Rare are the times when desktop is favored over laptops these days – portability is in, inconvenience is not. But wait, not all desktops are inconvenient. They might be not portable, but for many offer a legitimate reason to choose instead of laptop. In this review, we’ll concentrate on Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS), a modern Pentium desktop, and figure out how it would benefit your computing efforts.
The main things
The most interesting thing in Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS) is arguably the processor. Dubbed Intel Pentium J2900, it offers entry-level performance with four cores and 2.4GHz clock speed (2.66GHz burst frequency). It lacks fancy features, like better graphics support and Hyperthreading of Core i3 processors, and indeed does worse job in benchmarks tests than its big brother Core i3. Naturally, any non-demanding use is fine for it, but for professional use (full-time programming, Photoshopping etc.) I wouldn’t really count on that Pentium.
The memory amount in this Lenovo is 4GB on one chip. There are no free slots available on the motherboard for upgrading the RAM. However, the system should support up to 8GB memory, so swapping the old memory chip for a bigger one should be a possibility.
The desktop sports an old school storage solution consisting of a hard drive. It’s spacious 1024GB, which can probably house all of your files easily. To give you an idea, a terabyte can hold video in high hundreds, closer to full thousand hours. The drive runs on 7200RPM so don’t expect the great speeds of new solid-state drives though.
Gaming performance in nutshell
Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS) wouldn’t be considered very gamer friendly computer. The Pentium processor integrates Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) chip that’s responsible of the gaming performance. As it is, this graphics engine is known to be a slow one, and would probably render heavier games like the latest Wolfenstein, the Battlefields and Thief unplayable. Some older games (such as World of Warcraft) might have acceptable FPS over 25, but most likely only on low settings.
There are different things stated on different vendors’ websites, but at least on Amazon the Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS) is listed having four USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. This confusion seems to be precisely about Lenovo desktops – perhaps they release technical specifications sparingly. Why is that, I can’t say.
As for video outputs, it seems that the Lenovo offers just a VGA port. There’s no mention about HDMI or DVI in the specifications, and the back panel photo doesn’t show them either. So you must resort to VGA which is inconvenience, but connecting the desktop to a HDMI device (like TV or newer PC monitor) is possible with special cable or converter. Naturally, the VGA port on this desktop doesn’t carry audio, so you would have to use separate cable for sounds in case of a HDTV connection.
There’s a 8x DVD burner available on Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS). Next to it, in the front panel, a card reader with support to MS, MS Pro, SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC and MMC Plus formats is installed.
For networking, there’s a 802.11b/g/n WiFi in addition to the regular 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. There’s no Bluetooth support out of the box.
Some other things to consider?
Well, the operating system of Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS) is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition. You’ll get to use the latest of Microsoft, be prepared to get a touch display if you want to explore all of its features. A monitor is not shipped with the package, but USB keyboard and mouse are.
The dimensions are roughly 6.3″ width, 16.1″ height and 14″ depth. Now, these dimensions suggest there’s space for one PCI-E x16 slot which means expandability. As such, a dedicated graphics card can be installed inside, but the power supply of 180W would meet its limits very fast if new hardware is added. Thus, the PSU would have to be replaced as well.
Lenovo H50 (90C1000AUS) is a budget computer by every definition. It has some rudimentary performance perfectly fine for everyday computing, but for power users the Pentium J series processor isn’t the most obvious choice. It’s also hard to believe the desktop doesn’t have HDMI or DVI outs, which however can be overcome with a converter or cable. Something about this desktop left a little bad taste in my mouth, perhaps the strange decision to leave HDMI out, but other than that it’s not a bad computer per se. For basic use at home or office a cheap desktop like this Lenovo should be alright choice.