Lenovo A600 First Look Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (29,697)

The IdeaCentre A600 is a new All-In-One desktop offering a 1080p display, 3D motion controlled games, and integrated HDTV tuner from Lenovo. With a starting price of $699, Lenovo is undercutting most of the competition, and still able to offer options that no one else has thought of yet. Check out our first look of the new IdeaCentre A600 and see what Lenovo has up its sleeve with this new All-In-One desktop.

Be sure to check out our FULL review of the IdeaCentre A600 here!

Build and Design
The A600 IdeaCentre is sleek and elegant, with a lot of thought and planning put into the design by Lenovo. The front bezel is comprised of glass which also covers the screen to protect it from fingerprints and scratches. Underneath the screen is a speaker bar that tucks back towards the hinge, which besides looking great also is a functional space to push your keyboard up into for storage. The top and side edges are mostly closed off, textured with a rough matte finish at the top, and changing to a smooth glossy finish at the bottom near the ports and slot-loading optical drive. Along the bottom edge and a small band on the rear cover are the only vents for the case, with straight slots or right angle corners making up the holes. I am almost ashamed to admit it, but it took me a while to spot the slot-loading optical drive. It blends in very well near one of the panel transition lines, and fits with the design of the computer. Overall I think the A600 is probably one of the best looking All-In-One desktops I have seen.

Build quality of the case and included accessories is well above average. The front glass panel covering the screen feels very durable and will likely hold up well over time. There are some minor optical distortions on the glass surface that you can see when the screen is off or showing black backgrounds that looks odd, but it is not visible in any other situation. The case is made from thick rugged plastic, with no flex or creaking even when you are lugging the entire computer from room to room. The screen hinge lets you pivot the display forward about 15 degrees or back 5 degrees and stays put to the adjusted position.

The included wireless keyboard (with touchpad), wireless laser mouse, and 3D motion controller all feel great compared to some of the “free” components usually included with some computers. The keyboard is one of the nicer wireless units we have seen in the office, sporting a very thin profile, and featuring mouse controls with an onboard touchpad. The keyboard is designed to work on your lap or being held with both hands for navigation, with the touchpad on the right side (with left and right buttons) and a button on the left side that works as a left mouse button for selecting items. The coolest feature of the A600 IdeaCentre by far is the media remote/gyroscopic mouse/VOIP handset/game controller. It can work as a presentation controller, moving the pointer around the screen with basic gyroscopic control, with left and right mouse buttons located near the center of the remote. It also has full controls for Windows Media Center and can function as a wireless handset to make calls through VOIP software, with a microphone and speaker built into it. Finally it acts as a Wiimote style controller for various included games, using the gyroscopic control to interact with games. I personally think Lenovo should advertise this as the all-in-one remote with included desktop computer, since it is clearly the main attraction.

System performance with the Intel Core 2 Duo P7450 processor and ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 is very good for both regular users and power-users that might enjoy using the computer for typing documents in the early evening, and switching to some light gaming or HD movie watching late at night. The system can handle most previous generation games without a problem as long as the resolution is scaled back from 1920×1080 down to 1280×720 and minor tweaks are made to the detail settings. For its intended market the system is more than capable for what it will be put through on a day-to-day basis.

PCMark05 overall system performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):

Desktop PCMark05 Score
Dell Studio Slim (Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 @ 2.33GHz) 6887 PCMarks
Lenovo A600 All-in-one (Core 2 Duo P7450 @ 2.13GHz) 5589 PCMarks
HP TouchSmart IQ506 (Core 2 Duo T5850 @ 2.16 GHz) 5189 PCMarks
Apple Mac Mini (Core 2 Duo P7350 @ 2.0GHz) 4593 PCMarks
Dell Studio Hybrid (Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.10GHz) 4305 PCMarks


3DMark06 overall graphics performance comparison results (higher scores mean better performance):

Desktop 3DMark06 Score
Lenovo A600 All-in-one (Core 2 Duo P7450, ATI HD3650) 4265 3DMarks
Dell Studio Slim (Core 2 Quad Q8200, ATI HD3450 256MB) 1820 3DMarks
HP TouchSmart IQ506 (Core 2 Duo T5850, NVIDIA 9300M GS) 1714 3DMarks
Apple Mac Mini (Core 2 Duo P7350, NVIDIA 9400M) 1552 3DMarks
Dell Studio Hybrid (Core 2 Duo T8100, Intel X3100) 528 3DMarks


Stay tuned for the full review of the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 which will be up shortly. Lenovo has really been making strides to come out with new and exciting hardware, to help change the public perception that they are business-only with the ThinkPad and ThinkCentre name handing over their heads. Considering the low price of $1,149 that the flagship version of this computer is selling for right now, it is no doubt that this might be a trend setting All-In-One in the future.



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