London - They used to say that the family that prays together stays together.
But if you believe one technology company, computing together is now the best way to get on with your relatives.
Lenovo has unveiled a computer the size of a coffee table that works like a giant iPad and can be used by up to four people at once.
The hope is that the machine, called the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, will become the social focus of the home instead of people using their laptops on their own in their bedrooms.
The “interpersonal computer” is supposedly different from a personal computer, because it works with multiple users.
But its main selling point is the 27in screen, which is the same size as eight of the Apple tablets.
Laid on its back, the machine is the size of a small table. Families will be able to play games such as roulette or Monoply using various apps.
The computer can also store photos and films, which the whole family can easily flick through together, just as if they were all looking at a photo album. The Horizon was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Lenovo had a 39in widescreen version, although there is no release date set for that.
In a demonstration, spreading five fingers at once on the screen cleared it of clutter such as photos and videos, while squeezing them together brought the photos and videos back.
The Horizon can handle up to ten fingers touching it at the same time, said Lenovo, a Chinese company that owns IBM’s former PC business.
The computer, which has a battery life of two hours, can be rested on top of a table.
If you want to play the electronic version of Monopoly in the old-fashioned way, you can put the computer on the floor. Other games will include air hockey, which has a ‘part physical, part digital’ element.
The pushers are real, but the puck, goals and other features of game are electronic.
For those who don’t want to socialise around the screen, the 1.1in thick Horizon can be put against the wall and used as an ultra-thin desktop- style computer.
It has 1terabyte of memory, a webcam, a wi-fi connection, and the same specifications as a Windows 8 touchscreen computer.
For those with a larger family – and a larger budget – also on show in Las Vegas was an 84in tablet-style PC from computer firm 3M, although no price has yet been set for it. - Daily Mail