When I think business class laptops, I think Lenovo Thinkpad followed by HP’s Elitebook. When I think business class desktop’s I think of HP followed by Dell. Lenovo is looking to change that.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z touts it’s ease to upgrade as well as a low price point. The A70z ThinkCentre design is just what I have come to expect from Lenovo. Sturdy, simple and well designed even when it comes down to the packaging.
After opening up the box I am welcomed with the A70z wrapped up in a bag meant to use after unpacking the device. Most machines come with plastic, Lenovo took the extra step to include some packaging that can be re-used by the receiver of the device.
The A70z comes with what most PC’s come with. Keyboard, Mouse, Power cord and the documentation. Restore CD’s are missing but can be burned after booting into the OS. This is a welcome change from including a disk in every A70z sold. When I get 50 machines in at once I usually keep one or two sets of the restore/OS Disks and throw the rest out. I am disappointed in the fact that the keyboard and mouse aren’t wireless but understand at this price point it probably didn’t make sense.
The small foot print and all in one design allows for businesses to roll it out without too much hassle. The price point for a entry level business class desktop is right on track. The machine is incredibly fast on boot and took everything I could throw at it. I was very surprised that Lenovo did not load the machine up with tons of 3rd party bloatware like is prevalent in this price range. Instead they included software that allowed you to install which 3rd party apps you would like on your machine. The 19 inch monitor would be adequate for basic business tasks but would not work for a power user. What disappointed me the most was the lack of an expansion slot for video. I realize this is a low end machine but I am starting to see a trend for large wide screen monitors and/or dual screens. There is a USB Display option available but I have never been fond of expanding displays with USB technology.
I took the machine apart to validate Lenovo’s claims about how easy the A70z was to upgrade even though the machine was a All-In-One PC. I found a section that included guides on the Lenovo website which made it easy to follow but I was a little disappointed. When I heard “easy to upgrade” I was imagining a tool less chassis that would be very easy to get into. Instead I found many screws and steps to get into the innards of the A70z. Surprisingly the machine took full size dims and the RAM was easily accessible as soon as the back of the case was removed. I did not like the design of the connector for the hard drive. I found it difficult to deal with when trying to replace the drive and took me many tries to actually get the connections to stick.
- Small Footprint
- Limited Pre-Installed Bloatware
- Good Build Quality
- Lots of USB Expansion Ports
- Built in Standard Power Supply (no funky cords or power bricks!)
- No Display Expansion (except for USB)
- Lots of steps to remove back cover to get to the innards
- Small Display
Overall the A70z is perfect for the market it was made to serve. It has a small footprint and good features for the price. I would recommend it to any business who is looking to get the most bang for their buck in a small footprint.
If you want more details on the A70 or info on where to purchase it visit the Lenovo A70z page.