Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review


Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review

I could sum up this entire review in one word (Whoosh!), but I think Lenovo would not be happy. Nor would you, since you clicked through to a review intending to find out more about a product, and not just that’s it’s very fast. So let’s get started in on the Lenovo A63 desktop and what makes it so impressive that it left me with “whoosh” as my description!

First of all, a bit of a disclaimer: I am geeky, but not great with hardware. I know how it works, I know how to troubleshoot the basics, but I’m not the type to tinker with the insides of a computer for the afternoon. Just something to keep in mind.

Having said that, from my decidedly non-techie view the A63 is very impressive. It has a 2.9 GHZ AMD ATHLON II X3 Processor and 2 GB of RAM, which for day-to-day activities means this thing flies. Plus the 250gb hard drive is very roomy for basic needs like documents and pictures. Even standard definition movies, though if you use mostly high-definition media you might want a larger external drive. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 professional, and it has been remarkably solid and stable for me. For the longest time, I was a Mac-only girl, and branched out to Windows XP when I purchased a netbook. While I did install Windows 7 on my netbook and it has served me well, combining Windows 7 with some serious hardware has made for an excellent computing experience. I don’t think I’ve rebooted more than a few times for software installs, otherwise, the computer just sits in standby. There have been no bugs or glitches from doing this, and it means I can sit down, log in and get working almost immediately. And did I mention how FAST everything feels? Web pages, movies, file transfers all go by very quickly. Rather than run through several very technical tests of the speed, I tested the A63 while opening and utilizing several apps.

I started with the Calculator, which opened instantly. Paint also popped up fast, as did my documents. Then I popped a USB thumb drive into the computer, and within 10 seconds was browsing the contents of the drive and moving around the files. Essentially, there’s almost no lag time, and I think I have only seen the dreaded Windows 7 “spinning wheel” under very specific circumstances (more on that in a bit).

Computers, especially desktops, have become far more than just tools to browse and run specific programs. Even in a business setting, there’s often a need for video and multimedia capabilities, and the A63 just absolutely shines at these. During the course of working on this review, I happened to find a stack of CDs that I had forgotten about. Since my MacBook’s disk drive is currently on strike, I used the Lenovo to rip the CDs and move them to my Motorola Droid. It took at most 5 minutes per disc to rip and move them to my phone (I didn’t time it because I was doing so many). What impressed me was not just how fast the CDs were ripped but how fast the computer moved multimedia files to my phone. It took what I honestly thought was going to be a long chore into something that flew by.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review

In addition to quickly moving files and ripping CDs, the built-in DVD player is smooth and fast. I doubt many people have called Windows Media a pleasure to use, but on this computer it really is. It opens very nearly the second the DVD drawer closes, and playback is extremely smooth. But DVDs aren’t always your main source of videos. I know in my day-to-day business there are often times I have CNBC or CNN on in the background, so being able to stream video is potentially of huge importance. CNN videos loaded very quickly. There was a slight delay of 1-2 seconds as each video loaded, but there were no lockups or out of sync video/audio. CNBC and YouTube also worked very smoothly, as did the included HD video sample.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review

While we’re on the subject of video, I want to talk about monitors for a moment. The Lenovo can drive more than one monitor at a time, though due to space constraints I did not test that out. I’ve used similar setups before, though, and they certainly help expand your workspace tremendously.

In fact, even with just one monitor, the Lenovo is a pleasure to use. I primarily used it with one 27” Thinkvision monitor, and the colors were incredibly sharp and bright. As I said above, video looked absolutely incredible, and the built-in speakers were remarkably loud. I watched a few TV shows on it, and can honestly say it looks better than my television (yes, I know I need to break down and buy an HD TV, but still, that’s how good the monitor looks). Since I don’t have very much say in my office computer, I haven’t paid much attention to monitors in some time, but I was pleasantly surprised by how light and thin the monitor was. It fit nicely in a relatively cramped space, and the viewing area was excellent from straight on as well as side angles.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review
(the WiFi stick is on the right)

