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Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 review

Kat Orphanides
12 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349
inc VAT

It isn’t a powerhouse, but its Blu-ray drive and large hard disk make this mini PC perfect for film fans

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Specifications

2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Lenovo's Q180 is a slim mini-PC, and isn’t much broader than a typical nettop. Although it still has a low-power processor, there's a great deal that sets this compact computer apart from the crowd. For a start, it has a disc drive: an ultra-thin, slot-loading DVD-writer and Blu-ray reader. This means that you can install software and make backups using discs instead of being dependent on the internet or USB storage media. It makes the Q180 much more useful than its discless rivals when it comes to home entertainment. Connect this PC to your TV and you can watch films without relying on services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. A preinstalled copy of CyberLink's PowerDVD 10 means that you don't have to install any extra software, either.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180

We were pleased to find that the Q180's processor and graphics were easily up to the task of playing our Blu-ray movies and HD video files. The processor is a 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700, the most powerful of the Atom range to date, but that isn’t saying much. We still only saw an overall score of 15 in our benchmark tests. That's sufficient for basic desktop tasks, but you should look elsewhere if you want to perform intensive tasks such as video editing, or if you do a lot of multitasking. The motherboard's integrated AMD Radeon HD 6450A graphics processor, while fine for movies, is similarly limited in scope. It failed our 3D frame rate tests, so don't expect it to handle more than casual games. The PC's core specification is rounded out with 4GB of memory.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180

It's surprisingly well equipped when it comes to ports, too. It has two USB3 ports hidden behind a panel at the front of the PC, along with a card reader and 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports. Another three USB ports are located on the back. Two other USB ports are joined together by a block connector. This is because the PC's Blu-ray drive is actually a separate unit that needs an extra USB connection for power. The rear of the PC also has an optical S/PDIF digital audio output, a VGA port and a HDMI port that lets you connect the PC to your TV.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180

The PC has a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium installed. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with installation media; just a restore partition. Fortunately, the partition barely makes a dent in the massive 750GB hard disk, which is among the largest we've seen in a PC of this size. The system doesn't come with a keyboard and mouse, but it does have a multimedia remote control that is actually a handheld miniature keyboard and pointer combination. It's handy, but you should connect a proper keyboard if you do a lot of typing.

The Q180 is the most feature-packed system of this size that we’ve ever seen. The inclusion of Windows 7, a large hard disk and a Blu-ray drive make this the ideal Budget Buy for any movie buff.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Atom D2700
Processor external bus133MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx16
Processor clock speed2.13GHz
Processor socketFCBGA559
Memory4
Memory typePC3-10666
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardLenovo Tiger Hill
Motherboard chipsetIntel NM10

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/5
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free)N/A
Free memory slots1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar (WDC7500BPVT-24HXZT3)
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity750GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6450A
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC662
Sound outputs3.5mm stereo line out, 3.5mm mic in, optical S/PDIF output
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includedCyberLink PowerDVD 10
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£349
Supplierhttp://www.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.lenovo.co.uk

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