You can always count on Lenovo to have a solid entry in pretty much any PC category. They were previously unrepresented in the home theater PC area, though, so they decided to get on that. The Q700 looks like a nettop, but has a lot more firepower: an actual Core2 (Duo or Quad) processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 600GB of storage… although to save space they’ve gone with integrated graphics. They claim it’ll do 1080p with no problems, but as usual I’m skeptical (it depends on the source). I’d upgrade the processor if I were getting one.
They’ve also put out a home server, suspiciously absent from the website (we’ll find it someday), and a nice-looking little ultraslim notebook, the U450p. The D400 home server looks a lot like the other network-attached storage devices, and I suspect it acts a lot like them, too. It’s got four slots for hard drives, and in a nice touch, a couple USB slots — handy for sharing a thumbdrive on the network. $500 for this guy, which would also buy you a Drobo.
The U450p ultraslim laptop, if I’m honest, doesn’t look like a very good deal at for $800. The 14″ screen looks decent enough, but the Core2 Solo and integrated graphics don’t really impress. It seems like the dv2, which wasn’t exactly a powerhouse, might have this guy beat, especially after its updates. The U450p is, however, thin and good-looking, which was after all its goal.
There’s also the Q100, the new nettop. It’s a super-low-power, super-low-profile basic PC with a low-grade Atom processor, one gig of RAM, and 160GB of space. Sure, that sounds like garbage, but for $250 you could have one in every room; it’s good enough to run XP. You could also upgrade to the Q110, which has HDMI out, but really you’re better off spending the extra money to get the $500 Q700 HTPC mentioned above.
It’s a mixed bag, but Lenovo’s a good brand. If you’re looking for a kitchen PC or a basic HTPC, the Q series is a good bet, although set-top boxes like Roku and Popcorn hour do quite a lot of that for less money. Lots of options! That’s a good thing, right?