Lenovo ThinkCentre M71e tower PC
This is a basic PC designed for small- and medium-sized businesses
- Input peripherals
- Graphics not great
- No USB 3.0
- Only 1-year warranty
This PC is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. It's a reasonably good looking machine despite that and it comes with a decent configuration that will have no problems tackling common office tasks. It could use a longer standard warranty period though.
Price$ 1,129.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
- FREE SHIPPING - Thermaltake Core X71 Full Tower... 234.00
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M71e is a mini tower PC with a classy design that's not at all boring for an office. Indeed, it has a little more flair than a typical business-class machine (although some may argue this) and, most importantly, it possesses good speed and adequate connectivity.
A quad-core Intel Core i5-2500 CPU runs the show, and it features a speed of 3.3GHz. It's joined by 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM (one module), a 7200rpm, 500GB SATA hard drive and an AMD Radeon HD 5450 graphics adapter with 512MB of its own memory. It's a pretty good configuration for a business PC and it will handle office tasks and even more taxing tasks such as video conversions and editing without any trouble at all. This was shown in our tests where the ThinkCentre M71e took only 23sec to complete the Blender3D rendering workload and 40sec to complete the iTunes MP3 encoding test.
Its hard drive also proved to be more than decent, recording a rate of 43.2 megabytes per second (MBps) in our file copying tests, and read and write rates of 134MBps and 133MBps, respectively, in CrystalDiskMark. The Radeon graphics card in this machine isn't a fast one, and this was shown in 3DMark06, where it recorded a score of 3804. You could get away with using the CPU's integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics on this system, unless you need the DisplayPort capability that the discrete adapter offers.
During everyday use, the machine felt responsive and it performed our typical office jobs (heavy Web browsing sessions, always-open email, photo editing, document creation) without any problems. It wasn't an annoyingly loud machine, despite having three fans installed (including the 280W power supply fan, CPU fan and rear case fan) and an open air vent on the front panel. This vent has another purpose, too: it's there to make sure you can hear sound from the built-in speaker. We haven't come across too many desktop PCs that have a speaker built in to them, and it's a pretty good idea, especially if you don't have any headphones to hand and you're not using a multimedia monitor. Its quality is decent enough for monitoring videos and any other audio you need to work with on an everyday basis.
Setting up the machine took a good few minutes all up and we also had to contend with screens asking if we wanted to buy a Microsoft Office product key and enable Norton Internet Security (it comes with a 30-day trial). Lenovo ships the PC with its ThinkVantage Toolbox, which is basically a central point for running diagnostics, and finding out what backup and anti-virus solutions are installed and enabled (if any). Lenovo also supplies its own multi-monitor management utility (called View Management).
As far as small tower PCs go, this one is very stylish and won't take up too much space on a desk. It's 39cm tall and 41cm deep and it's not too heavy. It feels solidly constructed and it has a front panel that incorporates a handle so that you can carry it conveniently when you need to set up a new station or pull a machine out for repair. The side panel can be easily removed thanks to the use of thumbscrews. The case itself isn't tool-less though; you'll have to bust out the screwdriver if you ever need to replace the hard drive.
There is one hard drive installed in a drive cage that can only be described as 'vertical'. The drive is screwed in to the side of the cage vertically, with four screws attached to the underside of the drive, which faces the open side of the case. This design makes it a little easier to manoeuvre the drive out of the case; you won't have to dodge the graphics card and any other motherboard connectors. There is room in the cage for two drives to be installed.
A DVD burner is installed in the 5.25in bay at the top of the case and it has one of the strongest motors we have ever seen. The tray ejects and closes almost as soon as you hit the button — there is very little lag. Just under the DVD burner is an SD card reader some easy-access ports: two USB 2.0 ports and headphone and microphone ports.
The assembly of the machine is basic. Some cables have been lazily tied and the system just looks a little messy overall — even a screw was missing from the DVD burner mount. That said, you probably don't want too much neatness in a system like this in case you need to quickly service it. As it stands, all you have to do re-arrange the cables is cut off the cable ties holding them together. The motherboard has two memory slots and two unoccupied PCI Express x1 slots for expansion.
All up, this is a simple machine with a decent configuration that's well suited for business use. It doesn't have fancy features such as USB 3.0, and it even holds on to some relics from the past, such as PS/2. You get four USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, DVI, DisplayPort, and analogue audio ports, as well as a corded keyboard and mouse.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Alienware's sleek backpack PC is a dorky, but practical solution to a big VR problem
- Alienware's tiny Alpha gaming PC gets bigger muscles... in the US
- Valve's Steam Machines aren't gaining steam, but they inspired wonderful creations
- Pausing on the PC death march
- Asus PCs running Windows 7 slam into boot failure after recommended patch
GGG Evaluation Team
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.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTTechnical Lead - Tier 1 Customer interfaceACT
- CCMaster Scheduler - IT Infrastructure ProgramsNSW
- FTIT Project ManagerAsia
- CCAgile Business AnalystNSW
- CCSystems EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Large Telco - URGENTNSW
- CCField Network Engineer - GSM Networks.VIC
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- CCTechnologyOne System Administration and DevelopmentACT
- CCIT Helpdesk Support- Remedy ticketing systemNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTService Delivery Coordinator - ApplicationsNSW
- CCProject Scheduler - IT Security ProgramNSW
- CCSolution Analyst - CloudVIC
- CCSalesforce Technical Business AnalystNSW
- CCSystems Administrator with developer skills | Defence intelligence | NV2 clearedACT
- CCService Desk AnaystNSW
- CCSystems Engineer | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- CCJunior PM/ConsultantACT
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- CCSAP PI/PO ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Network Engineer JUNIPERNSW
- CCOracle iLearning Business AnalystNSW
- CCRuby on Rails DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Manager - Digital / MediaNSW