The Bottom Line
- Larger Hard Drive
- Smaller Slim Desktop Case
- Lacks USB 3.0 Ports
- Intel Pentium G2020 Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC3-10500 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x Dual Layer DVD Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2500 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio Support
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Six USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 7-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 8
Review - Lenovo Essential H520s Budget
Apr 23 2013 - Lenovo's Essential H520s is the company's slim desktop design that can be found in a wide range of configurations for different budgets. Previously I looked at the high end version but they also have a budget version that is priced under $400. Externally, they are nearly identical but internally they are very different.
For the budget model, Lenovo has opted to use the Intel Pentium G2020 dual core processor. Now this has the same basic design as the latest Core i processors found in the more expensive versions but it runs at a lower clock speed and lacks features like Hyper Threading. It is suitable for basic computing such as browsing the web, watching streaming media and productivity software. It can do things like desktop video work but it will take much longer to complete tasks. The processor is matched up with 4GB of DDR3 which is typical of most low costs systems. It will run fine with Windows 8 but it is recommended to purchase second memory module to upgrade the system to 8GB if you plan to do much multitasking.
Storage for the budget Essential H520s is both good and bad. On the good side, the system uses a larger one terabyte hard drive that provides it with twice the storage of most systems priced at $400. The downside is that the system does not feature any of the new USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage options making expanding the total storage a bit more difficult. There is a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
The graphics for the Essential H520s rely on the Intel HD Graphics 2500 that are built into the Pentium G2020 processor. This is an updated version of the HD Graphics but it still offers very limited 3D performance such that it really is not suited for even casual PC gaming. It does offer accelerated media encoding when using Quick Sync enabled applications. Now there is a PCI-Express graphics card for those that wish to add a graphics card. Be warned that the space within the system and the low wattage power supply will restrict it to only the most basic cards such as the Radeon HD 7570 that was installed on the high end version of the H520s.