Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z All-In-One Desktop PC

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Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z All-In-One Desktop PC

October 29, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Product Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z (3311B3U)
All-in-one Desktop PC
Manufacturer Lenovo
Street Price US$799 (20 inch base model) US$949 (23 inch base model) US$1099 (23 inch touchscreen base model)
US$1717 (sample configuration)

The advantages of the all-in-one PC are obvious. Transplanting the internals of a traditional desktop computer into the back of a monitor makes things more efficient by freeing up space and reducing cable clutter. The usual downside is a decline in upgradeability and serviceability, and in the past, it meant compromising on hardware in order to work within the thermal restrictions created by physical limitations. Manufacturers commonly used slower, laptop hardware to make it work but thanks to the superb energy efficiency of Intel's Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge platforms, this isn't as much of a problem today. Intel's integrated graphics chips have also made low-end discrete cards redundant.

Efficiency is key in business environments so it makes sense that all-in-ones should be just as popular or more, in the workplace than in homes. Lenovo obviously has a great pedigree in this space having acquired IBM's personal computer division in 2005. The deal made Lenovo a worldwide name and they've done fairly well to keep the legacy alive, continuing the ThinkPad and ThinkCentre line of PCs. The ThinkCentre M92z is their latest all-in-one PC, using Intel's Q77 chipset which supports Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and various virtualization and management technologies popular with IT professionals. A 3-year on-site warranty also comes standard with the M92z.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z (3311): Specifications
(from the product web page)
Base Model
Sample Configuration
Intel Core i5-3470T
(2.9 GHz, 3MB Cache)
Intel Core i7-3770S
(3.1 GHz, 6MB Cache)
Form Factor
23" All In One Multi-touch (1920 x 1080)
1x4GB PC3-12800
2x4GB PC3-12800
Hard Drive
500GB 7200rpm SATA
1TB 7200rpm SATA
Optical Drive
Slim DVD
Card Reader
Network Connectivity
Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n
Integrated webcam and speakers
Keyboard & Mouse
USB full-size
Lenovo Ultra Slim Plus Wireless
Operating System
Windows 7 Professional 64
3/3 year on-site
Note: Component upgrades over the base configuration in bold.

The system is offered in three basic models with various upgrades and add-ons. There's a 20 inch and 23 inch variant starting at US$799 and US$949 respectively, both with dual core processors. Our sample is a souped up version of the top model which features a 23 inch touch screen and a low power quad core Ivy Bridge chip. The base price is US$1,099 but our configuration has been upgraded with a beefier Core i7 CPU, an extra 4GB of RAM, an additional 500GB of storage, a memory card reader, and a wireless keyboard and mouse, bringing up the total to a hefty US$1,717 on Lenovo's website.

Other notable options include a 2.5 inch 64GB mSATA SSD for $225, an ambient light sensor for $30, and $15 for an Express Card slot. By default, the machine is configured with an adjustable monitor-style stand but you can save $15 by selecting a standard frame stand that essentially props the machine up at various angles.

Our sample was packed very well with generous amounts of foam protecting the unit's corners.

The ThinkCentre M92z.

As ThinkCentres are Lenovo's business line of PCs, they've never been particularly attractive. The M92z is very plain-looking with a plastic housing and slightly rounded corners. Lenovo obviously decided to keep the design simple, making it resemble just a standard LCD monitor except for the enlarged borders and speaker grill running along the bottom. All the PC goodness of course, is packed into the back. While it has a dull aesthetic, it is a bit of a premium model, having 1080p IPS screen and fully adjustable stand.

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