The Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 offers a ton of value for its $1,799 price tag. This PC is packed full of features and marketed as an all-in-one computer. The primary draw to this computer are the touch-screen and 3D viewing features. It also functions well as an entertainment system. It's able to display video and sound from a variety of multimedia, including VHS.
Although it may not meet the needs of more serious gamers, the IdeaCentre B520 performs well with most games and is suitable for gaming enthusiasts. It runs on Windows 7 Home Premium, with a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-2600 processor, 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555 graphics card and 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive.
Just about everything you'll need for this computer is included in the 23-inch, 1,920x1,080 pixel HD display screen. The speakers are attached to the bottom of the display. A kick-stand holds the screen up at an angle from the back, where the hard-drive, graphics card and all other components are included.
The computer was designed with touch-screen technology on a frameless screen to allow maximum screen-space with an aesthetically pleasing look. The touch response isn't lightning-speed, but works well and is easy to use. Also included at the bottom of the screen, are basic touch controls, such as volume, screen brightness and power.
The mouse and keyboard are connected to the IdeaCentre via bluetooth. The mouse has motion-sensing capabilities and can be picked up and used like the Wii-mote for PC games. The only downside is that the bluetooth connection takes at least three seconds to wake-up.
This computer is great for entertainment enthusiasts. A stand-out feature of the IdeaCentre B520 is its ability to input HDMI and component audio and video. This means that video can be displayed from a wide variety of external devices. The large, high-definition screen is big enough to allow the user to watch movies from a distance. It also comes with a remote control for such occasions. The remote is connected wirelessly through a USB port.
The 3D viewing capability of the Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 is one of the best features, and will likely be the biggest draw to consumers. This feature is made possible by Nvidia's GeForce GT 555M graphics card. A pair of active 3D glasses by Nvidia are included, which are just slightly more stylish than the red and blue paper glasses of the 80s. The glasses are charged with a Micro-USB cable. Additional glasses can be purchased from Lenovo, but are quite expensive.
The IdeaCentre B520 is one of the first PC's to integrate 3D technology, and stands apart from other 3D capable desktop computers, in that the 3D emitter is built into the casing. Photos, Blu-ray movies and games can all be viewed in 3D. However, enabling the 3D function is not as comprehensive as it could be, requiring the user to go into the Nvidia Start menu or graphics driver software.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 is not a gaming computer, but will work just fine for the casual gamer. The graphics card included with this PC doesn't quite make the cut for high speed games with complex graphics. A majority of PC games, however, will work just fine. The gaming capabilities of the IdeaCentre B520 are pretty impressive for an all-in-one computer, but serious gamers should invest in a computer with a higher quality graphics card, to avoid game lag.