Review: The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z

    Traditional desktop machines are losing their appeal, as laptops become more powerful and lighter. On the other hand, desktop machines do retain certain benefits, such as more powerful microprocessors and greater expandability.

    It is with this in mind that we take a look at the recently released Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z All-in-One PC. The company says the E93z is the “perfect marriage” of performance, design and productivity-enhancing features. We take a closer look at a Windows 8 review unit to find out if that is really the case.

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    Click through for a review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z.

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    Space-Saving Design

    The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z is an AIO (All-in-one) PC that uses a space-saving design to offer desktop-class processing capabilities while taking up a minimum amount of space. Indeed, everything is packaged within its monitor-like chassis fronted by a 21.5-inch display. The AIO PC plugs directly into a wall socket with no need for an external adapter, and offers a built-in DVD R/W drive as well as ample USB peripheral ports. It takes just minutes to set it up; all that is required is to connect the power plug and insert the USB dongle for the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse.

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    Flexible UltraFlex Stand

    Lenovo clearly had business users in mind when it introduced the UltraFlex Stand as an option. Designed specifically for the E93z, the UltraFlex Stand combines height, tilt and recline mode for the best ergonomics, as well as to get the most out of the Windows 8 touch experience. While not as good as some of the top monitor arms currently being sold, it is one of the best we’ve seen for an AIO device. And unlike similar AIO PCs where the stand is built-in, the E93z sports support for standard VESA mounting that will work with both a vanilla monitor stand or your monitor arm of choice.

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    Full HD Display with 10-Point Multitouch

    On top of its 21.5-inch full HD (1080p) display, the ThinkCentre E93z also offers support for 10-point multitouch with the use of Projected Capacitive Touch (PCT) technology. The result is excellent response time, and actions are triggered without any perceptible lag or delays. Coupled with the UltraFlex Stand, the optional multitouch capability certainly makes the E93z AIO PC an ideal platform for use with Windows 8. We did find the screen somewhat glossy, but that’s an unavoidable side effect of the touch screen.

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    Comes with Both HDMI In, Out Ports

    One interesting capability of the ThinkCentre E93z is its ability to serve as the HDMI target. Essentially, this means that you can plug the E93z into a DVD player or set-top box connecting the HDMI cable to its HDMI-in port and have the E93z serve as a full HD display for your home entertainment system, or for use with the Google Chromecast. When used as a PC, the HDMI-out port on the E93z connects to an external full HD (1920×1080) display for the purpose of setting up a dual-monitor desktop system.

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    Optimized for Collaboration

    The E93z AIO is highly optimized for collaboration in the form of video conferencing or VoIP. Built-in digital array microphone with keyboard noise suppression technology promises crystal-clear teleconferences, while the built-in webcam streams full HD videos. We’ve all heard horror stories of hackers surreptitiously activating the built-in cameras of PCs for the purpose of spying or violating the privacy of users. To alleviate concerns on this front, the AIO PC includes a physical on/off switch so that such an attack vector will not be able to succeed.

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    Physical Security

    The E93z AIO offers some level of physical security with a built-in Kensington lock slot. Note that its Kensington lock serves a dual purpose; locking it also prevents the chassis from being opened and potentially tampered with. Given that everything is built-in, this leaves opportunistic thieves or burglars with no peripherals such as speakers, monitor or webcam to make off with. For its part, Lenovo does sell a MicroSaver Security Cable Lock, though there’s really no reason why you can’t use one from your favorite computer accessories brand.

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    Lenovo Solution Center

    As with other business-centric PCs and laptops sold by Lenovo, the ThinkCentre E93z comes preloaded with the Lenovo Solution Centre software app. This is a simplified dashboard designed to reflect the total system health of the system, including a hardware diagnostic tool. Moreover, the Solution Center also allows for quick and convenient access to frequently used system management tools such as data backup, antimalware software, firewall settings, and software updates. (We spotted warranty information highlighted in the Solution Center of our review unit, too.)

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    Built-in Everything

    Ultimately, the ThinkCentre E93z packs within its chassis just about everything that businesses would require. This ranges from the inclusion of a DVD R/W drive, a built-in 7-in-1 card reader, integrated HD speakers, and an always-on USB 3.0 port with fast-charging capability. Finally, a built-in recessed handle makes it a trivial matter to shift the E93z to a different location in the office. Just remember to lock it down with a Kensington lock so that thieves can’t make off with it just as easily!

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