Reviews  

Lenovo IdeaCentre A300

Jayesh Shinde 2010-07-22
78 Good
Price: Rs 46,500

Full Review

Launched last month, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 is a slim all-in-one desktop PC with a unique design. It comes with a 22-inch full-HD screen and is aimed at people interested in a compact, eye-catching desktop PC for their living room.

Design
Minimalistic is an apt word for the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC. The IdeaCentre A300 desktop has a slim, thin profile -- its base measures a mere 0.8-inch in thickness, while the 22-inch screen is 0.75-inch thin. Lenovo claims the IdeaCentre A300 to be the slimmest all-in-one desktop PC in the world -- it’s definitely the slimmest all-in-one desktop PC we’ve come across.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 isn’t a performance workhorse but a good-looking, compact all-in-one desktop PC.


The IdeaCentre A300’s screen and base are held together by a solid steel stand attached -- not at the center but -- to the right of the screen, giving the Lenovo all-in-one desktop PC its distinctive asymmetric design. The stand allows the IdeaCentre A300’s 22-inch screen to swivel and tilt. In terms of looks, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 looks beautiful with a smooth white finish all over its body (like the MSI Wind Top AE2220), extending to the keyboard and mouse.

Undoubtedly, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300’s asymmetric design and overall slim, compact profile plays a big part in the all-in-one desktop PC’s appeal, compared to desktops featured in our Best All-in-One Desktop PCs.

Usability
The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC has a 21.5-inch glossy LED-backlit widescreen display supporting a full-HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The screen is nice and bright, has good viewing angles and contrast levels. The screen’s gloss makes colors pop and is good for watching movies. Despite the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300’s asymmetric stand design, its screen is well supported. The webcam grooved into the screen’s top bezel is good for video chats on Skype.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300’s wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse combination works well with the all-in-one desktop PC. The keyboard is snappy with nice big keys that offer very good feedback while typing. Dedicated keys to launch Lenovo Vantage Technologies (LVT) and Web browser are placed on the top right of the IdeaCentre A300’s keyboard -- a dedicated number pad is sorely missed, though. The wireless mouse isn’t too small, isn’t too big -- just the right size and nestles comfortably inside the palm; no complaints here. Both the wireless devices had absolutely no trouble connecting to the IdeaCentre A300.

Hardware Specs & Features
The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 is sold in two flavors: our review sample came with a Dual-Core Intel Pentium T4300 2.1-GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive and onboard Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics. Lenovo also equips the IdeaCentre A300 with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2-GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and onboard Intel GMA X4500 graphics (for a price of Rs. 51,500). The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 isn’t a performance workhorse -- as is evident from its internal hardware. It’s meant to be a good-looking, compact all-in-one desktop PC.

But having said that, Lenovo doesn’t skimp on features. The IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC comes with four USB ports, an 8-in-1 card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth connectivity, and audio in-out jacks. The Lenovo all-in-one desktop PC also packs in a FireWire port, dedicated HDMI in and HDMI out ports, not to mention a TV Tuner port as well -- the only thing missing is a DVD drive. Compared to other all-in-one desktop PCs we’ve reviewed, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 has a very good feature set. It, however, doesn’t come with a touch-input screen.

Like we saw on the Lenovo IdeaCentre B500, the IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC comes with a selection of useful Lenovo software; particularly the Lenovo Vantage Technologies and Lenovo Rescue System -- OneKey backup and recovery tool is very useful. The Lenovo A300 all-in-one desktop PC also comes with CrazyTalk’s Cam Suite software to add fun to your video chats.

Performance

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 doesn’t win any performance crowns, given its internal hardware. With a WorldBench 6 score of 80, the IdeaCentre A300 isn’t as fast-paced as the IdeaCentre B500, MSI Wind Top AE2220, or Dell Studio One 19 all-in-one desktop PCs. The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC offers adequate performance for its intended usage -- which is mainly watching movies in your living room, with day-to-day computer usage thrown in. Strictly no gaming, here.

Watching DVD movies with an external optical drive was a good experience on the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 all-in-one desktop PC. Watching 720p HD video samples was a nice experience on the IdeaCentre A300, but it couldn’t quite handle smooth 1080p HD video playback. Similarly, streaming HD 720p YouTube videos was nice and smooth. There isn’t much scope for the Lenovo A300’s onboard speakers -- they are tinny -- you’ll have to have a good external audio setup. With a TV Tuner card, you can use the IdeaCentre A300 as a TV as well.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo IdeaCentre retails for a price of Rs. 46,500. For that price you get a lifestyle all-in-one desktop PC that offers average performance (compared to the IdeaCentre B500 or MSI Wind Top AE2220) but is high on style and design. It’s style over substance, so prioritize your expectations accordingly.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 is all about its slim, asymmetric design. If you want a compact, space-saving desktop PC for your living room with a style statement, include the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 on your shortlist. We highly recommend the Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 variant of the IdeaCentre A300 over our test unit, as it packs better hardware. For more information, check Lenovo India's page for IdeaCentre A300.

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