels seem  thin, and to keep that design element, Lenovo has embedded the Intel Realsense webcam into a retractable chassis. Note that even when a camera is tucked in, it remains fully functional, which means that it will activate and try to use Windows Hello etc… the audio is still fully functional too. If someone hacks the microphone, it will work. This is usually true for PC webcams that have a mechanical privacy option.

It’s a good idea because the computer is not designed to be super-slim. Intel RealSense webcams are 3D capable, like the Xbox Kinect camera. For everyday usage, Windows 10 Hello can let you log-in using a 3D scan of your face (it works well, and only takes ~2 seconds).

In the future, I hope that Lenovo would even come up with 30”, 32” or even 34” versions of this computer.

Filed in Gaming >Reviews. Read more about All-in-one, CES, CES 2017, Gaming Pc, Lenovo and Lenovo reviews.

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