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High-end features in a minimalist PC package

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre all-in-one PCs have long been a popular option for home and home office use thanks to their versatility and compact nature. All-in-ones are sort of a middle-ground between laptop and desktop, featuring a built-in display, all required performance hardware, ports, and included wireless keyboard and mouse. The specific design used for the seventh-gen IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 is sturdier than previous models thanks to a two-arm display stand ring, it’s compact enough that you’d think it’s just a monitor, and it has excellent speakers and webcam.

It’s equipped with Intel’s 12th and 13th-generation H-series mobile CPUs, it can be configured with Intel Arc discrete graphics, and the touch display is colorful and bright. It has a lot going for it, but there are some blind spots (like port selection and fan noise) that might cause you to look at some other great PCs for working from home. I’ve been using the IdeaCentre AIO for a week to test it out and, ultimately, help determine whether it’s worth your money.

About this review: Lenovo supplied an IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) for review and had no input on the content of this article.

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7)

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) is a well-rounded PC that can solve your home or home office computing needs. It has an excellent camera array and speaker setup, the 100Hz QHD display is colorful and bright, and you get snappy performance from the H-series Intel CPUs.

Memory
16GB DDR5-4800
Graphics
Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
CPU
12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H
Storage
512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Ports
USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), USB-C 2.0 (Gen 2), USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), USB-A 2.0, HDMI 2.1 (in), HDMI 2.1 (out), RJ45 Ethernet, 3.5mm audio
Networking
Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Display
27 inches, 2560×1440 (QHD), 16:9 aspect ratio, 100Hz refresh rate, touch, anti-glare, IPS
Pros

  • Excellent camera and speakers
  • Smooth 27-inch QHD display with 100Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Overall sleek design, stand includes Qi wireless charging
Cons

  • Stale ports, no Thunderbolt 4
  • Fans run loud when CPU is under load
  • SSD is slow for PCIe 4.0

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7): Pricing and availability

  • 12th and 13th Gen Intel Core H-series CPUs available
  • Models start at about $1,000

The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27, now in its seventh generation, is available to purchase at Lenovo’s official website as well as some third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. If you’re buying straight from Lenovo, prices start at about $1,320 for a model with 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and QHD display.

Looking at Amazon, a model with 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and QHD display costs about $1,000. While Lenovo first introduced the IdeaCentre AIO 5i with 12th Gen Intel hardware, it has since added newer 13th Gen Intel Raptor Lake processors for improved performance and efficiency. If possible, we recommend going with the newer CPUs for better future-proofing. However, the 12th Gen H-series chips are still quite potent if you can’t manage to find a 13th Gen model.

While Lenovo seems keen on offering up the Core i7 CPUs, Best Buy has a model with Core i5-12500H chip, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD for about $1,240. All models come with an included wireless keyboard and mouse. I used these accessories while testing the AIO; they’re a solid starting point, but you’ll likely want to upgrade to something better if you’re regularly using the PC.

Design and features: A 27-inch monitor hiding a desktop PC

  • Clean all-in-one design with built-in 5W speakers
  • Pop-up 5MP camera with IR facial recognition
  • Stand doubles as a Qi wireless charger

Lenovo has tested and applied many different AIO designs over the years, and this experimentation is still evident in the full range of IdeaCentre models. Some PCs have a larger or smaller base, some have one display support emanating from the base, and some have no real base at all, and instead just use a coiled tube for a futuristic look. The IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) that I have for review, however, sticks with a more simple stand and support that provides plenty of monitor stability — something that was sorely lacking from some other AIOs — as well as a clean look.

The AIO base has a wedge shape for a slimmer look, and Lenovo has included a Qi wireless charging pad in the base to keep your phone topped up. A notch along the front in which you can stand your phone to easier receive notifications or calls while working at your PC is a nice touch. The base attaches to the monitor portion with a closed ring that allows for up to 25 degrees of tilt. The support ring has a polished silver finish that offsets the otherwise Storm Grey color quite nicely. A small clip can be attached to one of the arms for better cable management.

