Lenovo IdeaCentre Q110: Tiny ION Nettop

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Audio Recordings

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

Comparable System sound files:

  • Asus Eee Box B202 at idle, 18 [email protected] and 14 [email protected] (behind LCD monitor) -- The recording of the Eee Box was made with the unit at idle, and the microphone 1m away, first on a table in the hemi-anechoic chamber, and then mounted on the back of an LCD monitor, and the microphone 1m away from the front of the monitor. It starts with the room ambient, followed by the product's noise. The acoustics of the Eee Box barely changes with load, which is why only idle noise was recorded; there's virtually no audible difference at full load.


ION gives the Q110 the functionality of a HD media extender and possibly a budget gaming system (depending on the game/resolution). The higher power draw odd the ION chipset forced Lenovo to abandon passive cooling to deal with the extra heat output. The fan inside actually has a fairly good acoustic character, but the overall noise level is only low when the system is idle or used for simple tasks. If the CPU or GPU are pressed, the fan ramps up to quite audible levels. Much of the noise can be mitigated by placing the system in the included VESA mount behind a monitor. Muffled by a LCD screen, the Q110 is quiet enough for most users except under heavy load. Mounting it this way also hides all the cables.

Noise aside, our biggest beef with the Q110 is its 1.6 GHz single core Atom processor, which is overwhelmed by Vista. The responsiveness and performance can be arduous at times — we couldn't imagine using it on a daily basis as a general purpose PC. It may be well worth waiting for the Q110 to ship with Windows 7 rather than suffer through Vista and then endure the inconvenience of upgrading the operating system at a later date. Our other complaints carry over from the Q100 review: the ridiculous blue power LED, the almost inexcusable lack of WiFi, and the high price which seems unavoidable for devices of its size.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q100

* Very small
* Quiet when idle
* VESA mount
* Full H.264 acceleration
* HDMI output
* Free Windows 7 Upgrade

* loud under load
* slow CPU running Vista
* no WiFi
* crazy blue status LED
* price

Our thanks to Lenovo for the Q110 sample.

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Articles of Related Interest
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Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005HA netbook
Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p Eco USFF: Green Corporate SFF PC

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