Ratings: Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25, Look & Feel: 23/25, Features & Software 20/25, How much I enjoy 20/25
The Lenovo 3000 J series Desktop is a basic small business work computer with some very good basic features but would also make a good home computer. The Lenovo 3000 line includes several basic setups that you can start your individual configurations on to purchase the computer you need.
The Lenovo 3000 J115 that I received for reviewing is a good basic model computer with plenty of features and at an extremely good price. The model after a little configuring from the Lenovo website cost around $500 with the keyboard, speakers, mouse and the computer tower.
The Lenovo 3000 J115 series of computers does not come with a video card but with the NVIDIA GF 6100 Integrated Graphics which is plenty to run the Windows Vista operating system. You can also expand the graphics capabilities by adding a video card in the available PCI Express video card slot.
The motherboard, Lenovo Model L-NC51M, which comes with this series of computers, has two memory stick slots, one PCI express x1 slot, one PCI express x16 slot and two PCI slots. The 3000 J115 models come standard with Windows Vista Home Basic Operating System, 512 gigabytes memory, an 80 gigabyte serial ATA hard drive, Integrated Gigabit Ethernet and a 16X DVD optical drive.
You can also purchase some peripherals such as keyboards, mice, monitors and speakers from Lenovo at the time of configuration for your new system. The Lenovo 3000 series of computers is a very reasonable price for starters and you can add additional warranty coverage or other options during your purchase.
Upgrading the Lenovo 3000 J115 was very easy and I had no problem installing a few additions to the system to make my review go easier. I installed a wireless adapter card into the PCI Express x1 slot and had no problem configuring the Lenovo desktop for my home wireless network. I also added a video card to run some benchmark tests for the motherboard and graphics and was happy with the results.
The Lenovo J115 as configured when it arrived with the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU, 2 GB of RAM, the integrated graphics and the Integrated Ethernet ran well enough for Windows Vista. I received a decent score on the PCMark05 testing of 3521 for a total score, 4382 for CPU, 3512 for memory, 1339 for graphics and 4683 for the hard disc drive.
These scores represent a nice mid range computer that is more than capable for most small business work such as word processing, finances and internet. I installed a better video card, a Zogis NVIDIA 7600, and of course did receive better scores for the graphics.
I ran some tests while checking out a D-Link wireless router using this system as well as my other computers and this system backed up my testing of the others by giving comparable results. I was testing the wireless system and the speeds of the wireless cards and the Lenovo desktop received just as good throughput speeds as my other two computers using the D-Link adapter and router.
The motherboard is a pretty decent one for the small price you are paying for this system and it should give good performance for a general small business machine. I had no problems testing the system and received some very good scores for things like read and write for the memory. The PCMark05 testing I did showed no problems and showed results that were expected for this type of system. Although it is not a gaming system you can run some good games on the Lenovo J115 desktop.
I installed Company of Heroes to test the video gaming of the Lenovo Desktop and was pleased with the results. Company of Heroes is a pretty graphics and processor intense game and comes with its own built in performance test that measures frame rates in frames per second. This performance test checks out how well the games settings and the computer run the game by counting how many frames per second the game draws on the screen while it is playing.
After installing the game and the updates I tested the performance using the integrated graphics with the screen resolution at 1024 X 768 and all settings to their minimum for quality, textures and detail. The game ran at an average frame rate of 12.7 which is playable but not very enjoyable, during intense combat the game slows to a crawl.
This game is one of the top of the line games and does take quite a bit out of any system so it is understandable that using the integrated graphics of the motherboard would not be able to run the game well but it does prove that it can run the latest games using the basic setup of the computer. Any additions to the system would only improve what it can do.
So to prove this I ran the same performance test using the Zogis NVIDIA 7600 graphics card and the same Company of Heroes tests. I ran the test with the same 1024 x 768 resolution and ran the test at high quality settings which really tasks the processor and graphics card. The frame rates were averaging 23.8 frames per second and the game is definitely playable at these settings.
Setting all the quality, textures and details to maximum brought the games frame rates down and during the intense parts of the game like when several units are attacking yours the game again slows to a crawl but this also happened on my second gaming computer with the same card and same amount of memory. The game is more playable at the lower settings and is definitely playable at a lower detail and texture setting at the most intense of combat situations.
The Lenovo Desktop handled the gaming tests I threw at it just fine for more of a work place or small business computer. The graphics are upgradeable if you wish to use a PCI express graphics card which is very easy to install and load the drivers for. The Lenovo 3000 J115 handled the upgrade without problems and running the graphics intense game went very well.
The Lenovo 3000 series of desktop computers comes with several software programs that are handy to have when you first purchase a computer. The Lenovo Care program is a nice set of programs that help manage and maintain your computer. They have a one touch recovery system for recovering your computer from a saved restore point when you get infected with a virus or other catastrophe happens. There is a very nice password manager that remembers passwords so you do not have to continually remember and type in passwords and user names for sites.
Lenovo care also includes some automatic features like updates, network management and other routine tasks that will automatically run when scheduled. The Lenovo Care also comes with support both on the computer in the form of several tools to help solve problems you may have or with their company support over the internet and by phone. Lenovo works with IBM for a support system that is world wide and widely recognized as a quality system of computer specialists.
The Lenovo 3000 series desktops are a good business type of computer with plenty of expansion capabilities. The Lenovo 3000 J115 that I reviewed has a good basic system with a nice motherboard and decent features. The system could be used as a good home computer for a family and it could easily be upgraded for a decent gaming system.
Overall the price of the Lenovo 3000 J115 is very good and the computer comes with some very decent features. I recommend the Lenovo 3000 series of computers for a good basic computer for small business or a good place to start for a home computer. I really like the idea of configuring your own system and you can find some very good prices and additions to the system you need at Lenovo.