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Lenovo unveils new Windows 8 home theater PC

The new and tiny IdeaCentre Q190 offers Windows 8 Pro, an Intel core i3 processor, and up to 8GB of memory.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Lenovo/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Lenovo has bumped up the specs on its latest home theater PC but kept it as compact as ever.

Announced today, the new mini IdeaCentre Q190 is an upgrade to Lenovo's current Q180. And based on its features, it does qualify as a true upgrade.

The Q190 offers a 3rd-generation (Ivy Bridge) Intel Core i3 processor, a hard drive as large as one terabyte, a 24-gigabyte SSD cache, and as much as 8GB of memory. The PC can also be outfitted with Windows 8 Pro.

In comparison, the Q180 comes with an Atom chip, a 750GB hard drive or 128GB SSD, and up to 4GB of memory.

The Q190 crams its power into a small package. Lenovo didn't reveal the total dimensions of the PC, but a video showed its width as only 22 millimeters (less than an inch). The company is also playing it up as the "world's smallest desktop PC," a claim it said was based on a market survey from July.

As a home theater PC, the Q190 supports up to 7.1-channel surround sound through a TV or entertainment system via an HDMI connection. Full HD graphics are provided via the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics processor. Buyers can opt for a standard DVD drive or a Blu-ray drive.

Beyond HDMI, other ports include Ethernet, VGA, S/PDIF, and USB 3.0. A 6-in-1 card reader is part of the package as well. And the PC comes with Lenovo's wireless controller, which includes both a keyboard and trackball.

Available in January, the new PC will start at $349.

Lenovo has also been busy on the all-in-one front with seven new AIO PCs announced today, including the C240, C245, C340, C440, C345, C445, and C540.

Starting at $349, the 18.5-inch Lenovo C240 and C245 AIOs are designed for more cost-conscious consumers, particularly families, since the PCs come with children's games and educational programs. Both models will be available sometime this month.

The other five models come in larger sizes and higher price tags, offer adjustable screen displays, and are geared more for entertainment. All five PCs offer Lenovo's Dynamic Brightness System, which automatically adjusts the brightness based on the surroundings, and Lenovo's Eye Distance System, which warns people if they're too close to the screen.

All available in January, the C340 will start at $499, the C440 at $519, the C345 at $479, the C445 at $499, and the C540 at $549.