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Lenovo Ideacentre 520s Review – Thin All in One PC that works as a monitor too

Lenovo Ideacentre 520s Review – Thin All in One PC that works as a monitor too

hey everybody gets LAN Simon and we’re taking a look today at an all-in-one from Lenovo this is their idea center five 20s and look how slim this thing is the entire computer with an i7 processor is in this little hump here in the back this is really not much larger than a 23 inch monitor which is actually what it is very small and compact especially for people in small spaces but pretty powerful computer under the hood here that we’ll be exploring in this review and it’s got an HDMI input so you can actually use this as a monitor with a game console or something like that I’ll show you how all that works here in just a second but I do want to mention in the interest of full disclosure is this is on loan from Lenovo when we’re done with it it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review and no one is reviewing this content before it is posted let’s take a closer look now at the hardware this costs nine hundred and forty nine dollars as configured you might find some for more or less depending on the different configuration options that Lenovo tends to make available to folks but as you see it here it’ll cost nine hundred and forty nine dollars twenty three inch display as I mentioned it is an IPS display it is running at 1080p so it’s a full high-definition display it’s a matte display though so it doesn’t reflect back all that much light so if you have a lot of windows in your house for example you won’t see a lot of light reflecting back to your eyes from the windows behind you which is often a good thing and even though it’s a matte display it does have touch capability so you do have the ability to use your fingers to navigate if you wish they do pack in a cheap keyboard and mouse in the box they are wireless but not great but it does get what you need accomplished out of a single box you will get the keyboard and mouse built into it this one as configured has an i7 7500 u dual core processor that ship is something we typically see in some mid to high-end laptops so it’s decent performance here it is a laptop ship but these days the laptop chips are pretty darn fast and as you’ll see in our testing is pretty good for doing schoolwork and web browsing and other stuff eight gigs of RAM in this one it has a one terabyte spinning hard drive if you can get one with a solid-state drive I would recommend that just because they tend to load up applications and function a little faster but if you want to pass the terabyte is probably good enough for that now there’s no optical drive built-in but this one at 949 bucks came with an external DVD burner that you can connect via a USB cable so you do have the option to connect up some optical discs if you wish with a pretty compact device here you could of course also go out and buy yourself a blu-ray reader and burner if you wanted to watch some blu-rays on it but if you get a lot of DVDs or you’re making a lot of DVDs they do give you the burner in the box as an external device now this is a very thin and light all-in-one and they also got rid of a lot of the bezels around the corners here and in order to integrate your web camera there’s often some compromises to be made and that is one area where they had to do that so on the bottom here is a little drawer that you can push out which contains the web camera the problem I have with it though is that because the webcam is at the bottom you’re going to have to look lower to engage your audience if you’re communicating via a web conference or something otherwise they’re going to be looking up at you most of all in ones of course have the camera on the top but the problem is if you want thin bezels you can’t put the camera on the top so they did put it down there so not the best angle for it it does not support Windows hello which is a feature that we’ve seen on a few other devices with similar webcams where you can unlock the computer by facial recognition this one doesn’t support that but you could of course get a webcam that supports that feature as an add-on if you wish there are though to USB 3 ports on either side of the camera here so you can pop this down and plug in a game controller for example you can plug one in over there or another one on the other side here there are a few other ports to take a look at on here so let’s spin the computer around to the back and see what we got so we’ve got 2 more USB ports I do have an external hard drive plugged into one of those and my wireless keyboard and mounts are plugged into the other one there is a Gigabit Ethernet jack back here for directly connecting up to a network you have an HDMI port this is kind of cool because this acts as both an input or an output you have a choice you can plug in an external display to extend your experience if you wish or you could plug in something like a game console to it and there’s a switch here in the back to toggle it back and forth so right now I’ve got my Nintendo switch here running a game what I do hear because I already have it plugged in it’s just doc my switch with the switch doc here and I can go into the back of the monitor and hit the toggle switch this will switch it into monitor mode and I should now hopefully yep there we go see my game popping up on the screen and I can go ahead here and continue playing my game you can hear how loud the speakers are in the front here of the display so pretty cool that even though this is probably not the best gaming computer as you’ll see in a few minutes it actually does quite well with a game console paired up with it and if you have a kid with a small room or a kid going off to college you can give them a computer here that can do all the computer stuff and then a separate game console for playing the games and I know when I was growing up the computer was for doing work and the ColecoVision and the Atari and all the other junk I’ve got back there with use for gaming and there’s a good way that you can maybe police your kids gaming habits a little bit better because the computer won’t be all that great for gaming but it does have the ability to also act as a monitor for your game consoles and when you want to switch back just push the button here and you’re back into PC mode the computer remained on when I did this so you don’t lose anything you’re working on when you switch back and forth to different modes and you can also have the monitor work when the computer portion of it is off but the only issue I’m seeing with the monitor mode here is that when I go into the game the volume here is blasting at me and there’s no separate volume control for the monitor mode so if your game console doesn’t support that directly as far as lowering the output going through the HDMI cable one solution would be to go in the back here and just plug in a pair of headphones to the headphone jack there and that will at least get the volume off or more controllable with a pair of headphones especially if you’ve got something with a volume control on it that’s my only gripe with it is that if you don’t have a way to control the volume coming out of the device you’re using it’s going to be coming at you full blast but the overall audio quality while loud is not all that great so if you do want better fidelity plug in a pair of speakers into that headphone jack in the back there to get and then I’ll give you some better control also over the output volume when you have things plugged into monitor mode I am quite pleased though with how sturdy it is on my desk I’ve got a very rickety desk here that tends to bounce around quite a bit but that bouncing really gets absorbed pretty quickly by the stand here it really