Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z Review

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The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z is a very good midrange all-in-one desktop, built for business. It’s a very good choice for the SMB user and those just starting to use Windows 8 in a business setting.

(4 out of 5)

Pros

  • Touch Screen
  • HDMI in and HDMI out
  • No power brick

Cons

  • Middling 3D performance
  • Only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • Wired keyboard and mouse

The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z ($1,093.99) is a very good midrange all-in-one desktop, built for business. It has the chops to quickly take care of many of the tasks you’ll need to do in a small to medium business, and it has a measure of upgradability, something sorely lacking in sealed all-in-one desktops. It’s a very good choice for the SMB user and those just starting to use Windows 8 in a business setting.

Design and Features
The ThinkCentre Edge 92z’s design follows the design ID set by its predecessor, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z ($1386) a couple of years ago. This is good if you already have ThinkCentre Edge 91z systems at your office, as the new systems won’t necessarily bring envious stares right away. The system comes with a seamless glass panel over the 21.5-inch touch screen, the better to use Windows 8′s touch gestures like bringing up the Charms bar and similar functions. The touch screen supports 10-finger touch functionality, which is optimal for one or two simultaneous users. The ThinkCentre Edge siblings use the two feet and easel-style of support, which allows for a 10- to 40-degree tilt. The two feet straddle an opening for the wired keyboard below the screen. The configuration we looked at also came with a standard wired USB mouse. Though it lacks a wireless mouse and keyboard, this is more usable in a business setting than the overly designed HP Spectre One 23-e010se ($1,609) or Asus Transformer AIO (P1801-B037K) ($1,299), both of which have platforms to hold their keyboards.

The ThinkCentre Edge 92z uses an internal power supply with a standard three-prong power cord. This is a boon for your company IT guy, as he doesn’t have to keep spare power bricks handy if or when your users run the cords over with their rolling chairs. Other company-friendly features include a removable support arm and feet, so you can mount the Edge 92z on an articulated arm or on a wall.

The system has a good number of I/O ports, including two side-mounted USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports in the back, Ethernet, and rare for a business system, HDMI-in and HDMI-out. HDMI-out is useful for connecting an external monitor for multi-monitor use, and the HDMI-in port is likewise useful to extend the life of the system. You can use the system’s 21.5-inch 1080p monitor as the external display for a future laptop or desktop after the PC components in the Edge 92z become obsolete.

Armed with a little IT experience you should be able to open the Edge 92z’s chassis with a screwdriver to swap out or upgrade the hard drive, optical drive, system memory, or even the system’s CPU. Future internal upgrades may be important to your company, depending on your accounting rules. It may be easier to budget for an internal upgrade rather than a complete system replacement, which is one of the main issues with the non-upgradable chassis in the midrange all-in-one Editors’ Choice Apple iMac 21.5-Inch (Late 2012) ($1,199).

The ThinkCentre Edge 92z comes with a large selection of pre-installed apps, including Skype, Lenovo Companion, Evernote, Norton Internet Security, Accuweather, Lenovo Support, Lenovo Quicksnip, PowerDVD, Lenovo cloud storage (by Sugarsync), and Intel AppUp (another online app store). Quicksnip is interesting, as it lets you quickly snip photos for new compositions. Think of Quicksnip as a quick way to combine photo elements into existing photos, like when you need to put a picture of your company founder into a group staff picture. The sheer amout of apps is a little daunting, especially for the formal or informal IT guy in your office. The Edge 92z comes with a one-year warranty.

Performance

The ThinkCentre Edge 92z we looked at came with an Intel Core i5-3470 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 7,200rpm 500GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 7650A discrete graphics. The combination of components makes the Edge 92z competitive with other mid-priced consumer and business oriented all-in-one desktops. Its scores on PCMark 7 (day-to-day operations), Handbrake (video encoding), and Photoshop CS6 were right in the sweet spot for Core i5-powered midrange systems. It’s competitive with the Apple iMac, Asus Transformer AIO, as well as other like minded (and priced) systems like the Dell Inspiron One 23 ($1,199) and Samsung Series 7 (DP700A3D-A01US) ($1099.99), though the Samsung falls behind the others a bit. The Edge 92z comes with discrete AMD Radeon graphics, but as the 7650A is a mainstream GPU, it falls behind the 3D performance on more powerful systems like the Asus and Apple. If you need 3D for light CAD/CAM or GPU-assisted computing, the latter systems are a better choice.

Essentially, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z hits the midrange all-in-one sweet spot, with a combination of touch computing, good styling, and decent performance. It makes more sense than the Asus Transformer AIO for the business user, even though the Asus gives you a tablet and a desktop in the same package. However, the ThinkCentre Edge 92z isn’t quite enough to overcome the iMac’s hold on the midrange all-in-one Editors’ Choice, which has more memory, a more powerful GPU, and twice the hard drive space.

COMPARISON TABLE
Compare the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z with several other desktops side by side.

By Joel Santo Domingo, PCMag

Specifications

    • Type: Business, All-in-one, Touchscreen All-In-One
    • Processor Family: Intel Core i5
    • RAM: 4 GB
    • Storage Capacity (as Tested): 500 GB
    • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7650A
    • Primary Optical Drive: Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
    • Monitor Type: LCD Widescreen
    • Touchscreen: Yes
    • Screen Size: 21.5 inches
    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional


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