Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z: An AIO for SMEs

Lenovo's SME-focused 21.5in. all-in-one desktop gets an Ivy Bridge CPU upgrade and a few other tweaks, but remains very similar to its 91z predecessor.

When we reviewed Lenovo's ThinkCentre Edge 91z earlier this year, we concluded that: "The ThinkCentre Edge 91z performs well, although a discrete GPU option would be welcome for graphically demanding workloads. We'd also appreciate dual-band Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 support, a less glossy screen, a slot-loading optical drive and a better keyboard."

We've got a couple of those wish-list items with the ThinkCentre Edge 92z Ivy Bridge update (a discrete GPU option — 2GB AMD Radeon HD7650A — and USB 3.0 support), but it's otherwise a very similar SME-focused all-in-one PC to its predecessor. It can be found online for between £600 and £700 (inc. VAT).

Lenovo's ThinkCentre Edge 92z is a 21.5in. All-In-One system based on third-generation Core (Ivy Bridge) silicon.

The design is identical, based around a 21.5in. glossy, non-touchscreen, monitor with a full-HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,280 pixels, sitting on stumpy rubber-tipped legs and propped up by a kickstand. As before, if you want height adjustment, you'll have to mount the system on an optional VESA stand. The same wireless mouse and isolation-style keyboard — with its large Delete key uncomfortably close to Enter — is provided.

The CPU in the 92z is a third-generation (Ivy Bridge) Core i5-3470S running at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz with Turbo Boost) with integrated HD Graphics 2500. The 91z that we reviewed in March, by contrast, had a Core i5-2400S running at 2.5GHz (3.3GHz with Turbo Boost) and integrated HD Graphics 2000. Both systems had 4GB of RAM. Storage capacity hasn't changed, at 500GB, courtesy of a 7,200rpm SATA III Seagate Barracuda hard drive in the 92z. Hard drive options go up to 1TB, with SSD available at 128GB in 2.5in. format and 80GB as an mSATA card.

A pair of USB 3.0 ports on the left-hand side of the 92z replace two of the 91z's USB 2.0 ports. There's HDMI out at the back, with HDMI-in replacing the 91z's VGA-in (for using the screen as a monitor for another system). Elsewhere, there's an Ethernet (RJ-45) port and four USB 2.0 ports at the back, with a flash card reader and a pair of audio jacks joining the USB 3.0 ports on the left. On the right is an optical drive — still tray-loading. Wi-Fi, as before, is single-band (2.4GHz) 802.11b/g/n via Intel's Centrino N-2230, which also includes Bluetooth 4.0.

As far as performance is concerned, the Windows Experience Index (WEI) ratings for the 91z and 92z are identical at 4.7 (out of 7.9). The WEI is determined by the lowest-scoring subsystem, which in both cases is Graphics (Desktop performance for Windows Aero). The 92z does deliver higher scores for Processor (7.7 versus 7.3) and Gaming graphics (6.3 versus 5.9), with the remaining scores (for Memory and Primary hard disk) identical at 5.9.

The ThinkCentre Edge 91z drew 38.47W when idling at the Windows 7 desktop, and 72.19W when running the demanding Cinebench 11.5 CPU test. The 92z delivered very similar figures — 37.83W and 76.88W for the respective tests.

Although the CPU and other upgrades — especially USB 3.0 support — are welcome, the ThinkCentre Edge 92z's pros and cons remains largely the same as those of its predecessor.