The Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z is an all-in-one touch desktop made for a wide variety of businesses, from the small proprietorship all the way up to the large-scale enterprise. It’s a good choice for the non-mobile worker who is tied to a desk in a cubicle farm, and it is easy to work on, which is important to your IT service staff. The system is reasonably priced in the tested configuration, and represents a good value as a midrange all-in-one business PC.
Design and Features
The ThinkCentre M93z sports a dark gray/matte black industrial look with some red accents like the stripe behind the screen that highlights the carry handle built into the screen’s back panel. It is built into a 23-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-resolution IPS display with 10-point touch capability. The edge-to-edge glass display has an anti-glare finish, which is rare for a touch screen. Most touch screens are made of glass with a glossy, reflective surface. The ThinkCentre M93z’s anti-glare screen makes it a good choice for the harshly lit cube farms of the average corporate office.
Our review unit came with a height-adjustable monitor stand, which is one of the three options that Lenovo offers. The others are a simple wire and easel stand, as well as an optional universal AIO stand with a dual-hinge and pivot (like the former Editors’ Choice Dell Optiplex 9010 AIO). The back of the monitor stand is connected via a VESA mount, so you can use other stands with the system.
The ThinkCentre M93z’s touch screen is responsive, and the anti-glare coating helps users see the information on the system’s screen. The speaker bar below the screen sounds fine, especially in the business setting, where video playing is more about information retrieval than entertainment. The system we reviewed came with a wireless mouse and keyboard, as well as dual band 801.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
If your business isn’t wireless yet, you can use the Gigabit Ethernet port, along with six USB 3.0 ports, VGA-in, SD cards, and DisplayPort-out. Mic and headset jacks, a DVD burner, and other controls (volume, OSD controls, mute mic) round out the controls and jacks on the sides of the system. You can use the DisplayPort and an adapter with a pair of external displays for up to three simultaneous displays including the built-in one. We kind of wish there was a HDMI or DisplayPort-in port, since that would let you continue to use the system’s IPS screen with another desktop or laptop later when the ThinkCentre M93z’s internal components become obsolete.
The ThinkCentre M93z has a shutter on the webcam, which combined with the mic mute button, ensures that your system isn’t inadvertently set up to broadcast private meetings to the world at large. Your company IT policy may mandate such physical privacy controls.
There are two latches on the bottom of the system, which allows quick access into the chassis for service. You can lock the system down with a Kensington lock, which disables the latches. There are two SO-DIMM slots accessible (one filled), as well as access to the hard drive, optical drive, Wi-Fi, and even the processor. Most component replacements, short of the processor, won’t require tools at all. This is a boon for IT techs working under short deadlines. High-end workstations like the HP Z1 and our Editors’ Choice for business all-in-one desktops the HP EliteOne 800 both feature internal access for servicing.
Our review unit came with Windows 8 Pro to complement the touch screen. The system had no problem running our benchmark tests, some of which were initially designed when Windows XP was the top dog. Since it uses Windows 8 Pro, the system has a license for downgrade to Windows 7 Professional, just in case your business hasn’t upgraded to the new OS yet (and many haven’t). There were a few pre-loaded apps on the ThinkCentre M93z, including Skype, Evernote Touch, Norton Internet Security, PowerDVD, Sugar Sync, Accuweather, Microsoft Office Trial, and Intel AppUp. Lenovo’s usual support apps are also present, including rescue-and-recovery apps, as well as other troubleshooting apps. This is more of a SMB-oriented app list, your business can of course work with Lenovo to setup a disk image with your company’s pre-loaded apps and systems management: That will all depend on your contract with Lenovo. The ThinkCentre M93z comes with a standard three-year warranty.
The ThinkCentre M93z comes with a quad-core Intel Core i5-4670S processor with Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4GB of memory (upgradable to 16GB), and a 500GB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive. This means that the system is a smidge slower than systems with a SSD drive like the HP 800 and the Dell 9010. This is borne out in the ThinkCentre M93z’s PCMark 7 score (3,570 points), which lags the HP 800 (4,910) and Dell 9010 (4,306). Both the Dell 9010 and HP 800 are also slightly faster on the Handbrake video test and Photoshop CS6 test, on account of their SSDs and Core i7 processors. The ThinkCentre M93z is therefore less attractive for active power users or if you hope to avoid the system from feeling slow to your users in the future.
On the other hand, the ThinkCentre M93z costs a lot less than the HP 800 and Dell 9010. While it’s not a gaming rig, (and doesn’t need to be in a work setting), the ThinkCentre M93z is competitive with the discrete graphics on the HP EliteOne 800, particularly at the Heaven benchmark test. This means that the ThinkCentre M93z will be good at tasks that involve 3D like CAD viewing and architectural renders.
Ultimately, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z is a very good all-in-one desktop, and should be at the top of your shopping list. It may not have the sheer horsepower of the HP EliteOne 800 or Dell Optiplex 9010 AIO, but it doesn’t have those system’s high price tags either. It’s certainly price competitive and a better choice than the midrange Dell Optiplex 3011 ($1,419.28), which lost points because of a smaller, lower-resolution screen and low-powered integrated graphics. The ThinkCentre M93z therefore comes as a recommended choice, if not quite our Editors’ Choice for all-in-one desktops, which remains the HP EliteOne 800.
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 Pro|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4600|
|Type||All-in-one, Touchscreen All-In-One|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i5|
|Monitor Type||LCD Widescreen|
|Primary Optical Drive||Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW|
|Screen Size||23 inches|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||500 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc