Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 video review

Ardjuna Seghers



Read the full Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 review

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 is as tiny and cute as its title of “world’s smallest fully functional desktop PC” would suggest, but doesn’t compromise on features or connectivity. It's not the most stylish nettop around but is well-constructed and well-specified, and its detachable Blu-ray drive is a nifty addition. Performance is constrained by its Atom processor but adequate for daily productivity, casual gaming and watching HD video. Best of all is the bundled keyboard/mouse remote, which is one of the better examples we’ve seen and can be used with any device that will accept a USB RF dongle. Frankly, all this for £350 seems a pretty good deal.

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April 26, 2012, 11:49 pm

I bought the Q180 to use as a Home Theater PC with XBMC and for online video streaming (mainly NFL Gamepass).

I have to say that I am still not sure I won't return it. Build quality and the size factor is great.

It's powerfull enough for SD and 720p videos but it is struggling with 1080p vids. I already spent a long time fiddling with the graphic settings and I am losing patience.

For me this is the biggest drawback. This is not a PlugnPlay device. This things needs to be properly set up to deliver the goods (my 5 year old WD TV produced much better video quality right out of the box).

Useful tip: if you connect it to your Samsung HDTV, make sure to use the HDMI dedicated to PC use and to rename the source as PC. This makes a big difference in video quality.

Conclusion: this is a machine I really want to fall in love with. Unfortunately, this requires a lot of work.


April 30, 2012, 12:22 am

Just don't see the potential in these atom powered slowbros. For 380 GBP you could buy a laptop with i3-2350M or the like with the Intel HD 3000, which will be alot faster and have no troubles with HD 1080 content.

E.g. the Lenovo B570e and just let it sit near the television, , hook it up to HDMI and you would have a (spare?) laptop.

You could probably get something even more powerful?


May 9, 2012, 3:49 pm

Thanks for your comment and feedback.

I haven't tested the Q180 with XBMC, but it certainly runs even demanding 1080p content fine using a media player that supports hardware acceleration. Both its Atom chip and Radeon graphics could manage this alone...

As to HD content, see above.

But you do make a good point about laptops. However, the advantages to this specific Q180 is that you get USB3, a Blu-ray drive and that awesome remote, features you wouldn't find on a laptop at that price.

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