Lenovo IdeaCentre Q110: Tiny ION Nettop

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TEST RESULTS

System Power Draw

Test Results: System Power
Test State
Lenovo Q100
Lenovo Q110
Idle
13W
17W
CPU Load
16W
20W
CPU + GPU
Load
20W
32W

The ION powered Q110 pulled about 4W more from the wall than the Q100 when the GPU was not actively used. When a GPU load was applied using FurMark, the difference jumped to 12W.

Video Playback

Test Results: Video Playback
Test State
Lenovo Q100
Lenovo Q110
Avg.
CPU
System Power
Avg. CPU
System Power
Rush Hour
(1080p H.264)
92%
18W
20%
21W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
60%
18W
71%
23W
Undead Battle
(720p x264)
86%
18W
50%
22W
Spaceship
(1080p x264)
100%
18W
48%
25W
Gray boxes: flawed but watchable
Pink boxes: failure, unwatchable

Of the four clips we played for comparison, the Q100 was only able to play one of them without issue, a 720p x264 video. As you can see from the table above, video hardware acceleration makes a huge difference — with ION the Q110 played through our test suite with relative ease, with the exception of the VC-1 encoded Coral Reef clip, which elicited high CPU utilization. VC-1 is a commonly found on Blu-ray movies, so a single core Atom probably isn't enough for BD playback via an external Blu-ray drive. H.264 playback was a breeze though and both our 720p and 1080p x264-encoded MKVs (the format popular among file-sharers) played smoothly with only 50% CPU use when played with MPC-HC with CoreAVC/CUDA.

3DMark Results

3DMark05 Score
Test
Lenovo Q100
Lenovo Q110
Score
220
2420

The Q110 doesn't make a stellar gaming machine, but it is still an order of magnitude better than the third-rate SiS graphics on the Q100. Its 3DMark05 result was more than 10x higher. For older games at lower resolutions it should be sufficient.

Subjective Performance

On previous Atom platforms, we've felt the subjective performance and responsiveness was a little slow, but tolerable. Unfortunately, because the Q110 ships with Vista Home Premium instead of XP, this is no longer true. This choice allows the system to qualify for a free Windows 7 upgrade, but it comes at the cost of a very slow out-of-the-box experience. There was a noticeable delay when launching programs and the system got bogged down with any sort of multitasking. Installing/uninstalling programs was painful and the overall responsiveness was poor even after disabling Vista's eye candy, indexing service, system restore, etc. The Q110 also ships with a bit more pre-installed software than the Q100, but less than most other brand new PCs: Adobe Air and Reader, Cyberlink PowerDVD and TrendMicro Internet Security. Upon boot-up, TrendMicro ate up all the CPU cycles for several minutes.

A dual core version would have handled Vista a lot better, but given the form factor it might have been difficult to do without cranking the fan speed up to very high levels. The system does have an extra 1GB of RAM, but the processor simply isn't fast enough to deal with Vista. The Q110 is a casualty of Microsoft's decision to exclude XP from its free Windows 7 upgrade program. Interestingly, Lenovo still lists the Q110 as shipping with Vista, so even after a month since Windows 7's release, Q110 buyers will still have to put up with some pain while they await their copy of Windows 7 in the mail.



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