There was one frustrating piece to using the A63, though it was pretty easily solved. I set it up in my home office on the second floor of my house, but our router is on the first floor. It took a few minutes for me to realize the A63 didn’t ship with WiFi. It makes sense since desktops typically are housed at workstations with dedicated Ethernet ports (and it does have ethernet), but since I was unable to convince my fiancée to rewire our house for this review, I had to pick up a Linksys WiFi stick. I ran into errors with the driver installation which turned out to be a Linksys issue, but once that was figured out it has worked perfectly. I haven’t had any issues with dropped signal, and it gets better reception than my MacBook in the same room. This isn’t a big deal, and it’s specific to the setup I had for the Lenovo, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review

If you’re like me and haven’t spent much time delving into the depths of Windows 7, you’ll appreciate several utilities Lenovo has included with the A63. There’s a widget that details CPU and RAM usage, making it really easy to spot if something goes rogue and overwhelms the system. There’s also a widget that lists the various power control options; obviously, you won’t be using it as a laptop to extend battery life, but it is helpful if you have specific needs. The best is that it gives you one-click access to “presentation mode”. If you’ve ever been in a meeting where a discussion derailed a presentation, only for the presenter to discover they need to log back in to continue, you understand the importance of something like this. At the same time, for security reasons, you may not want all timers off permanently, as that would keep the computer from ever locking out anyone without the password.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review

When I mentioned barely seeing the spinning wheel of slowness, I did say there was an exception. For some reason, Lenovo’s full suite of tools always took a few extra seconds versus anything else I threw at the computer. It still opens relatively quickly, it’s just noticeably a few seconds behind everything else. Given how useful the suite is, though, it might be worth leaving it open. The ThinkCentre suite essentially gathers several settings into one place; you can tweak hardware needs, access documents, update drivers and look for anything Lenovo-related you might need. Remember when I said I’ve been a Mac user for a long time? I found it very helpful that Lenovo put all those utilities into one place since it meant less mucking around trying to track down control panel settings and right clicking like crazy to figure out how to recalibrate the display. The tool is not terribly obtrusive, though, and if you are savvier about Windows it certainly does not get in the way, but for anyone unsure about digging deep in their system it is great to have easy access to key items.

Another standout area is the Lenovo Rescue and Recovery tool. It makes backing up and restoring extremely simple, and allows you to do on-demand backups as well as scheduled ones. You can plan ahead and install anti-virus software, you can maintain your system cleanly, but accidents happen. And you always want to have a backup.handy. Nothing is easier than being able to just schedule your backups and know that at least at set intervals everything is safe. I tested it and was able to run a backup without a problem. It also popped up as scheduled to make additional backups.

Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review
(I did not pull the red or blue wires)

One of the advantages of using a desktop is the flexibility to improve your system to your needs. The A63 has an extra drive bay, so you can install a second hard drive or DVD drive if necessary. There’s also room for more RAM inside the case. And if you’re the type that hates having a WiFi stick using a USB port, you can also install an internal modem. Honestly, I’ve used laptops for so long I forgot how convenient a desktop can be for those reasons. You don’t need to have every peripheral known to mankind hanging off your USB ports, and everything can stay fairly neat and compact inside. Making upgrading individual pieces that easy also future-proofs a desktop far easier than a laptop.

While I did not install anything inside the computer, I did open it up to peek at the innards. First of all, it has been a long time since I opened a desktop up, and I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it is. All it took was removing two screws and sliding the side panel off. Once it opened up, I had access to everything inside and could see the slots for extra RAM, an extra drive, etc. Like I said above, I am not generally the type to tinker with hardware, so all I did was take a look around and admire how complicated yet fascinating the inside of a computer is before I closed it back up. But if a hardware novice like me could comfortably open it up (and if necessary I could have performed an easy job like a RAM upgrade) that says a great deal about the accessibility and ease of use of the physical layout of the computer.

