Lenovo IdeaCentre A310 review

3 Sep 2010

An unusual all-in-one that doesn’t quite hang together, and is a little overpriced too

Price when reviewed: 
898(£897 inc VAT)
3

We’ve seen a veritable avalanche of Lenovo gear hit the PC Pro Labs of late, and continuing the flow is the company’s latest consumer all-in-one PC, the IdeaCentre A310.

It’s an unusual piece of kit. Rather than build the motherboard, processor, memory and ports in behind the screen, as with its bigger brother the Lenovo M90z, Lenovo has decided to pack everything into the A310’s base. That means it takes up a little more room on your desk than a standard all-in-one.

It might have ended up looking dowdy too, but in fact the A310 is far from that. With no components bolted on its rear, the screen measures just 19mm from front to back, as slim and svelte as any high-end consumer monitor we’ve seen.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A310

The white and chrome colour scheme looks smart and, thanks to a handful of unusual design touches – a right-angled chrome elbow in the rear right corner of the base holds the screen sturdily in place, while the base is a trapezium rather than square – the A310 is like no other all-in-one we’ve seen.

Beyond the exotic looks, you’ll find the Lenovo A310 is a capable little thing. The 21.5in Full HD screen, for starters, is pretty darned good. A glossy finish gives images and movies deep contrast, while colours are vibrant and brightness good. Dab the touch sensitive menu control to the bottom right of the screen and you can control brightness, and swap between three preset colour profiles: “Movies”, “Text” and “Internet”. Unusually for a modern all-in-one PC, the A310 doesn’t have a touchscreen, but we didn’t miss it at all.

The processor is a mobile model – the Intel Core i3-350M – but has plenty of oomph, scoring 1.36 in our real world benchmarks, with the help of 4GB DDR3 RAM. The presence of only Intel HD graphics, however, means gaming at the native Full HD resolution of the screen will only be possible for the very least demanding titles; in our Crysis test at Low quality settings and 1,366 x 768 it only managed an average of 7.5fps. It’s plenty powerful enough for any HD content you might throw at it, though.

Details

Price ex VAT £764
Price inc VAT £898
Overall rating 3
Performance 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 2

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 21.5in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 2.26GHz
CPU overclocked frequency N/A
HSF (heatsink-fan) N/A

Motherboard

Conventional PCI slots free N/A
Conventional PCI slots total N/A
PCI-E x16 slots free N/A
PCI-E x16 slots total N/A
PCI-E x8 slots free N/A
PCI-E x8 slots total N/A
PCI-E x4 slots free N/A
PCI-E x4 slots total N/A
PCI-E x1 slots free N/A
PCI-E x1 slots total N/A
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card N/A
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Inel HD Graphics
DVI-I outputs 0
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Momentus 5400.6
Capacity 500GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Cache size 8MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
DVI inputs 0
HDMI inputs 1
VGA inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Lenovo, built in
Speaker type 2
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis N/A
Case format All-in-one

Power supply

Power supply N/A
Power supply rating N/A
Power supply efficiency N/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays N/A

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 4
PS/2 mouse port no
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 2

Front ports

Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Lenovo Bluetooth wireless set

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Software supplied Microsoft Office 2010 Starter

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 35W
Peak power consumption 54W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 1.36
Office application benchmark score 1.12
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.47
Encoding application benchmark score 1.25
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.60
3D performance (crysis) low settings 8fps
3D performance setting Low