There are only two things especially impressive about the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190, and both are small – the size and the price. Fortunately, both of those points are intriguing enough for the Q190 to earn some looks.
The 22 mm thick device is a desktop PC – the same as a standard large desktop tower. All of the processing power and software you would expect out of a PC is here, along with a Blu-Ray drive capable of playback in HD and 3D. With the way Lenovo is marketing it, the idea is that you can hook this PC up to your television, and use it to achieve the same effect as a smart TV or, to a greater extent than devices like the Roku Box – open up entertainment options from online sources to your non-smart TV.
If that’s where the Q190 is going to compete, the price is going to have to be pretty low despite it being, for all intents and purposes, a full PC. In fact, it is pretty cheap – $350 – but that price comes with a price. The best processor you can get with this one is a 2nd generation Intel Core i3 processor. That’s practically buried in the past now, with the admission that that processor is still plenty powerful enough for most of the entertainment that will be streamed using this device (perhaps excluding some video games, which might have to be run at less-than-optimal settings). The bigger blow to gaming is that the graphics will be handled by Intel HD 3000 graphics. Intel graphics have always fallen short for gaming, with the exception of Intel HD 4000 graphics, which tend to fare a little better. The 3000 series might not get the job done for a lot of AAA favorites out there.
But, you’re also getting 7.1 surround sound and Windows 8 Pro, plus a free mini keyboard and mouse and a free entertainment remote. All that, combined with the PC, for $350 doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal.