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Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z AIO review: Unassuming design, strong performance for the price

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  • Editors' rating
    8.0 Excellent

Pros

  • Strong CPU performance for business software
  • Good value for money
  • Versatile, ergonomic design
  • Useful privacy features

Cons

  • Modest 23.8-inch FHD display
  • Big, bulky design
  • Non-upgradeable integrated GPU

Lenovo keeps things simple with its ThinkCentre M910z all-in-one desktop system. Rather than following rivals such as Apple's iMac Pro or the Dell Precision 5720 into high-end graphics and design work, the M910z simply aims to provide a good all-round office PC at a competitive price.

It makes absolutely no attempt to compete with the elegant, slimline design of its rivals, either. This is a distinctly old-school business PC, with a chunky black border running around the edges of the screen, and a big, heavy pedestal stand that you have to attach yourself when you unpack the unit. The M910z only has a 23.8-inch screen (diagonally), but the entire unit measures 23-inches wide -- that's only one inch less than Dell's Precision 5720 with its larger 27-inch display. It even has old-fashioned physical buttons on the right-hand edge for features such as the brightness controls or muting the internal microphone.

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The 23.8-inch ThinkCentre M910z runs on 7th-generation Core i5 or i7 processors with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of hard disk or 512GB of SSD storage. It comes in touch and non-touch versions, starting at £930 (inc. VAT, or $899).

Image: Lenovo

But what it lacks in elegance, the M910z makes up for in functionality. You're unlikely to need a 4K or 5K display for running business apps such as Microsoft Office, so the 23.8-inch display contents itself with just standard HD resolution (1,920x1,080 pixels, 92.5dpi). However, the display still provides good image quality and is well suited to creating presentations and business graphics, as well as more straightforward productivity software.

See: 50 time-saving tips to speed your work in Microsoft Office (free PDF)

Lenovo pays good attention to detail too, with a non-gloss finish on the display that helps to reduce glare and reflection from overhead office lighting, while the 'ultraflex' stand allows you to quickly adjust the height and tilt of the screen. Lenovo's wired keyboard feels good and sturdy too, and is more than capable of coping with some heavy-duty typing or number crunching when you're on a deadline.

We also like the physical switch for the shutter that blocks the built-in camera, which could be handy if you use Skype for video calls in the office. And, for additional security, there's also a 'Smart USB Protection' feature to prevent data being transferred onto external USB storage devices, while still allowing you to use other USB peripherals such as the mouse and keyboard.

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There are two USB 3.0 ports (one with always on/rapid charge support) and a multi-format flash card reader on the left-hand side, plus four USB 3.0 ports, a serial port, DisplayPort and Ethernet (RJ-45) at the back.

Image: Lenovo

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Connectivity is good too, with two USB 3.0 ports and a memory card slot on the left-hand edge of the unit for easy access. There are four more USB ports on the back of the unit, along with Ethernet and DisplayPort connectors; there's even a build-to-order option that lets you add an internal DVD drive if you want one.

Although Lenovo refers to the M910z as an 'enterprise-ready' system, it does sell one entry-level model that runs Windows 10 Home and includes a non-touch screen for just £930.79 inc. VAT (£775.66 ex. VAT, or $899). However, business users who need Windows 10 Pro will have to step up to the alternative touch-screen model tested here. This model costs £1,059.99 inc. VAT (£883.33 ex. VAT, or $1,187.10) with a quad-core Core i5-7500 running at 3.4GHz (up to 3.8GHz with TurboBoost), along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Lenovo's website also provides a wide range of build-to-order upgrades, including faster processors, or less expensive memory and storage options. You can even choose a variant without the internal camera if you're concerned about privacy and security in the office. The one omission here is the option to upgrade the integrated graphics to a discrete GPU -- although that's hardly essential for a general-purpose office PC such as this.

And, in that role, the M910z excels, achieving a score of 4,380 when running the single-core Geekbench 4.1 processor test, and 11,250 for multi-core performance. Those scores ensure that the M910z will provide strong performance for business productivity software while still maintaining a very competitive price. The solid-state drive performs well too, with write and read scores of 1,535MB/s and 2,264MB/s in the ATTO disk benchmark. And even without a discrete GPU, the M910z manages 42fps when running the Cinebench R15 OpenGL benchmark, which will certainly allow it to handle basic photo- or video-editing for business presentations.

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A flexible stand makes it easy to arrange the screen for touch input.

Images: Lenovo

Included in the price is a three-year on-site warranty, and Lenovo's manual also provides detailed instructions on how to dismantle the entire unit in case you need to perform your own repairs or upgrades.

Conclusions

The ThinkCentre M910z might not have the sleek design or the high-end performance of some of its AIO rivals, but it's a thoroughly capable office PC that provides strong performance for a variety of tasks at a highly competitive price. And, with Lenovo's three-year warranty and easy repairs and upgrades, you can be sure that it will earn its keep for years to come.

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