Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z Review

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: In our SiSoftware SANDRA tests, the ThinkCentre M90z was competitive, but didn't stand out, which is to be expected for a mid-range AIO machine. The CPU was without a doubt the system's strong point, as the 3.2GHz Core i5-630 managed to power through CPU intensive benchmarks, and in everyday use, it was plenty powerful for churning through typical desktop/Office tasks. The weak spot, as expected, was the GPU. With only an integrated Intel GMA HD IGP, the machine struggled to keep up in multi-media benchmarks, though it did manage to play back 1080p video and handle light gaming without any issue. For the average user, there's plenty of power here. Wireless performance was strong, as was touchscreen input recognition. The hard drive felt a bit sluggish and was constantly noisy. Overall, aside from the HDD, performance was on par with what we'd expect, albeit at a price premium.

The ThinkCentre M90z is a solid business machine, but we were never able to truly appreciate the touch screen, to be honest. On a standard Windows desktop, particularly one as large as 23", there's simply too much space to cover with your fingertips and too few applications built for touch control. You simply revert back to the mouse/keyboard in front of you before you've spent any real time using the panel. It's a $100 upgrade option that can easily be overlooked, and you probably won't miss it much. We do wish the machine had a bit more of a modern styling flair, and we wish the tray-load DVD drive was a slot-load drive.

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Using the machine is a pleasant experience, though there's no question it fits better in an office setting than in a modern household. We appreciated the fact that we could game somewhat after hours (despite having to crank the details down a notch), and aside from the noisy hard drive, everything else was nice. The bundled keyboard and mouse weren't anything special, but they did get the job done. A row of hot keys on the keyboard or maybe even along the front edge of the LCD itself would have been nice, though.

At the end of the day, our main gripe with the M90z is the price. At nearly $1400 for the configuration we tested (higher, if you include Bluetooth), we expected more; more style, more graphics performance, more hard drive space. HP's TouchSmart line and even Apple's iMac line achieve this in more ways than one. Truth be told, the all-in-one PC market is so loaded with competitors right now that people have every right to be sensitive to price. The Core i5 CPU is a nice addition, sure, but an AIO PC is all about the total package. We think this one is a few components short (or a few dollars too high) from being ideal, but that's not to say it's not a solid performer if your business can get a good deal on one.
  • Beautiful 23" 1080p display
  • Nice touch response
  • No extra power brick required
  • Fits great into office settings
  • Solid overall performance


  • No reason to use the touch panel
  • Design is a little dated
  • No keyboard hot keys
  • No discrete GPU
  • Tray-load DVD drive
  • Expensive compared to rivals


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