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Lenovo ThinkStation P300 Tower Workstation Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Oct 8, 2014 1:38 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Lenovo

BIOS

 

The BIOS for this server is typical, so we will only show key BIOS screens.

 

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This is the main BIOS screen you see when you first enter the BIOS.

 

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This is the advanced CPU setup menu. This allows you to set different aspects of the CPU properties.

 

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Looking at the advanced CPU setup menu, we can see the options that the P300 allows users to change.

 

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This is the advanced processor manageability menu, and options that can be changed.

 

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Now we are looking at the advanced power management tab and what options that are changeable as well.

 

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Here we see adjustments to the intelligent cooling engine.

 

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The security menu has many options to adjust for how secure you want your machine to be.

 

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Here we see the startup option menu, where you can select what device you want to boot from, among other options.

 

 

Bundled Software

 

The first thing that many people do is take a look at the bundled software that comes pre-installed on the computer they purchase, and start uninstalling the bulk of it. On many of the machines we have used in the past, there is a fair amount of junk stuff. Much of that is trial software, and software that we are not interested in using.

 

In the case of the P300, we did not find any junk real apps, but we did find apps that you should take a careful look at to decide if you want to keep them. The P300 we received came with Windows 7 installed; pre-loaded software includes:

 

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • CyberLink PowerDVD (on systems with Optical drives)
  • CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives)
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Trial
  • Norton Internet Security 2014 (30-day trial)
  • Skype
  • ThinkVantage System Update
  • Rescue and Recovery (Ready-to-Install)
  • Lenovo Reach (only in US and Canada)
  • Lenovo Solution Center
  • PC Device Experience

 

Additional disks included with the package allow for upgrading to Windows 8.1, which includes the following pre-loaded software:

 

  • CyberLink PowerDVD (on systems with Optical drives)
  • CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives)
  • Evernote
  • Lenovo Companion
  • Lenovo Support
  • Lenovo Solution Center
  • Norton Internet Security 2014 (30-day trial)
  • Password Manager (Web install)
  • PC Device Experience
  • Hightail
  • Lenovo Reach (only in US and Canada)
  • Norton Studio

 

We use Kaspersky for our anti-virus needs. These selections would be our choice to uninstall. This is our personal preference, these are fine products, and it is up to your personal preference if you wish to keep those. PowerDVD is necessary to have on the P300, so it will stay. On the other hand, we found the Lenovo software very useful, so let's look at what Lenovo has done to make managing the P300 easier for us.

 

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Down at the bottom, right-hand side of the task bar, you will find a red icon with white cross like the red logo at the top of this picture. Click on this to bring up Lenovo Solution Center, which will be your home for controlling the P300.

 

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Here we see the home screen for the Lenovo Solution Center. At first startup, yours should look something like this. This screen tells you that you need to get an anti-virus, do a hardware scan, register your P300, and complete a backup. We advise you to do a complete backup at this time. Our backup took maybe 20 minutes, and used four DVDs in total, but we are all set in case something goes wrong.

 

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This is the home screen you will see after you select the first option from the previous step. On the left-hand side, you can see all the steps you will need to go through to complete this procedure.

 

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Next on the list is the System menu. This shows all information about the P300. Simply click on each icon to bring up status windows.

 

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The Memory icon shows you how many slots the P300 has, and which ones have a RAM stick installed. You can see the current amount of memory installed. What the maximum capacity is for the P300, in this case its 32GB. Optimizing performance will tell you to close some programs. Clicking "Get More Memory" will bring up a Lenovo webpage where you can order additional memory.

 

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The Security menu will allow you to set passwords for the P300, turn on the firewall, check virus-protection, and adjust internet connection security settings.

 

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Here we can see the firewall option in the security menu. You can enable or disable the firewall with just a click of the button.

 

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Check-up allows you to do a hardware scan, check the device manager, and take backup snap shots. This is useful to diagnose hardware issues, or confirm that you have the latest drivers installed.

 

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This will enable you to run a full hardware scan to see if you have any issues with your hardware that needs to be checked out.

 

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The Support menu allows you to connect to online support and check your warranty status. You can check your configuration history and register your W540. That about covers Lenovo Solution Center, there are several other Lenovo apps to look at next.

 

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Lenovo SHAREit allows you to share files without network changes, or Wi-Fi connection. Lenovo SHAREit eliminates the need for cables, and wirelessly transfers information rapidly between devices.

 

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Lenovo Reach simplifies your digital life by enabling access to all your favorite things from all your devices, regardless of operating system.

 

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Rescue and Recovery is very much like the one we saw in Lenovo Solution Center. It is very easy to do full backups, or create a snap shot of the current system.

 

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Here we are looking at the main screen for Rescue and Recovery, which is a simple way to keep your P300 backed up, and recover if needed.

 

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CyberLink PowerDVD (on systems with optical drives) and CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives) are also included, and provide a great way to create DVDs on the P300.

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