There is one thing that I miss from my laptops. I’ve grown very used to having an SD card slot handy for file transfers, and it is frustrating that I needed to sacrifice a USB port to move media. Everything mounted quickly and easily, but it was a pain remembering where my SD adapter was, and then plugging it in and out as needed. There are 6 USB ports in all on the A63; two in front and four in back. It’s a generous amount, but if you use a wired mouse and keyboard you lose two right off the bat. And if you opt for a WiFi adaptor, then you are just down to three open ports at any given time. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is worth investing in a USB hub if you have several peripherals you use regularly.

At this point, if you like windows desktops this is sounding pretty good, right? You have a few options if you want one of your own. You can go to Lenovo’s site (they start at $389, without monitors) and configure one for yourself, or you can enter to win the unit I’ve just reviewed.

What I Liked: Very quiet, cool computer; Beautiful graphics and monitor; FAST!; Great included utilities

What Needs Improvement: Could use more USB ports


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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

107 Comments on "Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review"

  1. nosmohtac | June 21, 2010 at 5:11 am |

    Entered comment on Facebook. Thanks for the contest.

  2. I entered on Facebook (Amanda Davis) Thanks so much!!

  3. Gerald Loiselle | June 21, 2010 at 9:12 am |

    Entered on Facebook. Thank you for the chance to win. Good luck to all.

  4. spikeymike00 | June 21, 2010 at 10:36 am |

    Posted an awesome comment on FB on 6/21/10 @ 8:32 AM

  5. sextoneagle | June 21, 2010 at 11:33 am |

    I am a fan on Facebook and I left a reply!!!I really need this for school, would be awesome.

  6. sextoneagle | June 21, 2010 at 11:34 am |

    my wife is kasexton on twitter!!

  7. Judy Van Alphen | June 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm |

    I am a fan and left a comment.

  8. dadofdivas | June 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |

    I am a fan and just left a comment, thanks for the opportunity!!!

  9. andrew_lee | June 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

    I’ve entered on Facebook. Thanks for holding this giveaway!

  10. I entered on Facebook, amazing giveaway.

  11. Hi, I ‘liked’ you on Facebook and left a comment- I am @tannawings on Twitter.

    Thanks so much for the chance!

  12. I am a fan, I left a comment.

  13. I “liked” (became a fan) of your page, and I entered the giveaway. thanks for this chance! 🙂

  14. Shanna Anderson | June 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm |

    I entered on Facebook.

    Thank you SO much for this chance!!!

  15. erinlindsey524 | June 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm |

    I posted on facebook

  16. Rust Hawk | June 22, 2010 at 1:01 am |

    I left a message on facebook. Thank you!

  17. The Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review … and Giveaway! http://bit.ly/dA6nPf #giveaway

  18. whitechocolatecherries | June 22, 2010 at 5:26 am |

    I entered on facebook (username: Les Cerises). Thanks again for the chance!

  19. Danetta Young | June 22, 2010 at 11:54 am |

    I entered on Facebook. Thanks for the chance!

  20. I entered on Facebook. (Thrifty Sarah)


  21. Hi, just commented on your Facebook post. thanks for the giveaway

  22. I’ve entered on Facebook; thank you for the giveaway!

  23. thanks for the contest. posted in facebook my response thanks for the chance.

  24. thanks for the chance I think I posted in wrong place sorry. I entered on facebook and followed up here

  25. Entered through facebook – thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Left comment on facebook, couldn’t find relavent heading…so I just wrote it in. Great website awesome computer! [email protected]

  27. I left a comment on facebook! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    pauline15_01 at hotmail dot com

  28. I liked and commented the review on Facebook.

  29. Liked and commented on Facebook

  30. I entered on facebook.

  31. Entered on Facebook 🙂 Awesome Prize !! I hope I win 🙂

    ktgonyea at gmail.com

  32. April Yedinak | June 24, 2010 at 11:46 am |

    I just became a fan on FB and entered to win this very cool prize.

