When I first found out that the Lenovo A540 All-In-One was on its way, I had a flashback to my very first computer – a Tandy TRS-80 (affectionately referred to by those who worked with it as a “trash 80”) with an external hard drive. I was the envy of my Jr. High friends. But when the A540 arrived, I was taken aback with how much computing has advanced in my lifetime. So let’s take a look at the Lenovo A540.
- Processor – 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4558U Processor (2.80GHz 1600MHz 4MB)
- Operating system – Windows 8.1 64
- Display – 23.8″ FHD LED All In One with Multi-touch function (1920×1080)
- Graphics – Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100
- Memory – 8.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L 1600 MHz
- Hard Drive – 1TB 5400 RPM+8GB SSHD
- Optical Drive – None
- Network Card – Broadcom 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi wireless
- Bluetooth -Bluetooth Version 4.0
- Warranty – One year
- Pointing device – 2.4G Silver wireless Mouse
- Keyboard – 2.4G Silver wireless Keyboard
In The Box:
- Lenovo A540 AIO Unit
- Silver wireless Keyboard
- Silver wireless Mouse
- Power cable
The first thing you notice about the A540 is that it is big. Really big. However, it does not occupy a ton of space on your desk. The base is small, but large enough to maintain stability, and not leave you feeling like the whole thing is going to fall over. On the left side of the base, there are three USB ports, an HDMI port, and a built in SD card reader. On the back side, there is the power slot, a headphone jack, and another USB port where I chose to put the dongle for the included wireless keyboard and mouse. The moveable screen hinge holds the screen in place well enough, but still moves easily enough if you want to adjust the screen. The power button is located on the right side of the screen.
At nearly 24 inches, the screen gives you plenty of real estate to work with. Colors were good, resolution very nice. Watching a couple of shows on Netflix was fun. The display is a touch screen with multi touch, but that was something I was nonplussed about. The reason is, if you set the A540 close enough to use the touch screen with ease, it seemed to wear on the eyes after a while. I could just see my mom slapping me on the back of the head and saying “Don’t sit so close to the TV!!”
I will openly admit that I am not a “gamer.” The extent of my gaming is a round or two of Angry Birds or Granny Smith on my phone. So I can’t tell you how the A540 is going to handle your favorite game. I used it for writing articles for Techaeris. I can tell you that it handily opened 20 tabs at once in a Chrome browser window. I also downloaded Adobe Creative Cloud and did some work in Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Adobe Audition. The A540 handled this work with ease. It was fun to use those programs on the 24 inch screen.
The A540 came with Windows 8.1. I did get several notices popping up telling me I should upgrade it to Windows 10. Being a review unit and not my own, I didn’t take the plunge. Windows 8.1 ran on the A540 like you would expect Windows 8.1 to run on a Core i7.
The built in speakers are good enough. Anyone looking for a Dolby Surround Sound experience out of stock computer speakers is slightly naïve. I played some mp3 files that were emailed to me and the speakers got the job done. The sound was good, not tinny or quiet like some that I’ve experienced. Obviously plugging in a good set of headphones or connecting a Bluetooth speaker will give you a better sound experience.
The A540 comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The keyboard was good, easy to type on. It has the feel and look of metal. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the wireless mouse. The mouse forgoes the traditional scroll wheel in exchange for an Apple-esque trackpad scroll. The success rate of scrolling was probably 60-40. Also trying to feather it to attempt to highlight blocks of text was 75-25 at best. I did try it with an array of mousepads and surfaces, and the results were mostly the same across the board. If I were to use the A540 full time, I’d probably opt for a USB wired mouse with a real scroll wheel – just my personal preference.
Make no mistake – everything about the A540 is big, including the price tag. The A540 is listed on Lenovo’s website for $1,499, with an instant discount dropping the price to $1,099. You can find it on Amazon for a little bit less. The first thing my kids asked when the review unit arrived was “Can we keep it?” Unfortunately, not at that price tag. You the consumer will have to decide whether or not what you get for the money is a good value. I realize different people have different needs.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one multitouch device that doesn’t take up a lot of space but gives you good screen real estate to work with, the A540 definitely deserves a look. You’ll have lots of room for multitasking and it should handle most of what you can throw at it.