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First Look: Lenovo IdeaCentre A600

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First Look: Lenovo IdeaCentre A600

2:49 /

The heart of Lenovo's IdeaCentre A600 is in the right place, offering a 21.5-inch LCD-based all-in-one for less than $800. But a faster competitor and a careless design turns us off from this particular A600 configuration. You might consider a different A600 build if you can live with the design, but we can't recommend the $749 version.

[ music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today we're gonna take a look at the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600. Now this is a kind of interesting all in one. It has a nice large 21.5-inch screen and it's configurable. So it starts at about $650, $699, and goes all the way up to $1,000 depending on the options. Our review unit here is about $799. We didn't really like the configuration that we got for that price. We thought it was slower than an all-in-one with the same screen size for about the same price. That said though, this is still pretty much a serviceable computer. Not a whole lot of surprises. It's a basic configuration. You got the web cam up top here. The screen tilts on its support base. A little bit more on that we'll show you later that's actually not so great. And you'll see this kind of bulge at the bottom here, that's the subwoofer that's actually built into the base of the system. It's, you know, still built in speakers, so it's not that great. But it's maybe a little bit more oomph than you usually get from a typical all in one. You can see here there's a media card reader, the USB ports, audio and fire wire jacks. Let me show you the backside here, you got another set of USB's as well as the networking input. And over here on this side you get the slot loading DVD drive. Now we mentioned there's a problem with the system at the base, and that's actually due to this unique warning label down here. We've never seen one of these before on a computer. The way it's designed with the subwoofer, you tilt the screen forward and it will actually, there's a risk that it'll pinch your finger. We don't imagine you'll stick your finger in there every day, and you know, really run the risk of hurting yourself. But if you have kids, if you're being careless, there's maybe a little risk of some danger there. So, you know, if you buy the system be careful. So we showed you the ports and it's all pretty straight forward. There's no HTMI, or anything really fancy in terms of connectivity, which is sort of disappointing. What's actually kind of nice about this system though is that the full 8, 1080P HD resolution screen. Lenovo does offer Blueray options, so if you want to turn this into a full fledge media center you can certainly do that. And there's also a unique 4 in 1 motion sensing remote control option you can get, that, you know, let's you control the system from a distance, and sort of use the remote as a mouse. Finally the last feature we should point out is that Lenovo does include some facial verification software. You can sit in front of it and the web cam will register your face, and then you can use that to log into the system. Works pretty well, maybe not the most necessary feature for a home environment. So we said we found this configuration is slow. It has 32 bit windows, only 3 gigs of RAM, and it's, it pretty much lags behind everything else in its price range That said, it's configurable. So if you want to spend a little bit less for just a big screen, or you want to spend more and knock up the performance and the features, you can certainly do that. And that's a nice little flexibility. So I'm Rich Brown, this is a Lenovo IdeaCentre A600.

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