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Just above where the support ring attaches to the main display portion is an exhaust vent for the cooling system, and just below is the vast majority of ports. Selection is a bit disappointing, with many older ports still hanging on. USB-A 2.0 and USB-C 2.0 (Gen 2) make an appearance, joined by more modern USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) and USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2). There’s HDMI in (for using the AIO’s display as a secondary monitor for another PC), HDMI 2.1 out, RJ45 Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The left side of the display also has a USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1) port that’s easier to plug into for quick accessory hookups.

Lack of an SD or microSD card reader hurts some workflows, and there’s no Thunderbolt for high-performance connections. One thing I do appreciate is the AC plug going straight into the AIO without the need for a bulky charging block sitting somewhere behind your desk. It contributes to the overall clean look of the PC.

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The top of the AIO has an impressive pop-up camera array. The webcam is set at 5MP for a clear picture, and most come with an IR camera for facial recognition through Windows Hello. You can add an AI chip to the array if required; this should add human presence detection and auto screen dimming for those who like a more automated setup. The Lenovo Vantage app has an auto-exposure toggle as well as sliders for brightness and contrast. When not in use, you can slide the array back into the case for extra privacy. Next to the pop-up camera array are two microphones to capture your voice.

The speaker setup is as impressive as the camera array. Two 5W speakers with JBL certification are built into the bottom edge of the display portion. They get very loud without distorting or crackling, making them ideal for listening to music or for video conferencing. Sound feels like it’s coming straight at you, and there’s even a decent amount of bass. I had this AIO setup up in my dining room area, and I used to it play music each time I cooked dinner or cleaned up in the adjacent kitchen.

On that note, it should be mentioned that the IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 can fit into plenty of setups. It didn’t look out of place in a common area (kids can tackle homework and light gaming), and it also looks great in an office for a more focused workflow. The 27-inch size is very popular when it comes to regular monitors, balancing screen real estate and desktop bulk quite well.

Display: Colorful and smooth picture

  • 27-inch touch display with 1440p resolution
  • 100Hz refresh rate, 100% sRGB color
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The IdeaCentre’s 27-inch touch display is an ideal size for most people, offering up enough screen real estate to easily multitask but not being so large that it dominates a desktop. And if you’re looking for something a bit more compact, Lenovo has a 24-inch version that’s largely the same when it comes to features and performance.

Lenovo lists both touch and non-touch versions of this display, though the touch version seems to be much more common. It’s a nice addition that lets you quickly navigate without a mouse. The bezel around the display’s top and sides is quite thin, with a slightly larger (and stylized) chin; it adds up to a modern look that competes with some of the best monitors out there.

The 2560×1440 (QHD) resolution gives you more pixels per inch than 1080p, and the boosted 100Hz refresh rate makes everything look extra smooth. I was immediately impressed upon booting up the PC, and right out of the box it offers respectable color reproduction. I tested 100% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 86% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, as well as up to 367 nits of brightness. The anti-glare finish helps deal with bright lights, and I had no problems using the PC in a well-lit room.

This isn’t a PC you’ll want to buy for specialized design and development work, but it has the right specs to deliver something like a quality photo editing experience. And for everything else, know that you’re getting a full and colorful picture that can get bright enough to be used in a sunny room.

Performance: Loud fans under load

  • Great for home office or family computing
  • Fans do get loud under load
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The IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) comes equipped with either a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H, Core i7-12700H, 13th Gen Intel Core i5-13500H, or Core i7-13700H. Both of the Core i7 chips have 14 cores, 20 threads, and a 24MB cache, though the 13th Gen version hits up to a 3.7GHz clock on its Efficient cores (compared to 3.5GHz) and up to a 5.0GHz clock on its Performance cores (compared to 4.7GHz). Both Core i7 CPUs deliver a lot of power, but the newer 13th Gen version will edge out and likely run a bit more efficiently.

