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Lenovo’s New Nettop Is A Dirt Cheap HTPC

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Lenovo's New Nettop Is A Dirt Cheap HTPC


The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 will be available at the end of June and start at just $249. The nettop features Nvidia ION graphics, a choice of a single core Intel Atom D410 or dual core Atom D510 processor, 2GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n, your choice of 5400rpm hard drive and Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Home Basic installed. It measures in at just 6.8″ x 6″ x 0.8″ with an HDMI output, 4 USB ports (2 front and 2 back), mic and headphone jacks, S/PDIF audio, VGA output, and Ethernet port. Available separately is Lenovo's cool wireless multimedia remote with keyboard and trackball.

For links and more stories visit the Hot Stories section at HomeToys.com
post #2 of 53
Looks interesting, I'm intrigued by the multimedia remote. Might have to try one out.
post #3 of 53
Bought my wife a netbook last week that runs the new Atom and it's the slowest thing I have seen in years. I put another gig of RAM in it, to give it 2GB thinking that would help, but uh uh, nope. Turns out, the processor is a REAL dog when it comes to anything moderately processor intensive. Even flash videos slow the thing down to a crawl. I would not buy anything powered by an Atom, even for that price.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblank74 View Post

Bought my wife a netbook last week that runs the new Atom and it's the slowest thing I have seen in years. I put another gig of RAM in it, to give it 2GB thinking that would help, but uh uh, nope. Turns out, the processor is a REAL dog when it comes to anything moderately processor intensive. Even flash videos slow the thing down to a crawl. I would not buy anything powered by an Atom, even for that price.

Agreed - I've heard Atom doesn't mix well with "HD" video - I'd be hard-pressed to use it as a HTPC in that case.
post #5 of 53
The IBM controller is PnP for Media Center. I would prefer it to the Di Novo except that it's not backlit which makes keyboard use a struggle in dim lighting and the trackball is too easily moved and by easy I mean if a door closes in another part of the house or the dog barks or you try to get the popcorn out of your teeth the trackball jars and up comes the MC overlay in the middle of the movie. Not the end of the world but a real buzzkill sometimes.

It's a fine idea but uncharacteristically for Big Blue half baked. Mine is a little shy of a year old. Perhaps it's been improved since.
post #6 of 53
Wow, have you guys not heard of the ION GPU? It makes an Atom perfect for HD video and even HD Flash. I'm not sure what the audio capabilities are, though. Also, at this stage of the game, Lenvo better be bringing ION2 to the table.
post #7 of 53
+1
post #8 of 53
This looks perfect to run Squeezebox server + Squeezeplay. plug the S/PDIF audio to your receiver and bingo - you have a music server operated from your I-touch.
I want one.
post #9 of 53
sweet keyboard and mouse!!!
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by imahemi View Post

sweet keyboard and mouse!!!

I have the lenovo multimedia keyboard and love it. It's relatively cheap too.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Wow, have you guys not heard of the ION GPU? It makes an Atom perfect for HD video and even HD Flash. I'm not sure what the audio capabilities are, though. Also, at this stage of the game, Lenvo better be bringing ION2 to the table.

Has Adobe finally got ION accelerated Flash released? Last time I looked it was supported only by Boxee under Ubuntu. The Atom hasn't a prayer of doing anything Flash without it.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by erkq View Post

Has Adobe finally got ION accelerated Flash released? Last time I looked it was supported only by Boxee under Ubuntu. The Atom hasn't a prayer of doing anything Flash without it.

IIRC it's been about 2 months at least. I'm not using my REVO right now, so I cannot confirm this.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

IIRC it's been about 2 months at least. I'm not using my REVO right now, so I cannot confirm this.

VERY cool! I'll have to fire up my 330 ION board again. I got tired of futzing with it and waiting for that Flash upgrade.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by erkq View Post

VERY cool! I'll have to fire up my 330 ION board again. I got tired of futzing with it and waiting for that Flash upgrade.

Here you go.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Here you go.

Hulu here I come! Thanks.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Wow, have you guys not heard of the ION GPU? It makes an Atom perfect for HD video and even HD Flash. I'm not sure what the audio capabilities are, though. Also, at this stage of the game, Lenvo better be bringing ION2 to the table.

And if you are intending to run Win7 on it, it will still be slow. The ION/ION2 only helps with video/audio offload/decode. It still won't make Windows 7 snappy.

Maybe Dell will release an updated Zino with 5XXX series Radeon GPU. That is the machine I would purchase for a Win7 HTPC.
post #17 of 53
post #18 of 53
Trying to get a machine with these specs to handle HD video is pointless. The price is low, but the processing power is hardly sufficient to do much more than SD video. You can build an HTPC for fairly cheap if you have the patience to look for some decent component prices.
post #19 of 53
Remember everyone, that the Atom CPU is a reworked Pentium 3. However, when paired with a capable GPU, an Atom-based system can handle HD video just fine.

