The Lenovo IdeaCentre C560 , also referred to as just the Lenovo C560, is a very powerful entry-level All-in-One desktop that incorporates a 1080p display that measures in at 23 inches. The base is made from aluminum, and this PC is also surprisingly easy to upgrade later down the road.
For its price range, the IdeaCentre C560 is more than adequate when it comes to processing power, boasting a 4th generation Intel Core i3 processor clocked at 2.9GHz. This is an extremely future proof processor built on the company’s latest Haswell chip architecture which is great for power conservation and power. While the power conservation won’t make too much of a difference since your computer will obviously always be plugged in, it does eliminate heat as well so your system runs cooler.
The 6GB of RAM is great, and is around the minimum you should be looking for when purchasing a new computer. A lot of lower priced options have 4GB RAM, and that’s simply not enough. Not only does this unit come equipped with 6GB of DDR3 RAM (currently the fastest out), Lenovo also makes it extremely easy to upgrade both the RAM and the hard drive via a user accessible back panel which you can check out in the Media section at the bottom of this review.
Compared to most other All-in-One desktops, the IdeaCentre C560 blew us away in terms of its audio quality. This unit utilizes stereo speakers equipped with Dolby Advanced Audio, which is a suite of audio technologies that are software-based that properly leverage the size of the speakers equipped in the particular unit. Most computers have small speakers, including this one, but the software is properly adjusted to account for the small size and you get distorted and clipped sounds. With Dolby Advanced Audio, the company can properly account for the size and leverage what they know about human hearing to make a better listening experience. The technology is definitely not as good as proper speakers would be, but it helps push the C560 a little ahead of the competition.
This is a very decently-sized All-in-One, and is about as large as we’d expect with a monitor of 23 inches. The whole unit weighs in at about 15 pounds, so it should be easy to move and place wherever you need it to be. The display bezel and holding arm are also pretty low-profile, but they’re not the absolute thinnest we’ve seen which is to be expected because of the low price-point.
This All-in-One has a lot of the essentials that you’d find in most modern computers, but also missed some. The 720p webcam is slick, as well as USB 3.0 connectivity, and 6 in 1 card reader, but we would have liked to have seen wireless peripherals. Another nice bonus is a coaxial cable input for TV, something that we definitely don’t see a lot of, even among the higher priced alternatives. There’s also an HDMI output if you want to work or watch on a larger TV in your residence.
While the wired mouse is nothing to write home about, the keyboard is actually not bad at all. Lenovo put a little bit of effort into its design and creation, utilizing excellent, ergonomic island-style keys that are a pleasure to type on. And even though the components aren’t wireless, at least that means you won’t be having to switch out batteries every now and then as long as you’re not worried about the wires on your workspace.
Great bang for your buck
Easily upgradeable (RAM and HDD)
Coaxial input is unique
No wireless keyboard nor mouse included
No 802.11ac for a media-oriented AIO?
This is a very basic machine that actually is a very adequately powered workhorse. Lenovo did not skimp on any components and ended up building a very solid machine for the price. It has everything you’d expect in a computer today and is future proof not only because of its Haswell processor and 6GB of RAM, but because it’s also easily upgradeable which is rare in the world of AIOs. This would make a great machine for most people and will last you for years to come.
Video Card / GPU
Intel Core i3-4130 2.9GHz (Haswell)
1TB 7200 RPM
Integrated Intel HD
4 USB 2.0 Ports / 2 USB 3.0 Ports
Optional 3 Year Warranty