Most models stick with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, though Lenovo does list Intel’s discrete A370M GPU in some documentation. Considering there’s quite a bit of fan noise already when taxing the system with multiple cores, not adding an integrated GPU by default in all models was probably for the best. This isn’t a gaming PC, and sticking with an integrated GPU helps keep the price down. The good news is that the PC remains whisper quiet when tackling single-core and otherwise lightweight work.

The IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 is best used in a home office or family room setting where it can zip through homework and productivity. Sure, the integrated graphics can handle some light gaming — Intel has done a great job with its Iris Xe technology — and it can handle cloud streaming, but this shouldn’t be purchased with gaming first on the list of priorities. Adding a discrete A370M GPU, if possible, will certainly add some graphics power, but again I’m not sure how well the PC would keep itself cool when it’s already quite loud with just the CPU being taxed. If you’re looking for a PC that can better handle games, you’ll be better off checking out our collection of the best gaming PCs.

I ran some benchmarks to see how the IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) compares to other PCs we’ve recently reviewed.

Benchmark

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Core i7-12700H)

HP Omen 16 (Core i7-12700H)

Acer Swift Edge (Ryzen 7 6800U)

Lenovo ThinkPad T16 (Core i7-1270P)

Geekbench 5 (single / multi)

1,633 / 9,024

1,780 / 12,587

1,469 / 7,592

1,680 / 7,984

PCMark 10

5,629

7,119

5,762

5,388

Cinebench R23 (single / multi)

1,719 / 13,227

1,729 / 16,833

1,382 / 9,654

1,664 / 7,540

CrossMark (overall)

1,538

1,769

N/A

1,514

CrystalDiskMark (read / write)

3,692 / 3,342

N/A

N/A

N/A

The 12th Gen Core i7-12700H puts up decent numbers in Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R23, but it’s easily outpaced by the i7-12700H in the HP Omen 16 gaming laptop. However, it comes out well ahead of the Core i7-1260P and Ryzen 7 6800U. It’s not the best performance that we’ve seen from a Core i7-12700H, but it’s still snappy enough to handle most tasks. The only real disappointment here is the CrystalDiskMark score; despite the PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, speeds are closer to what’s expected from high-end PCIe 3.0.

Should you buy the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7)?

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You should buy the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) if:

  • You’d like a full desktop PC that’s no larger than a standard 27-inch monitor
  • You need a PC for home and home office work
  • You value a high-quality webcam and loud built-in speakers

You should not buy the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) if:

  • You want a dedicated gaming PC
  • You don’t have room for a 27-inch monitor (check out the IdeaCentre AIO 5i 24)
  • You prefer separating your PC and monitor for easier maintenance and replacement

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) is a well-built, sturdy PC that lands you everything you need to operate in one fairly compact package. The stand is sturdy and has a built-in Qi wireless charger, the two arms of the full ring allow for a bit of tilt action (though no swivel or rotation), and the main display portion is no larger than most standard monitors despite all the performance hardware contained inside.

Lenovo didn’t skimp on the display, offering up a 27-inch touchscreen with QHD resolution, excellent color reproduction, and plenty of brightness to go along with the anti-glare finish. Its boosted 100Hz refresh rate helps makes everything look smoother, and the ultimate result is impressive. It’s a great display. The pop-up camera array and dual 5W speakers are equally impressive, and you shouldn’t feel the need to buy extra hardware to get a clear picture or loud and clear sound.

Performance from the Core i7-12700H CPU is a tad underwhelming compared to similar chips in other systems, but it still has enough juice to easily cut through productivity work, student homework, heavy web browsing, multitasking, and light gaming. This isn’t a gaming PC and shouldn’t be treated as such, but it can handle a bit of fun. If you can look past the stale port selection and don’t mind a bit of fan noise when you’re pushing the system, this should be a worthwhile investment for your home or home office.

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Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7)

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre AIO 5i 27 (Gen 7) is a well-rounded desktop PC with a gorgeous display, quality camera and speakers, and overall sturdy and minimalist design. It’s not the fastest PC out there, but it will handle office and home work with ease.

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