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Lenovo Ideacentre B520 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £940
inc VAT

This impressive all-in-one entertainment PC can handle everything from games to 3D movies


3GHz Intel Core i5-2320, 8GB RAM, 23in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre B520 is one of the most feature-packed all-in-one PCs we’ve seen. It has a 23in 1,920×1,080 LCD touchscreen, which is fairly standard, but this one is also 3D-ready. The PC has a mobile 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT555M graphics processor and is supplied with a pair of Nvidia 3D Vision active shutter glasses, plus the transmitter dongle you’ll need to use them. A supplied copy of PowerDVD 10 has full support for 3D Blu-ray movies from the PC’s Blu-ray reader.

Lenovo Ideacentre B520

All this means that, before you even start using the PC for anything else, you have a full 3D entertainment system. The screen size is best suited to lone viewing, but if you want to watch in 3D with a friend you’ll probably want to invest in an extra pair of Nvidia-compatible 3D glasses – these are £61 from

Lenovo Ideacentre B520

The PC’s display is a little shiny and reflective for our taste, but its colours are pleasingly vivid and its backlighting even. White areas have a very slight gritty quality that we sometimes associate with touchscreens, but it’s barely visible and didn’t intrude on our viewing experience. We were also pleased to find that we experienced no 3D crosstalk, which can create the effect of shadows or ghost images when you view 3D content as one eye catches the other eye’s image. Even without our tweaking any settings the screen gave us an impression of depth that was solid and believable.

The graphics processor is also up to gaming, although not at the highest quality settings. It’s a mobile chipset, so we ran our Dirt 3 test at our laptop settings of 1,280 x 720 with the High graphics preset and 4x anti-aliasing. This gave us a smooth frame rate of 38.9fps. In 3D, we got an almost smooth frame rate of 27.8fps, although we recommend reducing graphical quality further if you want to guarantee smooth gameplay at all times. If you’re more into casual gaming, Lenovo has you covered and has finally come up with a good use for a touchscreen display: the Idea Touch software suite comes with several touch-friendly casual games including Angry Birds and Firework, as well as the usual music player, photo viewer and CyberLink video player.

Lenovo Ideacentre B520

The B520 is an adept entertainment centre. Its credentials are rounded out further with a DVB-T digital TV tuner and media centre remote, although its Avermedia A336 chipset doesn’t support either HD or 3D TV. It could be argued that Lenovo has missed a trick there, but it seems churlish to complain given how much else the B520 can do, and you could always add an HD tuner to one of the PC’s USB ports.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i5-2320
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x30
Processor clock speed 3GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 8
Memory type PC3-10600
Maximum memory 32GB
Motherboard Lenovo
Motherboard chipset Intel H67


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n

Internal Expansion

Case all-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free) N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free) N/A
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi DeskStar
Interface SATA2
Total storage capacity 1,000GB


Graphics card(s) 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M
Graphics/video ports HDMI


Sound Realtek ALC663
Sound outputs 3.5mm stereo line out, 3.5mm mic in
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick XC
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM


Viewable size 23 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs none

Other Hardware

Keyboard Lenovo LXF-JME80002B Bluetooth keyboard
Mouse Lenovo MOEMUO Bluetooth mouse


Software included Microsoft Office Starter 2010, McAfee AntiVirus, ArcSoft PhotoStudio Paint, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, Touch Game pack, Lenovo IdeaTouch 3
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition, burn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB
Price £940

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