Sure, nobody gets excited about business computers, and these Lenovos (including the company's first business all-in-one) are pretty snooooore. But one of them could be your next office computer, and it's our duty to inform and educate you fine cubicle-folk.
Let's look at the best-case scenario: The A70z all-in-one. It's thoroughly unremarkable in specs, offering a 19-inch LCD (isn't that kind of small these days? Not that the iMac's insane 27-inch model should be the benchmark, but still...), up to a Core 2 Duo processor, and up to 500GB storage in a decent-looking if not particularly noteworthy package (pictured above). It also boasts of a fast startup and shutdown time and is only 2.4 inches thick (the new iMac is about an inch thick, for reference, though of course it costs several times more). The A70z will start at $500, which sounds pretty cheap, but the base model is likely to include a Celeron proc and a much lower-capacity HDD, for starters, so don't get too excited. The Acer Z5610, for example, costs $800 to start (not that far from an A70z with similar specs) in a much more slick package.
Winning second place (out of two) is the A58e tower. Clearly a $350 business-oriented tower desktop that boasts of "up to 320GB of data storage, up to 2GB of memory and a DVD burner" isn't exactly up our alley—but just as music critics must cover the latest Coldplay album, so must we bite the bullet and mention this snoozefest of a computer. Keep in mind that these prices aren't actually that low: Dell's base package Vostro desktop tower starts at only $300, with similar specs.
It's useless to brand computers like these objectively "good" or "bad." The A58e and A70z don't need to have catchy names, or up-to-the-minute specs, or eye-catching designs or even prices that are all that low. They will be bought, and they will be used. They will churn out Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoints and TPS reports, and they will suffice for those duties. They will provide no joy, unless you are a goofy salesman who sends adorable emails back and forth with your office's frumpy-yet-cute receptionist, and even then it will take about four years before anything happens between you two, so maybe you should just get another job because this one is clearly sucking the life out of you. Yet, they will be bought.
These computers will also match your office's Mr. Coffee. (Note: Speculation.)
At any rate, the 70z is available from the end of November, and the A58e is available now. Press release below. [Lenovo]
Lenovo Introduces its First ThinkCentre All-in-One Desktop PC for Business
Combines Style, High Performance and Extreme Affordability
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – November 2, 2009: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today reshaped its ThinkCentre business desktop line by introducing its first all-in-one (AIO) desktop PC – the ThinkCentre A70z. Built for the needs of small and medium businesses (SMB) all the way up to large corporations, the AIO delivers a compelling alternative to the traditional desktop PC, starting at just $499. Despite the budget-friendly price tag, the high performance all in one comes with Intel Core2Duo processors and delivers blazing fast boot up time as one of Lenovo's Enhanced Experience certified PCs for Windows 7. The ThinkCentre A70z saves 70 percent more space, takes less time to set up and service and consumes less power than traditional desktops1. At the same time, the AIO adds a new touch of style and sophistication for today's modern office.
Lenovo today also introduced the ThinkCentre A58e tower desktop, bringing SMBs an affordable and reliable computing solution.
"We've heard from a number of IT managers in a variety of industries, from education, to finance to healthcare, and they've all told us they need desktops that conserve space, save on energy consumption and are easy to maintain and service," said Dilip Bhatia, executive director, Worldwide Desktop Marketing, Lenovo. "The new ThinkCentre A70z exceeds these needs – not only is it compact, super energy efficient and quick to service, but it's also high performance and extremely affordable."
Reshaping of Desktop Market
According to IDC, the commercial all-in-one PC segment is projected to grow 16 percent year to year worldwide in 2010 with most of the desktop market consisting of small to medium business, small office/home office users and consumers.2 This trend fits into the growing SMB PC market, which is forecasted to grow to more than 99 million PCs in 20113.
ThinkCentre A70z Saves Space, Time and Money
The compact ThinkCentre A70z includes a 19 inch, 16:10 widescreen LCD monitor packed into a 2.4 inch4 black frame that complements just about any office environment. On a desk, the AIO takes up 70 percent less space than a traditional desktop and monitor5. It can also be mounted flush against an office wall, supported with a radial stand or rested against a leg stand similar to how a picture frame works. The AIO's single power cable6 helps eliminate unsightly cable clutter that plagues office desk space, and the built-in handle on the back of the monitor makes transporting easy.
Saving on space doesn't mean skimping on performance though. The AIO features:
* Choices of Intel Core™ 2 Duo through Celeron® Dual Core processors for demanding performance
* Direct X10 support for enhanced games and high-end 3-D applications
* A DVD burner, six USB ports, two audio speakers and optional Wifi
* An optional high resolution webcam and built-in Skype application for voice over Internet protocol web calling with friends and colleagues
* Support for up to 500GB of data storage for lots of photos, music and work files
With simple set up, boot up as quickly as 35 seconds and up to 28 percent faster shut down time7 and easy access to the hard drive for servicing, the AIO helps save time all around, and businesses know that "time equals money." The affordable AIO also comes equipped at no extra cost with Lenovo's suite of ThinkVantage Technologies (TVTs). These value-added tools help businesses save money by speeding productivity and reducing downtime. Additionally, Lenovo's Power Manager TVT helps organizations save energy by remotely deploying power schemes and global settings. The all in one comes Energy Star 5.0 rated for high energy efficiency, but for more savings, using the Power Manager helps save approximately $65 per year over previous Lenovo desktop and monitor solutions8. To help reduce overall packaging material, the A70z ships with reusable protective bag. By using one box instead of two, material savings are equal to approximately 250 paper cups and 139 plastic packaging bags9.
ThinkCentre A58e Extends Desktop Value
Based on Intel Core™2 Duo or Celeron® processors, the ThinkCentre A58e tower equips users to get the most out of their workday with an assortment of features including support for Microsoft Windows 7, up to 320GB of data storage, up to 2GB of memory and a DVD burner. Implementing Lenovo's Power Manager, businesses can reduce electricity costs on their ThinkCentre A58e by up to 69 percent per year10. The ThinkCentre A58e combines the essential computing technologies for just about any day-to-day business task at an extremely affordable price.
Services Tailored to the SMB
Lenovo offers a variety of enhanced warranty options as well as its ThinkPlus Priority Support service plan on both new PCs. Priority Support features 24x7 priority call routing to advanced technical support as well as a host of administrative tools. ThinkPlus Priority Support frees up IT staff to address critical business needs while helping to reduce or eliminate the need for around the clock in-house IT support, which can translate into significant cost savings.
In addition both PCs give customers the option to download a free trial of Lenovo Online Backup, a secure, encrypted offsite storage solution for critical data and files. Lenovo Online Backup lets users automatically back up their files and then restore them anytime, from anywhere in the world, via an Internet connection. The free trial includes 5GB of storage for 90 days.
Pricing and Availability
The ThinkCentre A70z all-in-one will be available at the end of November with models starting at approximately $499. The ThinkCentre A58e desktop is available currently with models starting at approximately $349. Both desktops will be available through Lenovo business partners.