A great-looking PC at a decent price
All-in-one PCs are great space-savers if you need a large screen but don't want large boxes cluttering up the house.
The Lenovo Ideacentre A320 is one of the most stylish such computers we've seen.
With a glossy white finish and chrome trim around the edges of the 21.5in screen (it's not a touch-screen model so must be controlled with the supplied keyboard and mouse), the A320 certainly looks impressive.
The slim stand contains the processing unit, all the external connectors and the power socket for the external small mains adapter ‘brick'. A robust pillar supports the monitor at the rear right of the stand, allowing the screen to swivel horizontally and vertically by a small amount, although it was quite stiff to adjust.
It completed our DVD-copying test in an underwhelming 43 minutes, putting it on a par with the Sony Vaio VPCJ11M1E/B. Like that model, it uses an Intel Core i3 processor, has 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard disk (the Sony had 500GB).
For graphics it uses an integrated Intel HD 3000 chip, which struggled to run modern games smoothly at anything more than basic quality settings, but it was fine for high-definition video playback.
All the connectors are at the back and left edge of the base, including an unusual HDMI input port – this allows users to plug in a games console or Blu-ray player for viewing on the screen. It also has HDMI output for connecting a TV or second monitor.
There are touch-sensitive screen controls to adjust the brightness and choose an input. Sound was disappointing: the tinny little built-in speakers in the base were truly awful.
It comes with a good-quality Bluetooth (wireless) keyboard and mouse, but the keyboard uses a laptop layout, with an Fn key for selecting some symbols. There's a built-in TV tuner with remote control and an external aerial connector.
Two of the four USB ports use the faster USB3 standard but unfortunately the supplied matching external DVD writer and remote control adapter take up three of the USB sockets. There's also a memory card reader and the usual headphone and microphone sockets.
It connects to all wired and wireless networks. Along with Windows 7, Lenovo supplies a few useful disaster recovery and maintenance utilities with the A320, but no office software.
There are also some gimmicky touches, such as tool that uses the webcam to check that you are not sitting too close to the screen. The small white webcam activity light is badly positioned at eye level, though, and was distracting.
The A320 has great looks but moderate performance, but it's cheaper than similar models, such as the Apple iMac so it's worth investigating if you want a PC that looks a bit different.
Read more reviews
The A320 looks very impressive, is well-built and is priced sensibly, but it's a little slow and has a couple of annoying flaws
Very stylish; USB3 ports; HDMI input
Notebook keyboard layout; too few USB ports; external DVD burner; awful sound; annoying status lights on screen
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