Lenovo Q180 Idea Center Review

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The Lenovo Q180 is the smallest desktop computer that I have gotten my hands on. This computer has a tiny desktop footprint of .86 inches without the DVD or Blu-ray attached. Overall this unit is a good fit anywhere in an office or home without taking up much space. The small footprint doesn’t take anything away from this computer as it is capable based on what Lenovo put under the hood. This little pc is also bundled with a DVD+RW or a Blu-ray drive if you so choose, but naturally that will add to the size of the unit. Lenovo intended this unit to be a space saving device with multimedia accessibility.

Specs

The unit that I tested was the 31102BU which is the 2nd model available out of the four in the IdeaCentre Q180 online Lenovo Store.  The retail on this model is $449 without any services, software or accessories added. The specs are as follows : Intel Atom Processor D2700 (2.13GHz 1mb), graphics- AMD Radeon HD 6450A 512kB, 4GB ram, 500GB storage, 8-in-1 card reader, HDMI (out), DVD recordable, Genuine Windows 7 home premium 64. Outside from the standard ports there is also 2 USB 3.0. The photo below will give you a clear look at the exterior ports. I also received the wireless remote, which is a great addition to this unit if you want to use it for entertainment.

Pros

This a really capable unit for the price point, value wise you are getting a lot of computer in a small package. A great thing about this unit is that there is no lack of ports. Whatever your needs might like retrieving data from an memory card  the he 8-in-1 card reader comes really handy. The USB 3.0 keeps ports keeps you ahead for the new accessories or storage you might purchase in the near future. The HDMI is great as it kicks out full 1080p, the images were really crisp. I hooked it up to my 24” lcd monitor and movies played really well on the dvd as I surfed and played around on the computer. The wireless controller was my favorite feature, it made using the entertainment features more intuitive. I also found myself using it while doing regular task like surfing the web and emailing because it was so easy to hold and use. I would like to see what Lenovo’s evolution of this remote would look like because  it is really well suited for this unit.

 

Cons

What I did not understand with this computer is that Lenovo made this unit to be a compact and space saving computer. Then why would this unit ship with a usb attached keyboard and mouse, that immediately made it loose it’s appeal. Cords with a small unit like this makes it look really cumbersome, wireless accessories seemed more suitable like there handled remote.  The Q180 I tested was just noisy for basic operations, the fan is constantly engaged to keep it cool. I am assuming that’s in the nature of that computer because it’s parts are so close together and it needs to manage it’s inner temperatures. I also found that the eject button for the DVD did not work properly most of the time and I had to do a software ejects. My last objection is the lack of internal speakers, this leaves a new purchaser without an external speaker unit out of luck in the sound arena.

Conclusion

This is a good starter computer or something to think about if you are on a budget, for the price it comes with a ton of good features. You have all the current ports and good amount of storage . Your HDMI output puts you right in front HD television with a great picture depending on your source. The Q180 really shines with the wireless remote, and could use the same for a keyboard and mouse option. If all the accessories were wireless this would really make the Idea Center a stand out. Based on my use of this unit it seems only fair to include the remote with the purchase of this unit.

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