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Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z review

It may not be quite as stylish as an iMac, but the latest all-in-one PC from Lenovo is a surprisingly compelling alternative as we find out in our review.

The graphics processor is among the 91z's weakest points - it relies on the Core i5's on-board graphics chip, which means that the best 3D rendering score we were able to get was 12.5fps at a resolution of 1,280x720 and High quality. It won't be of much use for either 3D rendering programs or GPGPU-accelerated applications. The hard disk isn't especially generous at just 5000GB, with 10GB occupied by the restore partition, but it should be enough for most workplaces especially where the majority of files are stored on network file servers or in the cloud.

The remainder of the system's specification is rounded out with a memory card reader, DVD re-writer and six USB ports. There are no USB3 ports, which is a shame given the brand-new Intel Sandy Bridge processor. We were pleased to find that the system has an HDMI output, which makes it particularly easy to connect a second monitor, a projector or a TV.

The VGA-input and HDMI-output at the rear make the ThinkCentre Edge 91z a surprisingly flexible all-in-one PC.

The VGA-input and HDMI-output make the ThinkCentre Edge 91z a surprisingly flexible all-in-one PC.

The integrated speakers, although lacking in bass, put out a balanced and clear sound. There are also the obligatory 3.5mm headphone and mic ports for headset users. The wireless mouse is a little small, while the keyboard has flat, widely spaced, laptop-style keys. Unfortunately they're not up to the standard of Lenovo's generally excellent ThinkPad keyboards the keys here feel a bit spongy and not nearly as responsive as their portable cousins. It is spill-proof like many ThinkPad keyboards though, which should come as a relief to anyone who tends to eat at the computer.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Despite having a glossy, reflective screen, the ThinkCentre 91z is a good choice if you want a compact, powerful and fairly versatile all-in-one PC backed by an onsite warranty. It's competitively priced too, making it a cheaper Windows-based alternative to a equivalently specified 21.5in iMac.

Processor: Intel Core-i5-2400S, 2.5GHz Memory: 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM Graphics: integrated Intel GMA X4500 Hard disk: 500GB hard disk Display: 21.5in 1,920 x 1,080, LED-backlit screen Features: two megapixel webcam, microphone, stereo speakers Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet Ports: 6 x USB2 (two side, four rear), memory card reader Slots: 1 x mini PCI Express (reserved for WiFi) Dimensions: 40x410x266mm (WxDxH) Warranty: one year onsite warranty OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Part code: SWHB5UK

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