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Lenovo IdeaCentre A520 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £802
inc VAT

A good all-in-one PC with lots of ports, but its lacklustre display and aging hardware hold it back


2.2GHz Intel Core i3-2328M, 4GB RAM, 23in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 8

The most disappointing part of the A520, though, was its 23in touchscreen display. The touchscreen itself was very snappy and responsive, but as soon as we turned it on, the screen looked noticeably yellow and our colour calibrator confirmed this during our colour accuracy test. While its colour accuracy score of 79.1 per cent is around average for an all-in-one panel, the resulting colour gamut showed that its green and yellow coverage was significantly higher than either its red or blue coverage.

This had an adverse effect on our subjective image tests as colours in our high contrast test images looked quite sickly and washed out. Our solid reds, blues and greens looked all right in isolation, but whites looked very dull and grey. Blacks were reasonably deep, though, and we were pleased with its low black level reading of 0.23cd/m².

Lenovo IdeaCentre A520

Its contrast ratio of 882:1 was also encouraging despite the screen’s inaccurate colours, but in practice we found it quite difficult to see the finer detail in our high contrast test photos. This wasn’t helped by the screen’s reflective glossy finish, but tilting the screen back and forward did little to alleviate the problem.

Luckily, Lenovo had the foresight to include two alternative picture modes that adjust the screen’s colour temperature and brightness to suit different tasks. Web browsing mode was little better than the default text mode, as this made the screen appear far too blue, but we found a happy middle ground with its cinema mode. The screen wasn’t quite as bright here, but its strong green and yellow coverage was counteracted by a much healthier blue and purple coverage, which helped colours look more natural and accurate.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A520 is a decent low-end all-in-one PC, but its aging hardware and lacklustre display feel like one too many compromises compared to the faster and only marginally more expensive Best Buy-winning Toshiba Qosmio PX30t-A-11C.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3-2328M
Processor external bus100MHz
Processor multiplierx22
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Processor socketFCPGA988
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardLenovo Chief River
Motherboard chipsetIntel ID1E59


USB2 ports (front/rear)1/3
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n

Internal Expansion

PCI slots (free)0
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0
Free memory slots1
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Momentus ST9500325AS


Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video portsHDMI


SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputsheadphone
SpeakersDolby Home Theatre V4

Removable Drives

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


Viewable size23 in
Screen modelN/A
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Screen inputsHDMI

Other Hardware

KeyboardLenovo SK-8861
MouseLenovo SM-8861


Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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