The Lenovo H50 an affordable desktop PC that packs enough power into a mini-tower chassis, like an Intel Core-i5 processor, 8GB memory, 1 TB storage all at a nice price.
THE GOOD: Powerful CPU. Decent collection of I/O ports.
THE BAD: Middle-of-the-road GPU. Some Bloatware
The Lenovo H50 (90B700EEUS) is among the latest releases into the budget desktop PC category. It packs enough power into a mini-tower chassis including a powerful Haswell Intel Core i5 processor (a quad-core 3.2GHz- turbo up to 3.4GHz) and 8GB of system memory. The H50 stands out as one of those systems you’ll stack on work surface for at least four to six years, and it will still have enough power before it can be replaced. It has some features that will make general users on a budget happy, plus enough memory to keep it relevant for longer than what you’d get in a bargain-basement system with 4GB. For home users and medium-power users, this might be the system for your mid-level computing needs. The H50 compares well with other budget desktop PCs released around the same period like the Core i3-powered ASUS M32AD, but it lacks the chops to unseat the 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core-i5-powered ASUS M32CD as our Editors’ Choice budget desktop PC.
In the 2015 model, Lenovo slimmed the mini-tower chassis on the H50 into 13.98 by 6.30 by 16.14inches (HWD), which is way slender from last year’s Lenovo H500 (14.5 by 6.9 by 16.9 inches-HWD) and weighs 15.62 pounds. It has a matte-black finish and sports a two-tone black/gray front panel with silver trim. Along the top of the panel is a DVD burner tray load and below it are two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and a 7-in-1-card reader.
The Lenovo H50 comes with a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4460 processor with Intel HD 4600 graphics, as well as the aforementioned 8GB of system memory and the 1TB hard drive. The processor on this system are the powerful Quarter 2 2014 release 3.2 to 3.4 GHz speed quad core, although in the in August 2015 we’ve seen the release of Intel’s 6th Gen processor (dubbed Skylake) and many machines are taking it up such as the Editors’ Choice the ASUS M32CD and it other sibling the ASUS M32AD, both of which have remarkable benchmark score. The Haswell processor on the H50 does deliver responsive performance at even the most demanding tasks at home or office with turbo boost but no hyper threading (offers 4 cores and 4 threads performance). All of these components translate into very good benchmark scores for this system, compared with other budget PCs. It scored over 6635 points on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test, which measures performance on day-to-day tasks. This is not bad considering this thing is a budget desktop. Be it Photoshop, web browsing, a Full HD video, pretty much every app and program should work lag-free.
The integrated Intel HD 4600 Graphics solution performs as expected, which is to say it can’t handle graphics-intensive gaming. But for family use you’ll experience a decent multimedia output unless you’re planning on playing very demanding game titles of 2015 at higher settings. For casual gaming, you are assured of 30 frames per second (fps) at 720p for most games, but we still insist that the HD 4600 is a feeble processor-integrated unit. You can get at least 25-30FPS even with newer games, but in exchange you have to use lower settings and resolution around 1366×768 (this applies, for example, to GTA 5). Some of the easier-on-the-system type titles, like Counter-Strike: Go, League of Legends and World of Warcraft are very playable with higher settings.
Despite the H50’s roomy interior, upgrade options are limited, although you do get little more flexibility than you do with the Dell Inspiron i3847-10000BK. There is 8GB of memory available, and as far as I know, there are two memory slots in this model so the maximum RAM is somewhere around 16 GB. Then it means that the current memory should come in one 8GB stick, so you have another memory slot on the motherboard unoccupied for an extra memory chip. Also, you have a vacant PCI express (PCIe) slot, which you can use to add a dedicated graphics card, but it will have to be a relatively low-end version since the available power supply may not support high-end graphics cards.
This model does come with a DVD RW optical drive, but it lacks a Blu-Ray drive, surely we didn’t expect that in a budget desktop, so you my have to do without if you need it somewhere down the road. Rear-accessible connectors include two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 port, a VGA and HDMI-out, hence the system can support dual monitor setup, preferably to an HDTV and three audio jacks with support for 5.1-channel surround sound. You don’t need to rely on cable to get Internet access, the Lenovo has a built-in 802.11A/C Wireless + Bluetooth card (of course a Gigabit RJ-45 port is there, too).
The H50 is equipped with a 1TB hard drive that spins at 7,200rpm, which is quite slow compared to solid-state drives that we’ve seen in machines such as the Lenovo X315 Gaming Desktop, but it is better of than the 5,400rpm drives such as the ones seen in the Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p. It is easy to set up and use, and comes bundled with the Lenovo AccuType keyboard with curved and evenly spaced keys that enable accurate and more comfortable typing experience. It doesn’t include a monitor but a wired keyboard and mouse combo that will fit most users, but might you need better typing and wireless control, you have many options such as the Logitech Wireless Combo MK270, with keyboard and mouse.
Aside from relatively minor nits, like some bloatware and a basic graphic card, the Lenovo H50 (90B700EEUS) is exactly what we’d recommend if you want value for the money in a new, general-purpose PC. It stands out as a pretty good system for general multimedia stuff like watching movies in Full HD quality, high definition video quality, photo viewing and editing, listening to music (comes with 5.1 channel surround sound support and the sound you hear will depend on the quality of your speakers) or surfing the internet with nice graphics and sound and is designed more as a family / home computer and will be more than enough for daily computing needs of people in your family and offers a decent complete home entertainment experience. All said, it does lack the chops to unseat the ASUS M32CD as our Editors Choice for budget desktop PCs. Still, it is worth a long look as you shop around, and so are the ASUS M32CD and the ASUS M32AD, thanks to forward-looking specs, like the latest sixth Gen. Intel processors and affordable sticker prices.
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