Lenovo C325 all-in-one review
The all-in-one form factor presents an attractive use case: it required much of the identical external setup as a desktop, but uses laptop parts quite often and has the identical resistance to expansion. Probably the most obviously attractive quality of the all-in-one is that it makes it possible for comfortable desktop-style use while being “easy” – just plug in a mouse and keyboard and you’re good to head. With the iMac occupying the head end and diverse HP and Lenovo consumer models grabbing space slightly below, there’s room for an extremely low-cost option: Lenovo’s $599 C325.
As far because the hardware goes, the C325 is an efficient-looking if not overly showy model. A mostly plastic casing is accented by a whole metal base, helping to maintain the considerable weight of the screen and components in check. Much to my surprise, the glossy case contrasts with a matte LCD screen – a undeniable boon to people who operate in bright offices or homes. The 1600×900 resolution is appreciated, and never often seen in a 20-inch panel – though the much-advertised multi-touch option doesn’t appear to be available yet.
Under the metaphorical hood lies The AMD E-450, a dual-core 1.65Ghz processor that needs to handle the normal web browsing, email, and light-weight media of nearly all of business and consumer users, but would be ill-suited for advanced tasks. Ditto for the 4GB (8GB maximum) of DDR3 memory and Radeon HD 6320 integrated graphics. Our base configuration review unit came with a 500GB harddrive, but you will get a full terabyte if you spring for the upgrade. a traditional DVD-RW drive at the right side of the integrated rounds out the key components.
On the best side, a couple of USB 3.0 ports flank the microphone and headphone jacks, below a 6-in-1 memory card reader. Round the back are four more standard USB 2.0 ports and an old-school Ethernet port. The b/g/n WiFi module isn’t accessible, however the hard disk and memory bays are – with room for an entire-size 3.5-inch SATA drive and an empty RAM DIMM slot for simple upgrades. There is no approach to output to an external monitor, but there is a connection for an optional TV tuner. All that’s left at the front are the sizeable front-facing speakers, a slightly puny .3 megapixel webcam and the ability button an monitor controls. A basic wired mouse and keyboard are included - serviceable, if not extraordinary. Considering the integrated nature of all-in-one, wireless inputs would had been nice.
The whole package is basically exactly what you’d expect from an entry-level all-in-one: not more and mo less. Hardware highlights are the high-resolution screen (to any extent further can be overkill, any less can be annoying) and simply accessible storage and memory. i am not keen on the glossy plastic, and a height-adjustable stand would were useful – the steel base only pivots the unit about 25 degrees.
The C325 packs in Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. For the bottom unit it doesn’t do much, since there’s only 3.5 gigabytes of obtainable memory when combined with the integrated graphics. But when you ever intend to upgrade or simply spring for more RAM on the get-go, it is a useful extension. There is no restore or OS disc, but you do get a CD of drivers for troubleshooting without an online connection.
An unfortunate reality of low-priced PCs is that manufacturers will attempt to up the profit margin with software pack-ins. The C325 is best than most on this respect, something i will happily say about Lenovo machines normally. Other than drivers and assorted Lenovo pack-ins, there’s McAfee anti-virus, an ordeal install of Microsoft Office and Windows Live Essentials. One pre-install I do appreciate is Google Chrome – always nice to peer manufacturers that recognize that Internet Explorer isn’t an option for many power users. Too bad that they had to throw within the Google Toolbar to “sweeten” the deal.
The all-in-one specifications won’t let it do high-end gaming or media creation, but heavy browsing sessions, massive email databases and iTunes (the bane of Windows performance fanatics everywhere) work without complaint. AMD’s E-series is worlds better than Atom-class processors, but still not as snappy as even the low end of Intel’s Core series.
As indicated above, the C325 isn’t fitted to heavy-duty tasks – but then it is not really meant to be. Having said that, just a little more oomph from the CPU would were appreciated; this all-in-one would be outpaced by the typical ultrabook. If all you want to do with an all-in-one is browsing and a few light media playback, it’s going to fit your needs just fine. If you are searching for gaming, graphics or other high-end tasks, look elsewhere.
|Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)|
|LENOVO Inagua CRB|
|AuthenticAMD Family 20 Model 2 Stepping 0|
|32.0 KB||32.0 KB|
|512 KB||0.00 B|
|4.00 GB DDR3 SDRAM 533MHz||99.8 MHz|
|Integer||Processor integer performance||1845|
|Floating Point||Processor floating point performance||2366|
|Stream||Memory bandwidth performance||1443|
The real equation you ought to wonder is that this: do i need a desktop that sacrifices size for expandability? For $600 you will get a fine looking decent laptop in recent times, and you’ll discover a more powerful desktop for a lot less. For the few usage cases where an all-in-one is right, the C325 fits the bill as a low-budget option. But are you able to find a type of cases where a laptop or standard desktop wouldn’t fit better? Perhaps the equation will be changed with the addition of a top quality multi-touch panel, but even then, usability – not utility – may be the primary bonus.
As a low-cost entry within the all-in-one world, the Lenovo C325 is solid. Pluses include good fit and finish and simply upgradeable memory and storage, with a high-quality matte screen. The drawback is that there is just not enough processing power for intensive tasks. With 4GB or more of memory multi-tasking shouldn’t be problem, but the rest would be an ordeal for this machine.
For basic terminals or a light-weight communal home computer, the C325 is a great choice, especially with upgraded memory and storage. But for those that need more performance or simply can’t discover a more than enough reason to bask in the shape factor, a standard desktop will serve better at a lower cost, while a laptop will do for portability.
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