Lenovo Q110

Back in early December 2009, I bought a Lenovo Q100 nettop. Lenovo recently released the IdeaCentre Q110. So, what’s the difference between the Q100 and Q110? It’s essentially the same as its predecessor except for two things: The nettop comes with 2GB instead of 1GB RAM. It’s also equipped with a HDMI output. Everything else is the same: 160GB hard drive. 6 USB ports, 1 mic and stereo output.

One thing I still haven’t tried is running Ubuntu Remix on it.

Canon MX330 $50 Rebate

Two months ago, I bought a Lenovo Q100 nettop running on Windows XP. I thought about installing Ubuntu Linux on it, but I needed a Windows desktop since I don’t have one. Believe it or not, there are valid reasons for having a Windows desktop around the house, albeit an underpowered one.

The Lenovo Q100 runs on 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom 230, not necessarily a speed demon. It’s a bit sluggish, but it’s perfect for email, browsing and writing simple documents. I love it. The only issue I had so far was the latest version of Avast Anti-virus program. The Avast program used up a large part of the CPU resources of the Q100.

I picked up one of those bundled multi-function printers along with Lenovo Q100, a Canon MX330 printer for only $60. What a bargain. Even better, it comes with a $50 rebate. So, today, I received my $50 rebate, almost two months after the initial purchase. It was worth the wait.

Technically, the printer was only $10. Can’t beat that price anywhere.

Avast Anti-Virus and Atom N230

My Lenovo Q100 is a bit underpowered running on an 1.60 Ghz Intel Atom 230. Recently, I updated my nettop to the latest Avast Anti-Virus software. The result is  disappointing. The latest Avast software seem to gobble up the CPU utilization of the Q100. Videos are choppy and the sound stutters. I uninstalled Avast at the moment. I might install an older version of Avast or just leave the nettop unprotected. In the meantime, the Q100 is back to humming along quite nicely.

Lenovo Q100 Review

I had a chance to play around with the Lenovo Q100 nettop. It’s a tiny computer about the size of an average external CD player. The footprint is impressively small at 6″w X 0.8″d X 6.80″h. We are talking inches here. It’s small enough that it comes with an installation plate that can be mounted on the back of flatscreen monitor as seen here. It can also stand up vertically  on its own stand as seen here. You can place it anywhere in your house, in the bedroom, living room or in the kitchen. It weighs only 1.67 lbs, and that includes the stand.

It’s very green. It consumes only 14 watts when in idle mode and 40 watts when fully loaded. So, what’s inside? It’s comes pre-installed with Windows XP SP3 Home Edition. It’s powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom 230 processor with single-core Hyper-Threading technology, Intel 64 Technology, 533Mhz system bus and 512KB L2 cache. It has 1GB PC2-5300 667 MHZ DDR2 of RAM.  The hard drive is a 160 GB SATA 5400 RPM disk.

It contains 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 front and 4 back. It has 2 speaker outputs, 1 front and 1 back, and 1 mic input in front. The audio is a High Definition (HD) audio, RealTek ALC662 codec. The network port is a built-in Gigabit ethernet RealTek RLT811DL.  Last but not least, it comes with a VGA port powered by an integrated Nvidia ION chipset MCP7A-ION.

The system is not a speed demon considering the price and footprint, but it performs admirably. It’s ideally suited for basic computing such as email and internet. I’ve used it for streaming videos with a videocam at ustream.tv. It worked great. Fry’s currently sells the Q100 for $189 pre-tax. While at it, you can get a Canon Pixma MX330 All-In-One Printer, Copier, Fax, Scanner for $59 with a $50 dollar rebate.  Technically, only $9.95.