Intel Core 2 Duo (E7500)
320 GB Hard Drive
2 GB RAM
Intel GMA x4500
19 inch 16:10 display with 1440 x 900 resolution
1.3 MP Webcam
6 USB Ports
The ThinkCentre family is an affordable line of desktop PCs designed for business. The ThinkCentre family includes the A Series Tower & Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs, the M Series Tower, SFF and Ultra Small Form Factor (USFF) PCs and the A Series All-in-one PC. For this review we have a ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one desktop PC.
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Setup & Installation
The ThinkCentre A70z comes nicely packaged in a relatively small box. The fact that we are dealing with an all-in-one system makes setup a snap. Interestingly, the computer itself comes wrapped in a reusable bag, that actually comes in handy when moving the system from place to place. Also, the all-in-one system has a convienient handle on the back side which makes carrying the system around easy. Setting up the system consists of plugging in the USB keyboard and mouse (or wireless receiver for the optional wireless desktop set), and plugging the power cord. The power button is located on the lower front corner of the PC. It's about as simple as setting up a PC can get. After a few steps to create a username and password, you're at the Windows desktop. This model came with Windows 7 Professional 32-bit edition.
Design is what all-in-one computers are all about. The convience of having everything in a single, space-saving form factor is tremendously appealing to many computer users, especially in cramped business environments. I replaced the PC under my desk and a 20 inch monitor with the A70z, and the entire ThinkCentre system took up about as much desk space as the 20 inch monitor alone, freeing up much needed leg room under the desk. The A70z also gave me the added convenience of having the DVD drive and USB connections easily within reach. The A70z has a DVD-RW drive on the left side of the screen, along with three USB ports, headphone and mic jacks on the right side. Also on the right side of the screen are two buttons for screen dimming and brightening. Pretty much everything you need is within arms reach. Ports on the back side of the machine consist of three USB connections, a power connection, a gigabit network connection and oddly enough a serial port. The stand is adjustable to accomodate different viewing angles. On the front side of the machine you have the power button, and beside it is the hard drive activity indicator. Running along the bottom of the machine are the speakers, and on top of the screen is a webcam and mic. The machine is very sturdy and runs quietly considering it's proximity to the user. The only exception is when a CD or DVD is spinning in the tray, the machine will rattle a little bit and cause a bit of noise. The USB connections on the right side of the computer are somewhat inset into the side of the computer, which hides them from view but also make them a bit difficult to plug into without leaning over the view the side of the machine. Lastly, another piece of design that makes the A70z more flexible and useful in some scenarios are the VESA mounting options. In addition to the desktop stand, you can add a wall mount or adjustable desk arm to the A70z, making the already compact design even more space saving.
Performance & USe
The ThinkCentre A70z came with Windows 7 Professional 32-bit edition preinstalled. This unit came with 2GB of RAM, with 4GB being the max. Refreshingly, there wasn't a ton of preinstalled applications and other trial software to wade through upon first use. The system booted to the desktop with a custom background and a ThinkCentre toolbar on the taskbar. It made getting started quite a bit easier than having to uninstall much unwanted trial software. The A70z comes with a 19 inch wide 16:10 display at 1440 x 900 resolution. The display is very crisp and bright. Overall, performance was very good, which is to be expected on a system with the specs this system came with.
To begin, I need to say that personally I am a huge fan of all-in-one systems. So I was preinclined to like the Lenovo A70z from the start. And I do like it very much. That's not to say the system is without flaws. Inherent in all-in-one systems, there is a limited amount of customization and upgrades you are able to do to the system. That's one of the major negatives. Also, these days a 19 inch screen is comparatively small, considering that I replaced a 20 inch monitor on my previous system. I'm also a huge fan of quiet computers, and having the entire computer a foot in front of you tends to increase the noise level somewhat. It is also nice Lenovo has a nice optional stand, priced reasonably at $59, for those who just do not want to set the unit flat on the desk. But ultimately, I think the pros outweigh the cons and the Lenovo A70z is a great system. After reviewing this unit I've become a true fan of Lenovo computers.