  33. Louis Huff | June 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm |

    hello, thank you for my giveaway
    I commented on your post at face book (Louis Huff)

  34. I commented over at your Facebook post for the review. (Jennifer Barnett)

  35. Liked you on FB and left a comment. ty

  36. there is still time to enter to win the lonovo a63 desktop computer! http://bit.ly/9wmbJF

  37. Get your entries in now! RT @geardiary: there is still time to enter to win the lonovo a63 desktop computer! http://bit.ly/9wmbJF

  38. RT @geardiary: there is still time to enter to win the lonovo a63 desktop computer! http://bit.ly/9wmbJF

  39. Leonardo Fasciglione | June 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm |

    RT @geardiary there is still time to enter to win the lonovo a63 desktop computer! http://bit.ly/9wmbJF <– Thanks lady

  40. I’m a fan on facebook-Joanne Schultz. http://www.facebook.com/js2222
    and posted a comment under your review on facebook.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. I became a Facebook fan (Margaret E. Smith)
    and I also commented on your review on Facebook.
    Thanks so much for offering this wonderful giveaway.

  42. Skye Dobberstein Doerscher | June 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm |

    Facebook comment posted. Thanks for the review and the chance to win!!

  43. RT @geardiary there is still time to enter to win the lonovo a63 desktop computer! http://bit.ly/9wmbJF <- OK Judie, what is a Lonovo? 🙂

  44. Diane Redcay | June 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm |

    Like on FB This is a sweet prize to be given away! Lots of pix of prize I like that.

  45. I liked on Facebook Jeremy Grimes @ http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1400010023 , suggested you to my friends on Facebook, published this post to my profile and to my friends’ homepages on Facebook, commented on your review of the A63 on Facebook! Pick me!!!!!

  46. Pat J Krueger | June 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm |

    I’m a fan on FB and left a comment on your page. ty for the opportunity.

  47. Entered on FACEBOOK! YAY!

  48. joannaonthelake | June 24, 2010 at 5:02 pm |

    Hi there! I left a message on Facebook under your review for this awesome Lenovo A63! My Facebook name is Joanna Smith

    Thank you so so much for the chance to enter.

  49. Liked on Fb WOOOOTTTTT!!!! or should I say WHOOOOSSHHH!!!

  50. I left a comment on the FB page (AngelaWinesburg) Thanks!

  51. Falon Hanley | June 24, 2010 at 6:46 pm |

    I entered on Facebook! Thanks for the chance!

  52. Patricia Conary | June 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm |

    I just entered on facebook, thanks!

  53. guettel78 | June 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm |

    Thanks a bunch — I left a comment on facebook (as Geoff K). Appreciate the giveaway and the chance to enter!

  54. lambherst | June 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm |

    I entered the giveaway on facebook! Thank you again for this opportunity!

  55. i entered on the posting on facebook…addrienne anny mertens

  56. commeted on your post on facebook Julia Dixon

  57. RT @geardiary: The Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review … and Giveaway! #Contests & Giveaways #Desktop Computers http://bit.ly/8YZIW0

  58. I became a fan, and left a comment on Facebook. Thanks for hosting the first of many Lenovo giveaways!

  59. I entered on Facebook – thanks so much for the review and chance to win.

  60. holyknight0326 | June 24, 2010 at 10:49 pm |

    I entered on your post on facebook! My name is Bey Nguyen.

    Thank you so much for this giveaway! 🙂

  61. Yes please!
    became a fan a left message under review—took forever to find–my computer is scroll challenged–thanks for the chance to win–and making us work for it–I think my luck is better

  62. I posted on your Facebook page. My username there is Auriette.
    Whoever wins this will be a very lucky person indeed.

  63. Like you on Facebook and posted comment. Shellie Duffy, fatmeatloaf1


  64. hope I did this right, I left a comment on FB @ vicki andrew

  65. I left my comment on your FB post. My ID there is Johncee Darrow.

  66. skyxsky27 | June 25, 2010 at 2:18 am |

    Want this it’s Fab with a capital F!
    I liked you on facebook and commented on your wall.

  67. Posted on FB: Hale Slehan

  68. Liked on FB and posted there too! Kevin Ng

  69. I now ‘like’ you on facebook and I posted on your facebook wall under that specific post how I would use it and why I should get it 😀 Yeah!

