Lenovo seems to be one of the few companies dedicated towards the all-in-one desktop segment as they constantly keep updating their line up. The last PC we reviewed was their IdeaCenter B500, which was a powerful little beast, but it was a bit bulky and the styling was more 'in-your-face'. For those looking for a more sophisticated approach to their personal computing, Lenovo’s latest offering, the IdeaCenter A320 should be right up your alley. Lenovo has completely redesigned their new desktop and made it incredibly stylish. But does it have any substance? Let's find out.
Lenovo IdeaCenter A320
Design and Build quality
Lenovo seem to have given quite a bit of thought to the new design as it's a lot more ergonomic compared to their earlier models. The entire screen is supported on a single hinge that can swivel and tilt allowing you to adjust it to suit your sitting position. The screen is a 21.5-inch Full HD display with LED backlighting. The panel is protected by a glass that covers the bezel as well, giving it a seamless look. The quality of the panel is very good too and due to the glossy effect of the glass, the colours appear rich and crisp.
Minimilistic design looks good
The bezel also houses a webcam and microphone for web chats. Below, we have three white LED status lights for the HDD activity, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Over to the right, we have a bunch of touch sensitive menu buttons. I think this is the first time I'm actually seeing a menu system in an all-in-one. The sensitivity of the buttons could have been better as many times the touch is not registered. The options include brightness, Novo Vision which gives you access to three viewing modes, Mode Switch that lets you switch to HDMI or turn the screen off, Volume and OSD language.
USB 3.0 is a big plus
The rest of the components are tucked into the base of the desktop. All the ports are lined up along the side and extend all the way to the back. Connectivity includes two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jack, memory card reader, HDMI-in and HDMI-out, which is a first for an all-in-one. Overall, I really liked Lenovo's new design, It's fresh and different from all the other all-in-ones in the market.
The A320 is powered by Intel’s newest Core i3 2310M mobile chipset based on the Sandy Bridge architecture. Other components include 3GB RAM, 750GB hard drive, external DVD burner, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. I don’t like the fact that Lenovo has chosen a mobile chipset, since they just don’t perform as well as their desktop counterparts. Also, the fact that there’s no discrete graphics card means you can forget about playing any serious 3D games. Older games like Half Life 2, GRID, etc. should work fine. I guess Lenovo didn't really have a choice with the components, since if they had gone with desktop grade parts, it wouldn't have fit in this design.
The entire PC sits in the base of the desktop
The keyboard and mouse connect via Radio Frequency (RF), but I found that they would lose sync intermittently, which was kind of annoying. The mouse is comfortable, albeit a bit small for a desktop mouse and it’s not very ergonomic. I didn’t like the keyboard very much. The keys are too soft and many times the inputs weren’t registered. Seeing this is a desktop, Lenovo could have bundled a proper full-sized keyboard instead of a laptop-styled one.