Lenovo Essential H535 Desktop PC Review

Lenovo H535 Budget Desktop PC

Lenovo continues to produce the H series desktop systems including the Lenovo H50 that is similar in design to the older H535 but with newer components. If you are looking for a newer budget desktop PC system, check out our list of Best Desktops Under $400.

The Bottom Line

Oct 2 2013 - The Lenovo Essential H535 is probably the best performing desktop currently available for under $400 thanks to its quad-core AMD A6 processor with its improved 3D graphics engine and the 6GB of memory. Even with this, there are some annoyances with the system including the lack of USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi networking. Both of those issues are fairly minor for many people and can potentially be worked around.


  • Faster Quad-Core Processor
  • Better Integrated Graphics
  • 6GB of Memory


  • No USB 3.0 Ports
  • Power Supply Prevents Graphics Upgrades
  • Does Not Have Wi-Fi Networking Like Competitors


  • AMD A6-5600K Quad-Core Desktop Processor
  • 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner
  • AMD Radeon HD 7540D Integrated Graphics
  • 5.1 Audio
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Six USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • Windows 8

Review - Lenovo Essential H535

The Lenovo Essential H535 is the company's low-cost desktop consumer desktop system. It uses a standard mid-tower case design that means it has a fair amount of space within the system but as it is a budget class system it still limits the number of features compared to their other desktop systems.

Rather than using Intel for the H535, Lenovo uses the AMD APU platform. For this model, in particular, it uses the A6-5400K quad-core processor. This is combined with 6GB of DDR3 memory which provides it with the most memory and processor cores in this price range. Overall, it offers an excellent level of performance that lets the system tackle just about any task. Demanding programs such as video editing will still take longer than slightly more expensive systems but it is still better than anything else in this price range. The processor is even a clock unlocked version that could be overclocked but the system BIOS essentially prevents this from being done. It should be noted that the system does only have two memory slots which are filled meaning that upgrading the memory will require the removal of at least one or both existing modules.

The storage for the Lenovo H535 is fairly typical of a low-cost system. It features a relatively large one terabyte hard drive that is becoming more common for the full-size desktop systems in this low-cost price range and provides it with a decent amount of storage for applications, data and media files. What is a bit disappointing is though is the peripheral ports for those that want to expand the storage beyond the base storage? It uses the older USB 2.0 ports rather than the new, faster USB 3.0. This means that the best way to expand the storage is by installing a drive internally to the case which thankfully there is space for a single drive. The system does feature a standard dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD and DVD media.

In terms of the graphics, it uses an AMD Radeon HD 7540D that is built into the AMD A6 processor. This is an integrated solution like all systems in the under $400 price range but it offers the best overall performance to be found. It still will not provide a high level of 3D graphics performance but it does have enough to play PC games at lower resolutions and detail levels which the Intel solutions don't generally provide. In addition to this, the AMD solution also offers a wider range of acceleration for non-3D applications. Surprisingly, the case actually offers a fair amount of space for fitting in a PCI-Express graphics card. The problem is that the power supply in the system is rated at just 280 watts. This means that it really can only use the most basic of cards that do not require any external PCI-Express graphics power connectors.

Unlike many of the other budget desktop companies, Lenovo has elected to not include a wireless networking adapter with the H535. This means that it has to rely on the Ethernet port for networking which isn't always as convenient now that Wi-Fi networking is so common for home users with all of their mobile and tablet devices.

Priced at just under $400, the Lenovo Essential H535 has a few competitors for the traditional tower size desktop PC from ASUS and HP. The ASUS CM1735 is similar to the H535 in that it uses an AMD A6 processor with a 1TB hard drive but it uses an older generation processor that isn't as quick and it features just 4GB of memory. The HP 110-010xt is more affordable at just $350 and uses the more ubiquitous Intel Pentium G2020 dual-core processor. It has less memory and hard drive space but is customizable and also features Wi-Fi networking.