ION is simply what Nvidia calls a system based on the Atom and the 9400M GPU.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuDLP View Post

Trying to get a machine with these specs to handle HD video is pointless. The price is low, but the processing power is hardly sufficient to do much more than SD video. You can build an HTPC for fairly cheap if you have the patience to look for some decent component prices.

How do you know it's pointless? As someone who has watched HD content through Boxee under Ubuntu I can personally attest that the GPU horsepower is there for HD Flash. If they've got GPU support in Flash under Windows now it can work. Not saying "does" because I've not done it yet. But there is certainly the horsepower available to do it and that's a long way from "pointless".

25 watt power consumption attracts a lot of people to this platform.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuDLP View Post

Trying to get a machine with these specs to handle HD video is pointless. The price is low, but the processing power is hardly sufficient to do much more than SD video. You can build an HTPC for fairly cheap if you have the patience to look for some decent component prices.


For the past 5 months I have been using the Acer Revo 3610 with the same specs as this machine - ION (first generation) upgraded with 3 Gb ram though (windows 7) works perfectly fine for HDTV (1080i/720P) - I have 2 SD Homeruns (4 clear qam tuners) and it works recording 3 HD shows and watching a 4th - no hiccups.

Now this is TV not 1080p blu ray - I don't utilize that yet - but for the $$ these machines are nice out of the box entry level HTPC's especially for first timers in the HTPC world for TV and DVD's (probably not 1080 video like BR).

FYI - I have all recorded TV and ripped DVD's playing from a NAS (using FreeNAS) - works great with my other Win 7 media center machines as well as my xbox 360.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

Wow, have you guys not heard of the ION GPU? It makes an Atom perfect for HD video and even HD Flash. I'm not sure what the audio capabilities are, though. Also, at this stage of the game, Lenvo better be bringing ION2 to the table.

Well buddy, the Netbook I bought my wife is an ION GPU powered machine and it's still a dog and there is NO WAY I would use it for anything video related.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblank74 View Post

Well buddy, the Netbook I bought my wife is an ION GPU powered machine and it's still a dog and there is NO WAY I would use it for anything video related.

I just don't want others led astray. It DOES work with HD video. There may be no way you'd use it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuDLP View Post

Trying to get a machine with these specs to handle HD video is pointless. The price is low, but the processing power is hardly sufficient to do much more than SD video. You can build an HTPC for fairly cheap if you have the patience to look for some decent component prices.

NuDLP - While this may have been your experience, it is not true across the board. By comparison, the Acer Revo 1600 is a single core (hyperthreaded) CPU with an Nvidia GPU and I have 2 at home that play uncompressed 1080p BluRay without skipping a beat. In addition to the two I have, I've set up 3 for friends, and they all work just fine with full resolution HD (and play TrueHD to boot). This is on a $200 box. The key, as others have said, is that all video processing is offloaded to the GPU, not the CPU.

If you are talking about playing online HD Flash content, then yes, the single or dual core chips are going to have a huge problem dealing with it pre 10.1 upgrade, but once Flash is successfully offloaded to the GPU as well, you'll get the same performance there.

More info on the Acer 1600 setup can be found here.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblank74 View Post

Well buddy, the Netbook I bought my wife is an ION GPU powered machine and it's still a dog and there is NO WAY I would use it for anything video related.

Would you entertain the possibility that your machine isn't set up right with the correct software?
Are you using DXVA or CUDA acceleration? With either of those - I prefer CUDA with CoreAVC at the moment - video processing is offloaded to the GPU and should run smoothly. That goes for 1080p content too, and is the case for me for h264 encoded videos at least.

BTW, please note that my comments relate only to video - not running Office, Photoshop or other CPU intensive tasks. The whole point is that with a correctly set up ION, video is NOT processor intensive - it's GPU intensive. There's no argument that the CPUs in these are not all that.
post #26 of 53
This looks like a great design and something I'd normally be interested in. However, with the impending (albeit unknown as of today) release of ION2, could this product be obsolete before it even hits the market?
post #27 of 53
Everything is obsolete as soon as it hits the market

That's what keeps our economy going!
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

Everything is obsolete as soon as it hits the market

That's what keeps our economy going!

Yup... gotta just jump on the bus at some point if you want to enjoy anything high-tech.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by erkq View Post

I just don't want others led astray. It DOES work with HD video. There may be no way you'd use it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work.

If you don't want others led astray, stop acting like this thing is gonna run video like an I7 powered Quad-Core PC.


OK, works quite poorly....how's that? It stutters badly even when using MLB.com's MLB.TV feature and that is HARDLY the most taxing piece of video out there.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblank74 View Post

If you don't want others led astray, stop acting like this thing is gonna run video like an I7 powered Quad-Core PC.


OK, works quite poorly....how's that? It stutters badly even when using MLB.com's MLB.TV feature and that is HARDLY the most taxing piece of video out there.

Well, we have different experiences then. If that's your experience I see you wanting to warn other off. I would too. Something may not be setup correctly.

But setup is more fussy than if you just have the CPU power to do it. If you have a powerful CPU, it just gets done!
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