The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 ($399.99 list) is a compact Windows 8-equipped PC that can easily be tucked away behind your HDTV or monitor. Although its Intel Celeron 887 processor isn’t the strongest performer, it’s nonetheless a good value thanks to its bundled multimedia remote, modular slot-loading optical drive, and reasonable price tag. For users that don’t plan on straying too far from its intended media purposes, it’s a solid way to jazz up any home theatre system.
Design and Features
The IdeaCentre Q190′s trim plastic chassis measures 0.86 by 7.55 by 6.10 inches (HWD). Even though its modular optical drive nearly doubles the system’s thickness to 1.5 inches, the IdeaCentre Q190 nonetheless remains compact enough to maintain an inconspicuous presence behind an HDTV or monitor. Moreover, the IdeaCentre Q190′s glossy black finish and silver accents lends the system a tastefully subdued aesthetic that won’t force you to hide it out of embarrassment when you have company over. Four rubber feet on the system’s underside provide a grip, though it ships with a bundled stand for vertical orientation as well as a VESA monitor mount.
Despite its small size, the IdeaCentre Q190 offers a decent amount of ports. A door on the front of the chassis conceals a pair of USB 3.0 ports, media card reader, and audio ports. The rear sports five USB 2.0 ports (two of which are occupied by the optical drive), an Ethernet port, HDMI, VGA, and an optical SPDIF audio port. While it earns points for including a DVD burner, the IdeaCentre Q190 isn’t as future-proof as our current Editors’ Choice for nettop PCs, the Acer Revo RL100-UR20P, whose usefulness for the next few years is virtually ensured by its integrated Blu-ray player.
Like both the Zotac Zbox Nano AD12 Plus and Zotac Zbox ID83 Plus, the IdeaCentre Q190 doesn’t ship with a bundled keyboard or mouse. It does, however, come with the Lenovo Mini Wireless Keyboard N5901, a nifty multimedia remote that integrates a full QWERTY keyboard and trackball into a single unit. Although its compact shape and ergonomic design make this couch companion perfect for one-handed operation, you’ll need to spring for an actual keyboard if you plan on typing for extended periods of time.
The IdeaCentre Q190′s 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive comes with some preloaded software. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, though, since it also means that there’s an actual operating system on the IdeaCentre 190, something that’s lacking in both the Zbox Nano AD12 Plus or Zbox ID83 Plus. In addition to the usual proprietary software (like a Lenovo Rescue utility, among others), the rest of the software comes in handy, like Cyberlink PowerDVD burning suite. Lenovo covers the IdeaCentre Q190 with a one-year warranty.
The IdeaCentre Q190′s 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 887 processor and 4GB RAM unsurprisingly yielded modest scores on our benchmark tests, and its overall performance was roughly on par with that of its peers but not quite as robust as a full-fledged desktop like the Gateway SX2380-UR318. Its PCMark7 score of 1,560 points easily trumped the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 (1,013 points) while falling short of the Zbox ID83 Plus (1,855 points) and, to a larger extent, the Gateway SX2380-UR318 (2,056 points). Similarly, its Cinebench R11.5 score of 1.16 points surpassed the Acer RL100-UR20P (0.69 point) and Zbox Nano AD12 Plus (0.65 point), but still fell short of the class-leading Zbox ID83 Plus (2.52 points).
Since the IdeaCentre Q190 is intended primarily for media consumption, it doesn’t excel when it comes to content creation. It completed our Handbrake video-encoding test in 3 minutes, which fell short of Zotac Zbox ID83 Plus (1:26). Moreover, it took a glacial 12 minutes 19 seconds to run through the dozen or so filters in our Photoshop CS6 test, or nearly twice as long as the Zotac Zbox ID83 Plus (6:39). Given its components, then, it didn’t register as a major shock that the IdeaCentre Q190 couldn’t run any of our gaming benchmark tests. Beyond its role as home-entertainment system, the IdeaCentre Q190 lacks the firepower to perform much beyond light daily tasks such as web browsing and casual social gaming.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 is a reasonably priced way to spice up your home theatre system and tinker around with Windows 8 on a big screen. Its shortcomings are overshadowed by its reasonable price tag, generous port selection, and bundled multimedia remote. Still these attributes aren’t enough to unseat the Acer Revo RL100-UR20P from its current Editors’ Choice status, especially given the latter’s Blu-ray drive. If that doesn’t rank too highly on your list of priorities, though, the IdeaCentre Q190 is worth checking out.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190
|Primary Optical Drive||DVD+/-RW (Plus Minus)|
|Processor Family||Intel Celeron|
|Graphics Card||Intel GMA HD|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||500 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc