Lenovo’s venture into the all-in-one PC segment is pretty well known. We reviewed the ThinkCentre A70z in May. However, it did not really match our expectations when it came to the performance. The IdeaCentre B500 was launched globally, early last year. Lenovo is primarily trying to woo home users who are looking at an All-in-One for pure entertainment purposes. We put the B500 through the grind.
Design and Build Quality
The B500 is as easy to setup as most all in ones. Hook the screen onto a power source, switch on the PC and the bundled wireless mouse and keyboard is usually detected automatically. In about 5 minutes, you are done with the setup.
Trendy design, with JBL 2.0 speakers at the bottom
The 23-inch screen has a matte-finish with glossy bezel around it. There’s no wastage on either of the four sides of the screen and towards the bottom, Lenovo has added a chrome trim and there's built-in JBL stereo speakers housed at the bottom corners of the screen. There’s a stand behind that can help tilt the screen to an angle of 60 degrees. You might find the stand to be a little too tight, but afterwards it moves a lot more smoothly. There are ports behind the screen, as well as a few placed on the left of the screen. The right side houses a DVD tray and just towards the edge of the bezel on the right bottom, there are touch-sensitive keys to adjust brightness, volume, a wireless setup key to setup the keyboard and mouse. Lenovo has also added a button to power off the screen (not the entire PC), which is pretty thoughtful, given that many All-in-Ones don’t usually have that.
Stand is pretty sturdy and rests the screen well enough
The wireless keyboard has a brush-metal finish and there’s quite a lot of space below, although the mat which houses the keyboard is tad smaller than the standard keyboard size. The mouse also is big enough to fit in your palm and the buttons are easy to click. Lenovo has also bundled a remote control to watch videos and play motion controlled games (which come pre-loaded). The remote is like any other TV remote, in terms of button layout, the only difference being the top half has keys designed to access Windows Media Center and different buttons to play/pause a movie, rewind, forward and the like.
The overall design of the B500 is very appealing with the dash of orange added to the grill behind and the edges of the screen sporting a very trendy look. For that matter, the build quality of everything, right from the screen to the remote control is quite good.
The B500 has some decent features, albeit an outdated processor. The All-in-One is powered by an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 processor clocking 2.66 GHz, but it was launched in the second quarter of 2009. There’s 4GB of DDR3 RAM and Lenovo has been thoughtful enough to add 1TB of HDD which is pretty much sufficient to hold most of your movies, photos and music. The B500 is not meant for high-end gaming as it has an ATi Radeon HD 5450 graphics card.
Should have had a Blu-Ray player instead