    Justine Pierson (facebook user name)
    [email protected]

  70. I posted on FB-tracey byram

  71. Angels Abode | June 25, 2010 at 6:49 am |

    I Liked and commented on facebook

  72. Jennifer Grant Gervens | June 25, 2010 at 7:04 am |

    I’m a Facebook Fan and commented Jennifer G.

  73. Niki Zayas-Dorchak | June 25, 2010 at 8:24 am |

    I’m a Facebook fan, and left a comment. This is a great prize 🙂

  74. Eileen Dineen Burke | June 25, 2010 at 8:38 am |

    I entered on facebook! Thanks! (Eileen Dineen Burke)

  75. Justin Seifert | June 25, 2010 at 8:56 am |

    I entered, good luck to everyone!

  76. Joy Bennett | June 25, 2010 at 9:34 am |

    I comment on your facebook wall. I could not comment under the review on FB as the comment area was closed.

  77. I liked you page on Facebook and posted my comment on your wall. http://www.facebook.com/iammelissam Thankyou.

  78. and I also liked this page. =)

  79. Melissa Cr | June 25, 2010 at 11:05 am |

    I liked your Facebook’s page, this page, and posted a comment on your wall. http//www.facebook.com/iammelissam. Thankyou

  80. Karen Cybak- Hurst | June 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm |

    Likey on Facebook, commented. Love the page! karen cybak-Hurst

  81. norcalgal | June 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm |

    Liked and commented on Facebook
    (Catharine Elizabeth)

  82. tnshadylady | June 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

    New Facebook fan! and left a comment on the giveaway post. thanks!

  83. RT @geardiary: The Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review … and Giveaway! #Contests & Giveaways #Desktop Computers http://bit.ly/8YZIW0

  84. Rich Hicks | June 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm |

    I am a facebook fan (rich hicks) and left comment on the post there.

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  85. mikestenger | June 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm |

    Love it! Am a fan on the Facebook page and left a comment on the giveaway post, not on the wall like many others have. Took a while to find it 😉

    My name is “Mike Stenger” in the comments.

  86. abdoggett | June 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm |

    I am a fan on Facebook and left a comment (Annette Bischer Doggett)
    [email protected]

  87. i entered on facebook :)Kathy L Pease

  88. I entered the giveaway on facebook (and became a fan as well)

  89. Julie Sheaters | June 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm |

    New Facebook fan! and left a comment on the giveaway post. [email protected].

  90. chromiumman | June 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm |

    i entered on facebook

    chromiumman (at) mail (dot) com

  91. I put mine up there on facebook a day or two ago and forgot to come back here and finish..lol..My facebook name is Amy Brewer
    [email protected]

  92. RT @geardiary: The Lenovo A63 Desktop Computer Review … and Giveaway! #Contests & Giveaways #Desktop Computers http://bit.ly/8YZIW0

  93. I “like” you on Facebook but it won’t let me post a comment on your wall. I hope this will count as my entry. Here is what I tried to post. I would give it to my son. He is always trying to get on my computer because his is so old and slow.

  94. Amy Smith | June 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm |

    entered via facebook in the correct place – i can follow directions! Would love to win!

    fb user 2kidsblogger (amy smith)

  95. I guess I was just having FB issues earlier. I finally got my comment to post. I “liked” you on Facebook. Roxann T

  96. hippie4ever | June 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm |

    Commented on FB as Kirsten J Hidalgo Thanks 🙂

  97. I “like” you on Facebook but it won’t let me post a comment on your wall!

  98. I entered on facebook ((slgraycols))

  99. Tanya Guptill Clapshaw | June 26, 2010 at 12:29 am |

    Like the review, like the computer, and liked you on Facebook 🙂

    (also posted on your wall)

  100. Joy Bennett | July 2, 2010 at 9:11 am |

    I’d like to win because my son needs a computer for college and winning is extremely exciting

  101. god is great

Comments are closed.