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on September 13, 2012
I bought this during the labor deal amazon had with rebate. Even after all the bad reviews I've read I couldn't resist the price. Reviews said this system is under powered for HD content because of the ATOM processor. I would have to agree with how its built out of the box.

But if you're a techy like I am, it's easy to make this HTPC awesome.

Based on all my research there are a few things you can do bump up the performance:

1. Upgrade to 4GB and ditch the 2GB factory stick. I bought this from amazon. Corsair Vengeance 4 GB (1x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 204 Pin 10666 SODIMM Laptop Memory CMSX4GX3M1A1600C9. You can buy value Kingston or Crucial RAM to save money, but I splurged for $5 more to get the 10666 speeds to give it just a bit more performance. Search for Q180 in youtube on how to take it apart. There are 7 screws that hold the case together and most of them are hidden!

2. Ditch the 5400RPM HDD and upgrade to a SSD. There are deals all the time for 128GB SSD's now. This will make read/write I/Os blazing fast and improve your system response time not to mention the boot time. Follow the instructions on how optimize SSD for WIN7. I.e. disable system restore, file caching and etc.

3. Download all drivers directly from the manufacture of the hardware. I.E. realtek, AMD/ATI, etc. Replacing all the drivers will help the system.

4. Once AMD/ATI GPU drivers are installed launch Catalyst Control. Start > Performance > Clock Control > AMD Over Drive. Check mark the box where it says "ENABLE GRAPHICS OVER DRIVE". You can over clock the GPU to your liking.
I overclocked my GPU to MAX settings. GPU: 725 MHZ, MEM: 900MHZ, MANUAL FAN: 100%.

Caution: Overclocking can cause damage. Proceed at your own risk.

Note: the Fan can be left to auto if you wish. I didn't hear any noticeable decibel difference leaving it from auto to manual. Auto 40% fan sounded exactly like Manual 100% fan to me so I just made it manual instead.

5. I uninstall Mcafee based on other reviewers saying that this was the cause of the choppy 1080 Youtube playback. It has seemed to resolved the poor HD playback.

Summary: I rate this 4 stars out of 5 based on the price I paid for it. I was in the market for either a GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku device to play Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. streaming content. This fits the bill nicely and provides a full Windows 7 OS to do more than the other set top devices. It's stylish, slimmest PC on the market as of date, DVD-RW (detachable if you have a DVD player for your entertainment system already), HDMI video/sound, plays 1080 content, saves energy and very quiet. It comes with a VESA mount to mount in back of your TV. That however doesn't work for me since my VESA mount is already attached to my wall mount. I used the PC mount to attach to another stud behind the tv. You can't even see or hear it behind the tv, it's that slim! It cost me just under $325 after all upgrading. My system idles at 0-1% CPU load, 26% MEM and GPU TEMP 61C.
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on December 12, 2012
I bought this computer with the intention of using it as a media center PC. We have it connected to the living room's 70" LED via HDMI as well as to the audio receiver via the TOSLINK connector. I had become sick and tired of paying Dish Network for basically nothing (a bunch of religious channels and a bunch of shopping channels) and this, as a media center PC, was my chance to give them the boot!

We tried it for a month before cancelling Dish Network and to be honest, in that month, we watched more TV than ever (better quality TV)! We use it for Netflix, HULU, Pandora, You Tube, and iTunes with absolutely no issues. Best of all, we now stream thousands of networks from all over the globe and most in HD; which Dish Network couldn't quite get right! Dish Network is now gone for good and never--will I ever--pay for a TV subscription that locks me down to programing that I do not want. I am hooked on Spain's RTVE network!

This computer is connected to our Buffalo wireless router that sits one floor above the living room and we have had no issues. However, I highly recommend uninstalling McAfee and replacing it with Microsoft's free antivirus software and using FireFox or Chrome. The wireless keyboard that comes with this is awesome! It reminds me of a BlackBerry keypad. It does use a lot of power so you might want to get yourself a set of rechargeable batteries and a charger as well.

Once you've used this for a few weeks and deprogrammed yourself from how you have been forced to watch TV your whole life, you will never go back to the old way of watching TV. If anything, this will allow you to break free from the mind numbing trash that is American media.
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on January 12, 2013
First, what I love (not in an particular order):

- The hand held keyboard / mouse combo tool -- even has the "Windows flag key" and scroll wheel for the mouse!
- Small form factor and even has a disc drive!
- Low power consumption
- Plenty of USB ports
- Built-in SD card reader
- HDMI output

What I don't like:

- Uses a slow 5,400 RPM drive -- I may upgrade this to a solid state in the near future.
- Not all HD content works properly. For example, sometimes on Netflix, the sound and video play back doesn't sync up when watching HD content. This may be able to be resolved if I connect the net top to our network via a wired connection instead of using the wireless
- When using a 46'' HDTV for my display, the color and sharpness just isn't what I was expecting, but it's "good enough"

Overall, I am happy with my purchase!
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on April 19, 2012
I just set up this computer in my glovebox in my car and it works as it should. I feel it is slower than a new computer should be. One reason is that amazon lied about the speed of the processor. This unit comes with a 2.13 Ghz processor, not a 2.3 Ghz as is stated on the product page. This unit (31102nu) is identical to the (31102ku) unit but is attached to an external DVD/RW drive via USB jumper. I also bought the Samsung se-506AB/TSBD blu ray writer but the new writer requires a 3.2 Ghz processor or higher. But other than that hiccup, I am pleased with it. I don't need all that much power and speed since it is only for occasional use on road trips but if you are going to use it in the home, I would get one with at least a 3.5 Ghz processor and more ram. The 31102du should do the trick if you want to spend that much money and still get a small box.

