Reviews  

Lenovo IdeaCentre B300

Jayesh Shinde 2010-08-26
PCWorld No.4 All-In-One Desktops
79 Good
Price: Rs 38,200

Full Review

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 is a 20-inch all-in-one desktop PC targeted at a budget-conscious customer looking to replace their old, aging desktop PC. Equipped with a 3.03-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics, the IdeaCentre B300 makes a strong case for a basic home desktop.

Design
The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 is part of Lenovo’s B series of home all-in-one desktops, and it bears a strong resemblance to its older 23-inch cousin, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B500. The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 has a large photo-frame design that’s slim and its encased in solid, glossy black plastic all around. Unlike the ThinkCentre A70z’s steel stand, the IdeaCentre B300 has a tough plastic stand which allows the B300 desktop PC to tilt backwards.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 performs well for a basic home all-in-one desktop PC.


The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 all-in-one desktop PC has a pronounced screen bezel all around. Below the screen are placed the desktop’s twin onboard speakers and a row of buttons to adjust the IdeaCentre B300 screen’s brightness or to switch it off. Optical drive is situated on the desktop’s right edge and some connectivity ports are placed on the B300’s left edge. Heat vents are situated near the top of the screen’s back panel. A very well designed all-in-one desktop PC, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B300, and well built as well.

Usability
The centrepiece of the Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 is its 20-inch widescreen display. It supports a resolution of 1600x900 pixels and is matte in nature. The screen is very well lit, nice and bright, and has good viewing angles. Watching movies isn’t as great compared to the glossy displays of the Dell Studio One 19 and MSI Wind Top AE2220 desktops, but still pretty good. However, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B300’s screen doesn’t support touch input.

The IdeaCentre B300’s accompanying keyboard and mouse are one of the best we’ve come across in all our time spent reviewing all-in-one desktop PCs. The keyboard, especially, has raised, closely packed keys that are effortless to type on -- it’s by far the best typing experience on a keyboard we’ve come across. The keyboard has a dedicated button (top right) to launch LVT or Lenovo Vantage Technologies. The included USB-connected mouse fits the palm nicely and nice to use.

Hardware Specs and Features

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 all-in-one desktop PC has very good hardware building blocks for a basic home desktop PC. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 3.03-GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 640GB hard drive, and discrete ATI Radeon HD 5450 gaphics. The graphics card isn’t really for gaming, but every other day-to-day home application will be handled well by the IdeaCentre B300’s hardware. However, upgrading the desktop’s hard drive or RAM isn’t an option at all -- the casing can’t be opened.

For connectivity options, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 has six USB ports, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, multicard reader, headphone and microphone jacks. It has a tray-loading DVD writer on its right edge and PS/2 keyboard port at the back. But the desktop doesn’t come with a serial connector or HDMI or eSATA ports. Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support.

Much like the IdeaCentre B500, Lenovo also bundles in its proprietay Lenovo Vantage Technologies suite for system maintenance, update, and rescue and recovery tools (OneKey recovery) on the IdeaCentre B300 desktop. This not only helps keep your IdeaCentre B300 updated with the latest hardware and software drivers but also makes managing it a lot easier.

Performance
The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 performs well for a basic home all-in-one desktop PC. Its WorldBench score of 100 is very good -- working with day-to-day programs and apps for a home environment won’t be a problem at all. Even watching both 720p and 1080p HD videos on the desktop’s matte screen was a good experience -- not the best but pretty good. The IdeaCentre B300’s accompanying onboard audio was one of the better ones we heard -- not as loud as the onboard speakers on the IdeaCentre B500 but nice and clear.

Gaming at the desktop’s native screen resolution (1600x900) on the ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card isn’t a great experience. Basically, if you expect to game on the IdeaCentre B300 desktop PC, you’re looking at the wrong option. This is a very good home entertainment and multimedia all-in-one desktop PC, not a gaming rig.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B300 all-in-one desktop PC sells for a price of Rs. 38,200. For that price, you get a very good basic all-in-one home desktop with slim design and decent value for money. It doesn't have every connectivity option under the sun, but has a nice matte screen, offers very good performance, and performs well as a multimedia home entertainment PC.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre B500 is obviously better than the IdeaCentre B300, and you should consider it if you’re willing to stretch your budget. If you desire a touchscreen-enabled all-in-one desktop PC for your home, check out the MSI Wind Top AE2220. But for 38,000, you won’t go wrong with the Lenovo IdeaCentre B300.

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