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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
Overall, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M92z (3311B3U) is an excellent all-in-one PC with most of the fundamental qualities we look for. The hardware inside packs more than enough punch for most users including a blistering Ivy Bridge processor. Our only real performance complaint is the lack of an SSD or rather an affordable SSD option. A 64GB drive for an additional US$220 is ridiculous considering you can get twice as much capacity for half the price on the open market. Still its overall appeals hits home for the all-in-one audience, those without need for loads of storage and discrete graphics.
The choice of integrated graphics might not be popular but it has its benefits. Having a low wattage CPU and no graphics card gives the M92z excellent energy efficiency. The lack of the discrete GPU also means the machine runs cooler and doesn't require an extra fan. The system runs very quiet under normal conditions and only exceeds 20~21 dBA@0.6m when placed under synthetic load.
The M92z is a very bland looking machine with a plastic exterior but as ThinkCentres are marketed as business PCs it's to be expected. The fully adjustable stand is a delightful feature that separates it from many all-in-one models. However, our favorite aspect of the unit is how easy it is to service. Taking apart the back cover is fairly effortless, requiring no tools, and most of the major components inside can be replaced and/or upgraded without much fuss. There are plenty of connectivity options too, including Bluetooth, WiFi, and DisplayPort in and out.
To our surprise, the M92z has a decent set of speakers that we feel is more than acceptable for most users. For an integrated set, they're excellent, easily the best we've heard thus far. The screen on the otherhand is a disappointment considering it's an IPS panel. The 23 inch, 1920 x 1080 display has good brightness and fabulous viewing angles, but its palette seems dull and washed out. We'd be interested to know if the non-touch version of the panel has the same issue; if not it would be a far preferable model as touch doesn't add a lot to the overall experience.
Windows 8 would probably serve the M92z much better in this regard, but we really don't see touch in general gaining much traction on the traditional desktop as we know it today. For the tasks that most desktop users perform on a day-to-day basic, using the screen rather than the mouse and keyboard is unintuitive, inconvenient, and physically tiring. It's a chore having to constantly reach out two feet in front of you, or holding your arm in that general position for long stretches, especially for the stereotypical limp-wristed long-term computer user with shoulder muscles atrophied from years of disuse. Until desktops become large slabs that sit horizontally at a low angle so you don't have to fight gravity every time you interact with the system, touch just doesn't make sense outside of mobile devices.
Our thanks to Lenovo
for the ThinkCentre M92z 3311B3U All-In-One Desktop PC sample.
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Articles of Related Interest
AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC with GTX680
AVADirect Quiet Gaming PC
Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p Ultra-small Desktop PC
Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Mini PC
Serenity Mini, SPCR Edition by Puget Computers
Aleutia H3-R Fanless Core i5 Media PC
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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