Lenovo releases ThinkCentre M90z enterprise PC

The ThinkCentre M90z – a 23-inch, touchscreen, enterprise-class, all-in-one PC from Lenovo Group Ltd. – is now available through business partners in Canada. The PC, which Lenovo is calling the “first true enterprise all-in-one” on the market, will become available for order online later in June.

Lenovo released its first all-in-one business PC, the A70z, in November 2009. But the M90z has more features targeted to large enterprise customers, said Bill Dominici, product marketing manager of ThinkCentre and ThinkVision for Lenovo in North America.
While the A70z comes in three pre-configured models and is distributed through the channel, the M90z is customizable and is produced in North America, he said. Enterprises can configure both the actual hardware setup as well as custom images, he said.
The M90z is built around the Q57 chipset and supports Intel Core i technology as well as vPro for manageability and security, he said. Options include the Intel Core i5 and i3 processors, DDR3 memory and hard or solid state drives.
The M90z features a 23-inch HD resolution screen and is available with or without a touchscreen. The upgrade from a non-touchscreen to touchscreen version costs about $100, said Dominici.
Businesses are starting to embrace the touchscreen, but the software options that support touch are “relatively limited right now for business,” he said. “Since hardware typically precedes software development, we’ll see it grow more,” he added.
The M90z includes a display port out for driving external monitors or projectors, he said. It also functions as a standalone monitor and includes a VGA port, he said. Dominici calls this a “nice future-proofing feature” because the M90z can continue to work as a high-definition monitor even if users move past the Core i in a few years.

The M90z’s compact, all-in-one design will save up to 70 per cent in terms of desktop space compared to a traditional tower with a 24-inch monitor, he said. It includes a portrait stand, an optional height-adjustable stand and a VESA mount on the back for attaching to an arm or wall mount, he said.

A handle on the back is also included for portability. “It’s definitely easy for the infrastructure to move this unit versus separate components, but it’s not something you’ll want to carry to class with you,” he said.

Optional features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a DVD player.

The M90z is designed to allow users to access the internals of the machine, upgrade and/or service the machine without having to unscrew the back panel, he said. For security reasons, a Kensington lock slot is included for securing the unit to a desktop or locking the unit shut, he said.
Other features include an integrated 2.0 megapixel Webcam and built-in digital microphone, which is useful for Voice over IP (VoIP) calling, and a physical on/off switch for security.
The switch, a slider that locks the camera lens and the microphone, was added based on feedback from education and health care customers who needed to physically know the camera is off for privacy concerns, said Dominici.
Green features include Energy Star 5.0 certification, EPEAT Gold certification and TCO Edge AIO certification. The M90z also uses over 41 per cent post-consumer plastics. A built-in ambient light sensing unit, which auto-adjusts based on the lighting in the room, will save customers “over $8 per unit per year,” he said.
Pricing for the M90z starts at $989.00. “You’re not going to be paying a premium for it. It’s going to come in at a similar price point to a desktop with a similar configuration,” he said.

What makes the M90z the “ultimate enterprise desktop” is the additional manageability, power and functionality users get based on the Q57 chipset, said Dominici. “Also, the fact that it can be easily upgradeable and serviceable in the field, which is unique on the market right now,” he said.
“And then some of the additional things that you see in terms of being able to drive two monitors, function as a monitor. It’s a very powerful, versatile and convenient system for our customers with a reduced footprint,” he said.

The Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo., has been using a pre-production M90z unit for the past couple months. “Our lab is already filled to the brim with equipment, so what I like about the M90z is that it can fit into tight spaces here and when we take it out on the road,” said Josh Wurman, president of the center and team leader of the Vortex 2 tornado field project, in a YouTube video.

Wurman said the PC’s compact size, light weight, big screen and computing power allow the Center to easily to view charts and analyze data for tornado research, both in the office and out on the field.

Lenovo also announced two new monitors: ThinkVision L2230x, a 21.5-inch HD monitor with a built-in port replicator for ultra-portable notebooks, and the ThinkVision L2321x Wide, a hard-wired duo display monitor.  

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