Lenovo Introduces ThinkCentre M70e And A70 Desktops

Lenovo's famous for their notebooks, but those guys also sell desktops. The ThinkCentre line has been around (and thriving) for some time now, mostly within businesses and enterprises. But the company's newest two machines could easily work in a consumer setup. As with Lenovo's ThinkPad line, these new desktops aren't much to look at. But with these, it's always about what it can do for you.

The ThinkCentre M70e is a new entry-level enterprise desktop, while the A70 is a slimmer, even more affordable option. The units are available with Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentrium and Celetron CPUs, and on the GPU front, there's an NVIDIA GeForce FX380 or Intel's GMA X4500. Other specifications include up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 1TB or 500GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, DVD burner and some of the slimmest, easiest to hide enclosures that we've seen to date.

The M70e starts at $559, while the A70 starts at $379.

Two New Desktops for Business

Today, we are announcing two new products: the ThinkCentre M70e – an entry level enterprise PC – and the A70 – for growing businesses looking for a boost in processing, memory and graphics without a high investment cost. M70e models start at $559, while A70 models start at $379 (USD). They come in small form factor and tower designs.

Key Specs include:

    * Intel Core2Quad, Core2Duo, Pentium and Celeron processor choices. Core2Quad processors are available with the M70e
    * NVIDIA GeForce FX380 Quadro or Intel integrated GMA X4500 graphic choices
    * High speed DDR3 memory up to 4 GB
    * Large hard drives up to 500 GB and up to 1 TB in the M70e
    * Gigabit Ethernet and DVD burner
    * ThinkVantage Tools with Rescue and Recovery to protect against data loss

A70 small form factor

M70e small form factor

Desktop Design Matters

The M70e tower is ergonomically designed, taking into account how people interact with their PCs today. Wired recently examined the evolution of office space from factory layouts to cubes to open floor plans. Dubbed by some as “progressive companies,” we’re seeing more use of modular, reconfigurable, flexible furniture to adapt to changing business dynamics. We’re responding to this trend in the office environment with our PC design.

Sweat the Small Stuff

As the workplace shrinks and open floor plans thrive, PC towers that used to live on top of desks are now typically stowed underneath, completely changing the ergonomics.

John Swansey, an M70e designer, told me, “We grouped together frequently accessed controls near the top of the PC where they are easy to reach whether the PC is placed on the floor, on a desk, or in computer furniture. The indicator lights and power button are on a panel angled toward the use, and the power button is shielded from accidental use by an elegant chrome ring.  USB and audio ports are placed conveniently next to the DVD drive at the top of the machine where they are visible and accessible. The red-striped DVD drive eject button, borrowed from our ThinkPad heritage, is easily noticeable.”

These seemingly subtle improvements allow the user to make smooth, natural movements to access the PC, and overlooking them can lead to a frustrating experience. In PC design, we’re challenged to shave millimeters – not inches – and fractions – not pounds – off products. We used a smaller motherboard and rearranged internal components more efficiently to carve 14 mm from the width and reduce the size of the M70e by more than 20% compared to previous ThinkCentre desktops. And we made the M70e slightly lighter by thinning the chassis while retaining its solid structure, quality and durability.

Better thermodynamics means PCs last longer and consumer less power, so we improved heat dissipation and lowered the risk of hard-drive and CPU failure on even the hottest days. To do this, we redesigned the motherboard and added an extra fan and side vent. As a result, the M70e runs almost 10% cooler than previous models.

The M70e also continues Lenovo’s environmental commitment by using 15% less power than older models and using a front plastic bezel that contains 35% post consumer recycled plastic. Most desktops in the industry average 15%.

Businesses Care about Desktop Design & Technology

Why do we continue to invest in desktop design and technology?

IDC forecasts traditional desktop PCs to be nearly half of the worldwide commercial enterprise PC demand. And we’re experiencing strong demand in emerging market countries as they build new businesses and industries. In fact, IDC research analyst Jay Chou observed that, “an aging commercial installed base, a proliferation of low-cost media-centric PCs and low PC penetration through must of the world” account for the 21% global PC growth in Q2 2010. The data also forecasts 48 million units, or 60% of commercial desktop sales worldwide, will be mini-towers sized between 20L – 34L. That’s right in line with the M70e tower, and we’ll continue to bring these kinds of designs to market to help drive productivity and efficiency.