Lenovo IdeaCentre B500 review
The B500 works as a TV, gaming PC, multimedia centre and standard desktop; it's compact and effective but painfully expensive for its specification.
Review Date: 11 Jan 2011
Price when reviewed: £850
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
Lenovo describes the IdeaCentre B500 as a “Gaming all-in-one”. Sadly, this means it’s been cursed with the sort of styling that manufacturers believe appeals to gamers: lots of angular bits, some brushed-metal-effect plastic and rather more orange than we’re comfortable with.
Fortunately, when you’re looking at it head-on your attention is diverted to the large, bright 23in widescreen with its 1,920x1,080 Full HD resolution. It’s not a touchscreen, but its superb image quality makes it a pleasure to use. We were particularly impressed by the display’s clean whites and accurate skin tones. It’s not entirely evenly lit - our black screen test revealed a lighter area running along the edge of the bottom bezel. We were pleasantly surprised by the integrated speakers, which were clear on even complex tracks with well-defined bass. If you want to connect external speakers, you’re limited to 2.1 sound, though – there are only two 3.5mm stereo ports for your mic input and a pair of speakers or headphones.
Although the B500 has a fairly comprehensive specification, including a TV tuner, integrated dual-band wireless adaptor, S-Video AV input and six USB ports, its processor is underwhelming. It has an LGA775 motherboard with an Intel G41 chipset, which houses an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400. In the fast-evolving world of processors, the Q8400 is an antique, having been superseded by Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 chips. That said, the IdeaCentre still managed an Overall score of 98 in our benchmark tests – faster than most gaming laptops, and rivalling desktops we’ve seen at around £500.
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