It turns out that I was perhaps a little hasty in dismissing the Lenovo A720. If you use the link that Google and Bing offer when searching for “Lenovo A720,” the Best Buy page you get says that the product couldn’t be found; searching for the SKU embedded in the link returns no results. However, searching Best Buy’s site itself for “Lenovo A720” does bring up a grand total of 1 A720 configuration: 6GB of RAM, 2.5GHz Core i5, 1TB hard drive, and a 1920×1080 27″ multitouch display with a BluRay player.
Best Buy shows that they have the A720 in stock, but only for shipping; it’s not in stores. I didn’t try to order one, so it’s possible that they are exaggerating their stock on hand.
The least expensive 27″ iMac is $1799, which buys you more RAM (8GB), a faster CPU (2.9GHz Core i5), and a 2560×1440 screen. The iMac lacks the A720’s touchscreen, but it can be configured with a larger hard drive (including Apple’s Fusion hybrid SSD/conventional disk) and more RAM (max of 32GB vice the A720’s 8GB.)
Is this a price premium? For your $300, you get a higher-resolution (and, probably, higher-quality; Apple’s iMac displays are very, very good) display, more RAM, and a faster CPU, but you lose the touchscreen. I am not convinced of the value of touchscreens for desktops for the kind of work that I do, so that might not be a bad tradeoff.
However, the iMac isn’t itself available from Apple’s website until January, so the comparison is a bit of a moot point as this juncture. I’ll write another post once the highest-end models from both vendors are actually, y’know, shipping; comparing vaporware or you-can’t-have-it-ware is pretty pointless.