doesn’t bounce around all that much even when pressing on the display you don’t have much in the way of range for the displays angle here but you do have some decent angle adjustments there’s no up or down motion on it unfortunately and I don’t think you can mount this on a VESA mount so it looks like the stand is what you’re going to be working with here I would have been nice to me to have that option just given how slim this is you might be could have been able to wall mount it I guess the fan for the computer here is on the top so you definitely want to keep that area clear which shouldn’t be hard to do it’s not all that loud in fact I’m hearing the hard drive more than I’m hearing the fan running even under load when you do first turn it on that fan will come on full blast it’ll really make some noise initially but after that it settles down and you rarely hear and like I said I’m hearing the hard drive wearing they do have the mechanical drive in here more than I’m hearing the fans overall very slim and seems to be holding up quite well on many of the tests that I’ve been throwing at it so let’s take a look now and see how well it performs we’ll take a look at web browsing some office work and a few light games and maybe some movie watching too so let’s have at it okay so let’s take a look at some YouTube video first here we’ve got a 1080p 60 video playing back from YouTube one of the things that these new i7 processors handle quite well is some of the higher-end video this is working fine we’re not having any drop frames or anything like that and I really like the display itself it’s got a really nice balance of color to your good contrast that really looks pretty nice for watching this kind of stuff so I don’t think I’ll have any issues with browsing YouTube or Netflix or anything like that let over to the NASA homepage and by the way we’re on Wireless right now it’s got wireless AC built in so it is very quick and responsive here as I’m browsing around the web and you shouldn’t have any problems going to your favorite websites or doing any of the stuff that you’re normally doing on the web and on the browser bench org speedometer test we got a score of 147 which is right in line with where I would expect it to be and if you have work to do it’s also pretty quick at doing Microsoft Word and office tasks so Excel and Word and PowerPoint all of those things should be functional I’m here without any performance issues whatsoever now I mentioned at the outset that this really is not a gaming PC and the reason I say that is because it doesn’t have a discrete graphics processor or GPU built in to help the games with three the graphics it relies on its Intel chip to do that now some lower end games here like minecraft are able to function quite well with that Intel chip we’re getting a solid 60 frames per second here out of Minecraft without any optimizations installed and in case you’re wondering I don’t have it locked at 60 this is just where it is ending up in its performance and it runs great but other games that require a little more horsepower will not run so well so all the current games that you might be able to get on your PlayStation that also have PC versions available will not run as well on here let me show you the one game that can run but with reduced settings and image quality and that’s rocket League now rocket league is a great example of a game that runs pretty well on this hardware but you have to turn all of the settings down which makes the game look pretty lousy actually so I’ve got everything turned down here we do have it running at 1080p and if I jump out of the settings screen here we are running a game at about 30 to 40 frames per second but might be hard to see on camera but a lot of the lines here are very jagged you don’t get the really polished image and look that you might have on a PlayStation 4 for example and that’s where I think this computer works well for college students for example and others who are space constrained because if you do have that PlayStation 4 you can just plug it into the back of this and use it as a monitor so you’re only bringing up the game console in the computer as opposed to have to also lug up a TV with you to your dorm room I think it could really work well in that scenario also they mentioned a great way to regulate your kids gaming because you can take the PlayStation out of the room and because this computer while it can download all the games they want to play it really can’t play them all that well because it is lacking that GPU and on the 3dmark cloud gate benchmark test we got a score of five thousand nine hundred and ninety-six and this did appear to perform about where other similarly equipped computers performed on that graphical benchmark so it’s about where we would expect it to be I do believe there is a 16 gigabyte version of this computer available that might be running in a dual-channel configuration that will give some slightly better performance on that graphics test but even with that you’re not going to see triple-a titles playing all that well on here but it does very well with media playback and I’ve got our jellyfish test file that I like to run here this is a 140 megabits per second for cave file at 10 bit encoded with HEV C which usually chokes older computers this one plays it back just fine because of some new features that are in this current generation of Intel processors so no dropped frames playing back just fine I’ll put a link to where you can find this file and some other ones so you can test your computer’s performance as well but if you can play this back you can play just about anything back now this is only a 1080p display so it is downscaling to 1080p from 4k but you can hook up a 4k display to the HDMI port on this and it’s often a good exercise to see if this can play this back as well as you would hope it would and it can it also plays back blu-ray files just fine here so I’ve got a blu-ray movie running here and this is playing back without issue so if you did attach a blu-ray blu-ray drive to this computer you shouldn’t have any trouble playing back those movies at 1080p so all in I think it’s a pretty decent computer here nice and compact I don’t like the webcam placement so if you don’t like it either you might want to consider adding on an additional one I also wish there were some volume controls when you’re in that monitor mode because my Nintendo switch was really blaring at me when I plugged it in and there’s really no way to turn the volume down on the switch so some things let you do it other things don’t so you might want to have a pair of speakers or something where you can adjust the volume attached the good news is that the headphone jack on here responds in both monitor mode and computer mode so if you do just plug in a anything into that port it will turn the speaker’s off so that’s one thing to keep in mind but all in I really do like the form factor I think it’s very good for college and other folks who are space constrained the performance on this is great it should be very good for doing video editing and a lot of other higher-end tasks thanks to its i7 processor and it’s something I think I can recommend Lenovo didn’t does make actually a gaming version of something like this if you like this smaller form factor an all-in-one they do have one that does very well at gaming with a huge desktop GPU built right into it and I’ll put a link to that one down below in the video description – this is lines I’ve been this channel is brought to you by my patreon supporters including gold-level supporters the tangential supe podcasts and Chris Allegretto if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to land TV slash patreon to learn more and is the laundry v /s


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