Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS) Desktop Review

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January 10, 2017
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If you are not a power user – a person who deals with multitasking and demanding applications – you can do with a cheaper desktop. The performance doesn’t have to be top notch for you, and this in turn means better price. That kind of desktop is Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS), and a quick look indeed reveals affordable price and excellent user reviews. But what do we find when digging deeper into the subject…

General performance

There’s an appropriate 6th generation Intel Core i3-6100 processor in the heart of Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS), offering its dual cores and 3.7GHz clock speed (however no turbo) for you to use. Being an i3, it’s certainly not the fastest processor there is, yet for software-related work you can’t go wrong it. The popular CPU Mark benchmark rates it at ~5400 points which is a good score for home user desktop, easily.

The total memory is 8GB DDR4 and the configuration, as far as I know, is two 4GB sticks. So both memory slots on the mainboard are taken – you can replace the sticks with 8GB ones, maxing the memory at 16 gigabytes. However, it is questionable whether going above 8 gigabytes actually makes any sense, for the vast majority of people it doesn’t!

You will find plenty of storage in this Lenovo. It is provided by a one-terabyte 7200RPM hard drive, surely enough to host all your files, programs and few games. I have seen questions asking whether SSD can be installed here, and fortunately, it is possible. The case has one free 3.5″ SATA 3 bay, to that you can put in SSD, at least with an adapter.

Good for gaming?

The graphics engine in Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS) is Intel HD 530, so there is that obstacle about gaming. The integrated Intel HD chip will work alright with games without fancy graphics and big demands, such as Tomb Raider and Counter-Strike: Go, those on medium-high settings. But it is not advisable to try very heavy games, like Doom or The Witcher 3 here, they would really get bad frame rates and your gaming sessions would be unpleasant even if you had very little eye candy on!

But all hope is not lost, not at all. The desktop sports a PCI-e x16 slot inside, and to that various graphics cards can be put. For example, GeForce GTX 950 fits in well. But the problem is the PSU, it’s only rated at 180W while dedicated graphics need 350W or more. So, be prepared to upgrade power supply too if adding graphics card!

Does it offer good ports and connections?

Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS) accommodates six USB peripherals at the same time. The majority of ports are USB 2.0 while two are USB 3.0 so you’ll need to prioritize. Not a surprise for this price, the newer USB Type-C port is not available on this rig!

The back panel hosts VGA and HDMI-output, however only one monitor can be connected at a time. So, no dual display support here which can be a bummer for some.

Nice networking options are available, there being a Gigabit RJ-45 port for cable and Wireless adapter supporting 802.11ac standard and also Bluetooth 4.0. Not all desktops, even the more expensive ones, still come with wireless – but this one surely does!

There’s a 16X DVD burner for your disc reading and burning needs. Likewise, a 7-in-1 card reader is included to help you with data transfers. It accepts all the common memory card formats.

What other things I should know?

Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS) comes with a wired keyboard and mouse so you don’t need to worry about those. But what you’ll need to worry about is monitor – that is not included and you most likely have to buy it separately.

Operating system is Windows 10 Home (64-bit). It seems to be pre-installed, I don’t know if OS discs are included here.

Verdict

It’s hard to go wrong with desktop like Lenovo Ideacentre 300 (90DA00LPUS) if you don’t seek cutting-edge performance and latest features. This rig is just perfect for day-to-day use, such as web surfing and watching (1080p) videos off YouTube. Light gaming is also possible. Keep in mind the minor drawbacks like single monitor support and low wattage PSU. Yet for the money, the Lenovo is a decent general-use desktop for years to come!


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