Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z review

Touchscreen all-in-one PCs don't have to be expensive as Lenovo's new ThinkCentre M71z shows, but is there any point in buying one? Mike Jennings takes a look in our review.

The relatively modest processor means that the M71z's heat and power requirements are pretty low.

There's four gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard disk and a DVD writer as well as 802.11bgn WLAN. There's also a TPM 1.2 module which most cryptographic applications can take advantage of. The ports selection doesn't stretch to USB 3 - the Intel H61 chipset doesn't support it - but there are two USB 2 ports and a card-reader on the left-hand side, and a further four USB 2 sockets, alongside Gigabit Ethernet and a DisplayPort output socket, on the rear.

Some versatility is afforded in this 490 ex VAT specification, but the slimline chassis means that specification changes are limited. The specification reviewed here is Lenovo's most capable, but 420 ex VAT will net you a model with a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium G840 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk, and paying just 384 ex VAT sees the M71z kitted out with a 2.6GHz Pentium G620 processor alongside 2GB of RAM and 320GB of storage.

There's no additional warranty option, though, with the three year on-site parts and labour deal as good as it gets.

Thankfully, all three specifications are housed in a typical Lenovo build. The matte black plastic is as strong as you'd expect from a company famed for its ThinkPads. The keyboard and mouse are reliable, too: the keyboard is comfortable with a clicky and responsive typing action. There are plenty of visual nods to its stablemates too, with the familiar blue shades on the keyboard and the touchstick's red colouring visible on the mouse scroll wheel.

The M71z doesn't have the best screen or specification, but the reasonably low price still ensures the M71z is a tempting system. Even so, the touchscreen and lack of expansion potential means it'll only find a niche audience but, if you'd like to move beyond the keyboard and mouse, this is a decent place to start.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The dim screen means image work is out of the question, upgrade potential is limited as you'd expect in an all-in-one PC and little excites about the dependable Lenovo software but, if you want to add an extra dimension to your desk or other location such as an exhibit hall or point of sale display, this affordable touchscreen all-in-one PC isn't a bad choice. However, unless budgets are tight we'd rather have Lenovo's own ThinkCentre Edge 91z which has a better specification, but costs £100 more and only has a one year warranty.

Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Memory: 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM Graphics: Intel HD 2000 Graphics integrated Hard disk: 500GB Display: 20in 1,600 x 900 touchscreen TFT Features: 1.3 megapixel webcam, microphone, TPM 1.2 Connectivity: 802.11n WLAN, Gigabit Ethernet, Ports: 6 x USB 2, DisplayPort, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x audio, SD/MMC/MS card reader Dimensions: 507 x 185 x 413mm (WxDxH) Weight: 8.8kg Warranty: 3 year on-site labour/parts warranty OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit BENCHMARK RESULTS Image editing: 81 Video encoding: 57 Multiple apps: 57 Overall: 61 POWER CONSUMPTION Sleep: 1W Idle: 52W Active: 83W

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