Lenovo IdeaCentre C300 Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (14,172)

Overview

  • Pros

    • Very nice 20" 1600x900 display
    • 3.5-inch hard drive
    • Optional dedicated graphics
  • Cons

    • PS/2 keyboard
    • Single-core Atom standard

The Lenovo C300 series is part of their value line of desktops, offering affordable all-in-ones starting at $449. The C300 offers a 20-inch 1600×900 screen that can handle HD video, and features a higher resolution than other cheap all-in-one systems. With system options ranging from single to dual core Intel Atom processors and GMA950 to ATI 4530 dedicated graphics, Lenovo has a system for any type of user. In this review we take an in-depth look at the Lenovo C300, and find out if it is the right all-in-one system for you.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Atom 230 @ 1.6GHz (512kB L2 cache)
  • Operating system: Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Screen: 20″ 1600×900 CCFL-backlit LCD
  • Memory: 3GB DDR2
  • Hard drive: 320GB SATA
  • Optical drive: 8X DVD+/-RW
  • Sound: Integrated HD audio with built-in stereo speakers
  • Video card: Intel GMA 950
  • Networking: 10/100
  • Wireless networking: 802.11b/g wireless
  • Built-in SDHC memory card reader
  • Inputs: 6 USB2.0 ports (2 side, 4 back), PS/2 keyboard, Firewire, headphone, microphone, and Ethernet
  • Power supply: 120W 19.5V
  • Dimensions: 19.05 x 14.12 x 3.28 inches (WxHxD)
  • Warranty: One year limited parts and labor

In this configuration, our review unit carried a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499.

Build and Design
The Lenovo C300 offers a sleek glossy black appearance with a black and white floral pattern on the lower half to cover the speakers. The design flows well with almost any room layout, be it a bedroom, office, or even a kitchen. Its narrow footprint also allows it to be setup in areas with limited space, needing only 7.5 inches of clearance to fit the front feet and rear support. Even though this system is near the lower end of the cost spectrum when compared to other all-in-one systems, it doesn’t have the cheaper look or feel associated with it.

Lenovo IdeaCentre C300  Lenovo IdeaCentre C300

Build quality is very nice, with a solid feel to the plastic bezel and frame. No creaks or squeaks were found when carrying th e computer around to set it up on my desk, or when adjusting the tilt of the screen. The rear stand locks solidly in its holding position, and uses resistance from a spring to let you tilt the assembly back, but stay upright. Movement is silent, with no odd creaks or snaps as it tilts back. Once the system is in position, it stays firmly in place, without moving around on your desk surface thanks to two large rubber feet at the front.

Inputs and Expansion
Input selection was very nice for a budget all-in-one system, with 6 USB ports, ps/2 for the keyboard, Firewire for video input, SDHC for quick digital camera access, and a wired network connection. The system also includes an 8x DVD burner to read and write to optical media.
Users looking to upgrade internal components will be limited to quickly accessing the memory through a side panel on the back of the system.

Lenovo IdeaCentre C300  Lenovo IdeaCentre C300

Other components like the hard drive or wireless card would require you to fully dismantle the system. With that said the hard drive included with the system was very fast with a reasonable capacity given its price segment, and will probably never be touched by its users.


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