Review: Lenovo A320 All-in-one

Review: Lenovo A320 All-in-one
  • Lenovo A320 All-in-One boasts of being the slimmest AIO available in India. Does it have bells and whistles on or is it going to end up as a big paperweight on the desk?
All-In-Ones (AIO) are all the rage these days, especially since the beautiful iMacs have now become affordable desktops for consumers. Beauty and a beast is the theme for these machines that not only help you get rid of the clutter of wires found on regular desktops but pack quite a punch under the hood as well.

The wireless keyboard and mouse is the latest addition to the AIOs. The advantage - they cut the clutter of wires and add to the flexibility of keeping the keyboard and mouse at a distance. The disadvantage is that some Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are really tedious to sync with the machine and the battery life may not be that great.

Today we have the Lenovo A320 AIO that boasts of being the slimmest AIO available in India. Does it have bells and whistles on or is it going to end up as a big paperweight on the desk? Read on to find out.

First Impression
The device comes in an unusually large box, just a few inches smaller than the 27-inch iMac box. Unbox the device and you will see a beautiful slim 21.5-inch full HD display on a really sturdy stand with a plastic white glossy base. The screen has a black border and a chrome rim around it. The rear of the device and the base are pear white, very attractive to look at but, the same time, fingerprint and dust magnets.

You will instantly notice that the bezel of the device is really slim. That is because, unlike other AIO, the Lenovo A320 doesn't house the connectors in the frame but on the base plate. Another reason why the bezel is slim is because it doesn't house the DVD drive either. Lenovo has provided an external DVD drive with the device. The hinge on which the screen rests feels strong and well built.

The device comes with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse match the pearl white look and chrome bordering of the device. The keyboard is really light, compact, well built and it runs on two AA batteries. The mouse too runs on two AA batteries but feels a little small especially if your hands are a bit big. The build of the mouse is sturdy.

Setting up the device was tedious. The system didn't recognize the wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and we had to complete the initial setup using a wired USB keyboard and mouse. Once the device was on, it took us all of five minutes to set up the keyboard and mouse -- courtesy the manual.

The first and one of the most important things that you will notice while using the machine is that the keyboard feels light as a feather, compact and is very comfortable to type on. The down side here is that because it is white, it will get dirty really fast. The keyboard has three dedicated keys - 'LVT', 'E' and a play button. The play button is a shortcut to activating Windows media player, the 'E' brings up your browser and the 'LVT' opens up 'my computer' and acts as a customizable shortcut key.

The mouse is standard issue with a left-right click and a scroll wheel. The mouse has an on/off button on its base. Both the keyboard and mouse have a 'connect' button, which establishes the initial Bluetooth sync. Once the devices are synced, they need not be synced every time you restart.

If the device is left idle for some time, you will notice a bit of lag if you start using the keyboard or mouse all of a sudden.

Using the desktop for your everyday work, net browsing, MS office and the regular multitasking is a breeze. The device runs pretty smoothly and the gorgeous 21.5-inch display is fantastic to work on.  On the PCMark benchmark the device scored 4759 making the device ideal to carry out everyday multitasking activities.

In terms of connectivity, the device comes with an external DVD RW drive and all the ports are housed on the base plate of the AIO. To the left of the base plate are two USB 3.0 ports, headphones and mic port and a card reader. The rear of the device houses the TV tuner connector, power connector, Ethernet port, HDMI in and out (both ports are separate) and two USB 2.0 ports. The power button and the Bluetooth sync button rest on the base plate.

The bottom left panel of the display has three LED indicators that represent the HDD, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The bottom right panel has three LED touch buttons to navigate through the menu.

The 21.5-inch Full HD display is great for watching videos, browsing the web and doing just about anything. We watched some HD YouTube videos, Iron Man 2 in 1080p MKV, Megamind MP4 in 1080p and some SD .avi videos. All the videos ran absolutely smoothly without a glitch. The display is a treat to watch videos on but you will get the best output with the brightness set at maximum. The screen is glossy and prone to a glare. You'd do best to keep it away from any direct light source.

As impressive as the display is, the audio output of the device is underwhelming. The speakers lack bass and the volume is really low but the audio itself is clear. If you are alone in a small room then the speakers deliver average performance. You'd do best to use a pair of headphones or external speakers.

A very good feature of the Lenovo A320 is that it has an HDMI in/out, a TV Tuner and a Windows media center remote. The Windows media center remote control is standard for controlling all your media needs such as play, pause, rewind and forward. It also has 5 dedicated buttons that work with the TV tuner card. The remote has an IR sensor that needs to be connected to the PC via USB.

The device also has an HDMI in and out port. We connected a PS3 to the HDMI in. Again, the audio from the device's in-built speakers was disappointing and the visuals weren't very impressive either. The visuals lacked vibrancy and the pictures could have been sharper. All in all, it's a great option to be able to use the device as an AV device to connect your TV and almost anything else via HDMI. It gets the job done.

The machine can also be used to get a bit of gaming done. Sure, you won't be able to run Crysis on full specs but it will handle the basics pretty easily. On the 3D Mark 06, the device scored 3476 making it an average machine to run 3D games.

The integrated webcam and mic on the device work really well. We used it in Google+ Hangout and the overall audio-video feedback was good.
For the price point of Rs. 50,990 the device is true eye candy as well as a great All In One with the exception of audio on which front it's performance could be better. It's slim and consumes little space and the range and accuracy of the wireless keyboard and mouse are good. The HDMI in/out and in-built TV tuner add greatly to the multimedia capabilities of the device.

If you are in the market for a really slim and high performing all in one, the Lenovo A320 should definitely be on your list.

Fantastic build
Well-built keyboard and mouse
USB 3.0
HDMI in and out
In-built TV Tuner
Very slim design
Full HD display

Syncing the keyboard and mouse is a pain
With a full HD screen, the option for Blu-ray would have been nice
The device is a fingerprint and dust magnet

Price: Rs. 50,990

Processor: Intel Core i3 2310M 2.1GHz   
HDD: 750GB
Optical Drive: External DVD RW (White)
Wi-Fi: 802.11bgn
TV Tuner: DVBT (With Infra Red Remote)
Wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse
OS: Windows 7 home Premium 64 bit
Display: 21.5-inch 1920x1080p LED display

Performance: 4
Price: 4
Ease of setup: 2.5
Ergonomics: 4
Wow Factor: 4.5
Overall: 4

Benchmark scores:
3D Mark 06: 3476

PC Mark Vantage:

PC Mark Score: 4759
Memories Score: 2058
TV and Movies Score: NA
Gaming Score: 3125
Music Score: 4821
Communications Score: 4642
Productivity Score: 4325
HDD Score: 2844

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Further reading: All-in-Ones, Lenovo A320, iMac
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