Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z

Review: The Simple, Secure Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z

This all-in-one combines a number of attractive features with a beautiful display.

Both users and IT departments want technology that provides simplicity, security, administrative ease and user comfort. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z all-in-one desktop offers all of this in one tidy package.

Advantages

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z is appealing in its simplicity. Everything a user needs is inside a display that is 22.4 inches by 15.8 inches by 2.7 inches. With the optional Lenovo wireless keyboard and mouse, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v.4, the unit needs no cords — except for the power cord, of course.

The display is something to behold. Available in 10-finger touch and standard models, the anti-glare display with matte finish has a generous viewing angle thanks to in-plane switching, which eliminates blur and darkening when viewed from the side. The full 1080p, 1920x1080-pixel native resolution integrates seamlessly with Lenovo ThinkVoIP and has been optimized for Microsoft's Lync and Skype high-quality video conferencing.

The computer comes with four USB 3.0 ports along the back and two more on the left side. Other interfaces include a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, an 11-in-1 media card reader and a 10/100/1000 RJ-45 Ethernet port.

The M93z runs extremely quiet, possibly due either to the optional 92-percent efficient power supply or to Lenovo's Intelligent Cooling Engine 3.0.

Why It Works for IT

All-in-one PCs provide many benefits but can be difficult to maintain. However, an IT staffer can easily access the inner workings of the M93z via the two push sliders toward the base that allow for removal of the back cover. This provides immediate access to the optical drive and hard-disk drive (HDD), both of which can be removed without tools. Two memory slots on the motherboard are easy to reach and maintain.

The 3.10-gigahertz Intel Quad-Core i5-4670S processor that was tested for this article can handle any typical workday tasks. The M93z can handle up to 16 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM in two configurable slots. Several storage options are available, from a 2-terabyte standard hard drive to hybrid solid-state drive/HDD combinations, providing users with the speed and space they need.

65%

Percentage of post-consumer recycled material used to build the ThinkCentre M93z

SOURCE: Lenovo

Lenovo has included security features such as Enhanced Data Protection with a Trusted Platform Module security chip that stores encryption keys outside the operating system, helping protect data from hackers. Absolute Software's Computrace is also available, allowing an administrator to track the device in the event it is misplaced. The USB ports can be disabled in the BIOS, and the 2-megapixel camera can be blocked using a simple physical slider on the top of the computer.

Disadvantages

As with any all-in-one device, the M93z makes some sacrifices in the name of portability. The video options are simple, with either on-board Intel HD graphics or an AMD Radeon HD8730A with 1GB of discrete memory. Users who run graphics-intensive applications should opt for the discrete memory, which should handle most such apps.

It also would have been nice to see an external storage connector, such as an eSATA port, but the M93z makes up for that with its numerous USB 3.0 ports.

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Feb 20 2014