About a year ago, I wrote an article examining whether there really was a price premium for Apple laptops. My conclusion: yes, in some cases. A short while ago, Apple introduced a new line of iMac all-in-one computers, and, that same day, Dan Holme and I got to debating their merits on Twitter. Dan is a big fan of Lenovo’s all-in-one desktops, about which I knew little, so I decided to do some digging.
I wanted to see if Apple was able to get a price premium for their all-in-one computers compared to comparable Windows 8 machines. Dan said he’s a fan of the Lenovo A720, which looks like a pretty spiffy machine. I went to Lenovo’s site on 23 October and found that there are 4 A720 models ranging in price from $1949 down to $1469. (These were sale prices; the Lenovo site had a prominent banner pointing out that their sale prices would be in effect for a week or so.) The highest-end machine shown on their site was an A720 – 25647CU. Your $1949 buys a quad-core 2.3GHz Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB disk with a 64GB SSD, and a 27″ 1920 x 1080 27″ multi-touch screen. This particular machine also includes a TV tuner and a Blu-ray optical drive. You can’t get a bigger drive, more RAM, or a better graphics card through the usual configure-to-order process.
At that time Apple hadn’t announced availability dates for the new iMacs, so I put this post aside as a draft. I went back to Lenovo’s site on 3 December and found that the A720 models are all listed as “out of stock.” I checked again 19 December and found they were still out of stock. This is odd, given that we are the height of the holiday buying season; rather than a page that says “out of stock- try back later” you’d think Lenovo would be trying to capture my money somehow.
Interestingly, if you use Google or Bing to search for “Lenovo A720,” the first two sponsored results are for Best Buy and Amazon. The Best Buy link 404s, and the Amazon link leads to a single used A720.
So where did the A720s all go?
Searches for phrases like “A720 delay” don’t bring up any results. Perhaps Lenovo is selling A720s as fast as they can make them, or perhaps there’s some issue with their production or distribution. Regardless, if you cannot actually buy one, the question of whether they are less expensive than Apple’s nearest equivalent isn’t very interesting. I look forward to revisiting the question once the A720, or its successor, resurfaces.