Lenovo ThinkCentre A55 9640-A11
- Small form factor, quiet, easy maintenance design
Although the ThinkCentre A55 system didn't perform quite as well as the Core 2 Duo M55, it remains reasonably priced and is well suited for business environments.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The small form factor business PC is Lenovo's domain, and the ThinkCentre A55 9640-A11 offers all the usual ThinkCentre features, but also comes with Windows Vista Basic (optional to upgrade). Like other Lenovo desktop systems, we were impressed by the thoughtful business orientated design, but weren't so happy with the less than stellar performance.
Unlike the ThinkCentre M55 9BM, which we looked at recently, the A55 9640-A11 uses an older Pentium D 935 3.2GHz CPU, rather than the faster and more efficient Core 2 Duo CPU. Also installed are 1GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM and an onboard Intel 946GZ graphics chip. For storage the ThinkCentre has an 80 SATA hard drive and a DVD re-writer.
With Windows Vista Basic Edition installed, we were able to run our new WorldBench 6 software. WorldBench 6 is a scripted application-based test, which measures the ability of any given system to run important and commonly used applications in the Windows Vista environment. In WorldBench 6 the A55 9640-A11 scored a total of 61. This score is not overly impressive when compared to Core 2 Duo-based systems. The total score was brought down by the lack of a graphics card in the DirectX tests, where this machine is not designed to excel. Unfortunately, individual test scores for multitasking and Firefox were also slower than other low frequency Core 2 Duo machines.
One area where the ThinkCentre managed to keep relatively on par with the more powerful machines we've tested was in the Microsoft Office tasks, which is probably the focus of this unit. Lower scores in the rendering, Photoshop and media encoding tests show that this system will struggle to perform CPU intensive tasks.
Despite its lower performance, the A55 is priced fairly and will appeal to a business IT department rather than the end-user, as Lenovo puts a lot of effort into making these systems easily serviceable. Apart from the compact design, which will suite cramped or limited working conditions, the small form factor case has been built for quick access. Two buttons on either side of the chassis release the main lid, which rolls back and out of the way on a set of hinges, revealing the motherboard and the full-size expansion slots (including one PCI slot and one PCIe 1x slot). Once this is removed, users can unlock the front part of the inner cage with two slider locking mechanisms. This whole section houses the hard drive, optical drive and the system fans and they all become easily accessible. Most importantly, all of this can be done in a matter of seconds without a single tool. On the front panel are two USB ports and audio ports (headphone and microphone), so quick access for USB keys and other devices is available, without having to mess around at the back of the unit.
The CPU and chipset are passively cooled with airflow being delivered from the two front mounted system fans. These twin fans are designed to work together to reduce overall spin-speed and subsequent noise. They draw air from the front of the case and blow it towards the rear where it can exit via a grill. Overall, we found the system to be fairly quiet during general operation.
On the rear port cluster are six more USB ports as well as two PS/2 ports for a keyboard and mouse, though Lenovo has supplied USB peripherals with this unit. Also available on the back panel are a parallel port and a serial port, and a gigabit Ethernet port. There's also another set of audio ports at the rear (speaker and line-in).
Join the PC World newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- TPWinforms DevelopersWA
- FTERP ConsultantQLD
- FTPart Time - IT Service Desk AnalystVIC
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- TPMaster SchedulerNSW
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- FT.Net Azure DeveloperSA
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- CCIT Operations Centre EngineerQLD
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- CCTest AnalystWA
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- CCSME in Openstack, AWSNSW