The Lenovo IdeaCentre 300s suffices as a basic budget desktop that comes with basic features and specs to offer middle-of-the road performance with no particular strongholds.
PROS: Small tower design. Good selection of I/O ports.
CONS: Some bloatware. Middling performance. Limited upgrade option
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 300s is a basic budget Windows desktop PC that your money can buy capable of handling day to day tasks effortlessly. The system won’t win any speed trials but it packs all the essentials to get your job done.
It comes with a decent CPU, 8GB RAM to run Windows passably and a good selection of connectivity ports. There is also 1TB 72000 RPM of storage space which is upgradable together with the RAM.
The configuration in this desktop does not offer any mind-blowing performance but then it passes across as a basic desktop for everyday work. It offers better storage than the Shuttle XPC Nano but it has a bigger form factor.
The desktop is notable because of its desk space saving-ability and it runs near-silent at all times. It is a good pick for a student or parent who does nothing more than surfing the web and emailing. Equally, it can serve in a business just for running a web browser.
Design and Features
The Lenovo Idea Centre 300S might not march the other desktops in the competition in size, but it competes favorably. It measures 6.3 x 16.14 x 13.98 inches and weighs in at 15.4 pounds which is relatively similar to the Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 which measures 6.89 x 17.43 x 15.67 inches. It therefore won’t take much of your desk space.
The desktop dons an all-black color save for the glossy plastic front panel that is made of aluminum. The Leno 300s package includes a basic wired keyboard and mouse, both of which are in black plastic. You will have to purchase the monitor separately, the Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch is worth considering.
Under the hood, the Compact PC rocks an Intel core i3-6100 Processor clocked at 3.7GHz. It does not feature turbo boost support hence it does not go beyond that clock speed. The system is coupled with 8GB of RAM that is enough for casual users that want to handle daily tasks such as web browsing, video conferencing and editing of documents.
The Lenovo Idea Centre features a 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive which provides enough storage space but not as fasts as a Solid State Drive. The Acer Aspire Atc-780-AMZi5 dwarfs the Lenovo in terms of storage as it features a 2TB hard drive which is more than enough for the storage of all music, videos, pictures and other important documents.
Gaming is not welcome in this basic PC as it features an Integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 engine that is capable of handling some of the latest title but with a little eye candy.
The Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 is slightly better as it features Intel HD Graphics 630. If you still want to push the system any further, then do not expect any fancy graphics. You will get very bad frame rates if you tried heavy games such as The Witcher 3 or Doom on this system.
It can however handle the League of Legends at maximum settings and allow you to enjoy smooth frame rates.
The good news for game enthusiasts is that there is a PCl-e x16 slot inside that will allow you to insert various graphics cards. It can allow you to fit in a GeForce GTX 950 Graphics card to boost its gaming performance. This will however require you to upgrade the power supply from 180W to 350 W or more for it to handle the dedicated graphics. If you are not a computer nerd, buying an improved gaming system such as the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A gaming desktop will save you the hustle of tinkering with the system.
Connectivity options for this system are pleasant with the inclusion of two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports. The front panel holds a DVD RW drive, a headphone jack, a mic jack and two USB 2.0 ports. The back holds the two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port for extending the display as well as a VGA port should you want to use an older monitor. The desktop also includes a card reader that supports MMC, MMC plus, Memory Stick, and Memory Stick Pro along with SD cards up to SDXC capacities.
Internet connectivity is available through RJ-45 port for wired internet connection and wireless connectivity comes by way of 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre 300s is an inexpensive option for a casual user after a reliable desktop for daily performance. It comes with modest features including the 6th generation Intel core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a spacious 1TB 7200RPM hard drive. The configuration of this system does not give room for much upgrades and the performance falls rather on the slower category. In as much as it is a small form factor desktop, it is not tiny to justify its less impressive specs or slower performance. It is easy to recommend the Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 in the budget desktops category thanks to its super decent design, expansion options, generous I/O offerings and affordability.