Note: this unit comes with the Lenovo N5902 keyboard/mouse controller. What nobody tells you, even the outsourced "tech" support from Lenovo is that u have to take the blue dongle out of the battery compartment and use up one of the USB slots instead of making the receiver internally part of the computer. Still haven't been able to figure out which of the USB ports are supposed to be 3.0 and which are 2.0
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on March 5, 2013
Ideal for an htpc which isn't going to be used for gaming, haven't had any issues playing 1080p mkv, using it as a my media library server/htpc with win7 32bit and 4Gb of ram...
why on the earth I am not able to turn on my TV through HDMI when waking up though have no idea....it is supposed to work though... so this is why 4 stars...
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on January 24, 2013
truth is not expected to have that computer performance or the quality of a good image and video quality i
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on March 7, 2013
Bought this to stream netflix and the like. Video quality was poor and choppy. I had it on a wireless network, it may have been better with a wired connection. Also, I could have upgraded the RAM, which may have solved the issue.
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on June 14, 2012
Short version: This PC is a piece of junk...slow, outdated drivers, Wifi doesn't work well.

Longer version: On paper, the specs of this PC looked pretty good -- it has a 2GHz dual-core CPU, decent graphics, a reasonable sized hard drive, and its tiny footprint made it appear to be ideal for the purpose we intended for it: a media center for the living room. In fact, its only negative point (again, on paper) was the fact that its maximum RAM capacity is 4GB (and what they tell you only in the fine print is that it only has one RAM slot so you have to throw away the 2GB it comes with to upgrade it).

Boy were the looks and specs deceiving! Out of the box all the device drivers (video, Wifi, Ethernet, etc.) need updating for it to even be usable. The "keyboard" controller it comes with is a joke -- you'll need a real keyboard and mouse to be able to use this PC (along with a lot of patience, because while the processor is clocked at 2+ GHz and is dual-core, it's an Atom, so it's pathetically slow.)

I sent this back to Amazon after 4 frustrating days of trying to make it work.
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on December 6, 2012
This is the second Q-series Lenovo Idea Center I purchased. It is a great product, but you have to look at it not as a PC, but as what it is intended for: a media center hub. If you purchase this as a work PC, you will be disappointed. If you purchase this as an entertainment device, you will love it.

I've been using Media Center PCs for over 10 years now. I started building my own using silent hard drives, reduced RPM fans etc. Since then I've used many platforms, including tablets, slim desktops, mini-towers and so on. These little units are so far my favorite so far. This one I just recently purchased, but I've been using the previous version for about 2 years now without any issues.

Before I jump into the pros & cons of this unit, let me elaborate how I use this PC. It is a dedicated Media Center PC connected to a LED TV. I use it exclusively to watch recorded TV, DVDs and stream movies, with occasional web browsing.

PROS:
- You can't beat the price.
- Lenovo products are typically good quality.
- Great design, looks very stylish.
- The white activity LEDs are unobtrusive. A huge improvement from the previous version which had eye-piercing blue LEDs
- The optical drive that is mated to the unit. This was one of my complaints with the previous version as I had to use an external USB drive. Technically, this one is still an external USB drive, but as you can see in the images, the two can be hooked up together so nicely that it feels like a single unit.
- LOTS of USB ports. Yaay.
- Has digital sound out as well as HDMI. I've only used HDMI though.
- Works great right out of the box, no setup required at all. I don't know why the other reviewer had driver issues, maybe it was an earlier iteration of this unit, everything worked right out of the box with mine.
- Has plenty of storage.
- This thing is QUIET! One of the key requirements of any Media Center PC getting rid of the noise. I have this in my bedroom and you can't even hear it in the middle of the night.
- It comes with a VESA mount bracket, so technically you can mount it behind a flat screen TV. However, if you get the one with the optical drive, it would be very difficult to load/unload discs if you have a display that is larger than 27" or so.

CONS:
- The stand that comes with it was unusable for me. It looks good and all, but here was my problem: I had this on a wooden dresser and when it was in the stand, the entire dresser hummed! I could lessen the noise by putting tissues etc under the stand, but couldn't really eliminate it. This is despite the fact that I had put down the foam pads that came with it. The problem went away when I just put the unit on the dresser horizontally, resting on the built-in rubber pads. So not a biggie.
- If you use the VESA mount bracket that comes with it on displays larger than 27-28", you will have a hard time reaching the optical drive.
- The very first time it boots, it takes a long time for Windows to initialize.

In summary, this is a very good product if you're looking for a small, stylish, quiet Media Center PC. If you're looking to replace your desktop workstation, this is not the PC for you.

PS: I bought this direct from Lenovo because it had a better price than Amazon at the time.
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on March 26, 2013
Short version: Get something else! It does not do well what it is supposed to do.

Long Version: I bought the Q180 as a HTPC and was supper excited about the form and size of it. Unfortunately it fails at its most basic purpose: video streaming. Whether it is from the web or from the HDD/memory stick, video streaming is choppy, cuts off, and is off from the sound track. DVD playback is only passable.

It does not come with a keyboard, only a remote/keyboard/trackball. You will need a keyboard and mouse if you do any PC-ish things with it.

The Intel Atom processor feels underpowered, and is crippling to any function. HDD is far too slow.
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