Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z Review

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Lenovo has been making a push in touch-enabled products as of late. A few months back, we actually tested one of the company's first touchscreen-enabled ThinkPad notebooks (and an IdeaPad, for that matter). Regardless, the company isn't exactly a household name when it comes to touch-enabled products but with Windows 7's limited built in touch capabilities, the cost of entry is lower perhaps, save for the cost of a touch-capable panel. The ThinkCentre M90z is Lenovo's newest 23" touch-enabled all-in-one PC, and it's going up against some stiff competition. HP's TouchSmart, Apple's iMac line, as well as a number of MSI units offer similar features at a similar price, and some might say with more modern looking, stylish enclosures.



So, what does the M90z have to set it apart? That's exactly what we aim to find out in our analysis. Built for business, but perfectly fine for at-home use, the ThinkCentre M90z offers a 23" touch screen (glossy) with a Full HD 1080p resolution. Windows 7 is the operating system of choice, and the options from there are fairly varied. Our test unit has a powerful 3.2GHz Core i5-650 under the hood, paired with 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive and a side-mounted DVD-ROM drive. Graphics are handled by Intel's integrated GMA HD processor, while IO port selection resides on the rear.



We kind of appreciate Lenovo's honesty with the touch panel as well. The M90z has the touch panel as an upgrade option, but unlike HP's TouchSmart 600, it's not the focal point of the machine. And why should it be? Windows 7 still has only a few features that are truly built for touch (particularly on a desktop), and we still feel that touch on desktops has limited usefullness. It's simply too time consuming to manage an entire 23" display with your finger when your mouse and keyboard are anchored down in front.

 
HP TouchSmart 600-1055
System Specifications

  Direct Price (as tested): $1,389 without Bluetooth; $1,418 with Bluetooth

The ThinkCentre M90z can be had for as little as $929 direct from Lenovo, with the Multi-Touch version starting at $1099. But as soon as you bump the RAM to 4GB and add a Core 2010 CPU, the mark soars higher. There's no doubt that this is one of the more expensive all-in-one PCs on the market. It is pricier than HP and MSI's products, both of which offer compelling 23" AIO solutions. Is the added cost for the Lenovo unit justifiable? Join us in the pages ahead as we try to find out.

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I'll be glad when it's 2012 and everyone realizes just how stupid the idea of the touchscreen enabled desktop was.

>> It's simply too time consuming to manage an entire 23" display with your finger when your mouse and keyboard are anchored down in front.

Thank god:  another sane voice in a cacophony of hype.

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OK, I'll be the one to say it!.......Man, they REALLY missed the mark on this one!

That is an awful lot of money for yesterdays gimmick!  Any small business that would use something like this could still go to Sam's and pick one up for under a K, if not less.  Any larger business will end up choosing a more durable and professional input device for their employees, Like Wacoms or other touch screen peripherals?
 
That being said where they missed the mark if they are going to charge that price is to aim it towards a desk-like atmosphere for the home! If they took a cue from Wacom, then they could have set it on an incline desk mount to allow people to use it naturally, similar to a drafting desk. At least then the touch capabilities would feel more natural. If they also upped the ante and gave it a good pen input, then it would have appealed to many more people!  At 2K and 21", a 23" unit would have picked up many people who would like a Wacom and even the ones who wouldn't think they could use one!  Then if they put in one of the new ATI Fire-Mobile GPU's then it would have greater appeal across the board, from Graphic designers, Photographers to students.
 
As far as the HD noise, I would have to ask Neil how the aerospace industry dealt with spinning discs in a gravitational field that wasn't entirely horizontal or vertical, That had random pressures applied at various points along its plane? I don't know why at that price they wouldn't just go with an SSD, maybe a 128GB one that could satiate people for the system, and allow them to use externals for mass storage?
 
It seems like they say they design this for business, yet they only get it set up for a housewife who wants something like this for the kitchen counter?  For some reason it seems like they are always slightly off the mark. When they could put just a little more into it and not only save tons of customers from the Turtleneck bandit. But they could also make new ones who would have turned to Wacom or been left wanting because of the cost to complete a all-in one work rig.
 
This would have been totally cool to have sitting at a 45% angle right in front of you, with the keyboard below on the tray, The to be able to use it like the Wacom when you go to those programs that require it!
 
Hopefully after reading this, we will see a system like that come out next year as soon as the sales go nowhere, ..If they are listening?

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Good to know about this new technology update. I would like to read article about it. 

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