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Lenovo IdeaCentre B500 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £850
inc VAT

The B500 works as a TV, gaming PC, multimedia centre and standard desktop; it's compact and effective but painfully expensive for its specification.


2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400, 4GB RAM, 23in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

If you want to play 3D games, what really counts is your graphics card. In this case, that’s an ATI Radeon HD 5570. It’s not blisteringly fast, but does an adequate job on most games. We got a score of 27.4fps in CoD4, which can be tweaked to provide completely smooth gaming. Crysis is more of a challenge. At 1,680×1,050 we recorded a sluggish 14fps, and we were unable to obtain a playable frame rate by dropping the resolution. The 5570 is a good multimedia card, though, capable of playing Blu-Ray discs if you have an external drive. It can even upscale DVDs to a full 1080p resolution.

The B500 comes with a matched wireless Bluetooth mouse, keyboard and Windows Media Center remote control set. The mouse is compact but comfortable. The keyboard looks more like a laptop layout than a standard desktop keyboard, but has a full character set and numeric keypad. The remote control can be used as an air mouse if you wish to navigate your desktop from the sofa.

Lenovo IdeaCentre B500 side

The B500 is a surprisingly effective jack-of-all-trades. You can use it as a TV, watch DVDs on it, play less demanding 3D games or just browse the web. It’s easy to use and we even got used to the orange-and-chrome styling. However, for £850, you can get a vastly more powerful desktop PC. If you’re short on space and need a PC to fit into a student bedsit, this is easily the most useful all-in-one we’ve seen. If space isn’t an issue, we recommend buying a bigger and more powerful PC.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400
Processor external bus 200MHz (1.3GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x8
Processor clock speed 2.66GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Memory 4
Memory type PC3-8500
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Lenovo
Motherboard chipset Intel G41


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n (dual band)

Internal Expansion

Case all-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free) N/A
PCI-E x16 slots (free) N/A
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi HDS721010CLA332
Interface SATA II
Total storage capacity 973GB


Graphics card(s) ATI Radeon HD 5570
Graphics/video ports none


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out, mic in
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards SDHC, SD, Memory Stick PRO
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 23 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs S-Video AV in

Other Hardware

Keyboard Lenovo LHX-JME8002B
Mouse Lenovo LHX-JME2069B


Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition, burn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £850

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