"If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63."
Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e
- Form factor, optional solar panel, low noise emission, easy maintenance
- Few upgrade options, monitor not included
Not contented to be just another typical business PC the Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e is an environmentally friendly, compact business PC solution with a lot of potential. It's not a hugely powerful performer, but we like the small form factor and quiet operation, plus the optional solar panel sounds promising.
Price$ 959.00 (AUD)
Lenovo's A61e is not only the smallest form factor we've seen from the ThinkCentre range, but it's also the greenest product available from Lenovo. Built on AMD's 45Watt Athlon 64 X2 BE 2350 CPU, the Lenovo A61e is designed for low power and noise. Although we are unable to determine how energy efficient it really is, it is certainly quiet and takes up very little working space on the desk.
Lenovo, however, is fairly certain about its power efficiency; the A61e can apparently run on an optional solar panel, which is quite impressive. The ThinkCentre A61e has also been recognised with Gold status by EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), a Web site run by the Green Electronics Council, which aims to allocate electronic products into classifications based on their environmental friendliness. The A61e has been recognised, not just as a low power option, but also for its use of up to 90 per cent reusable or recyclable materials.
It offers a gigabyte hard drive, 1GB of DDR2 667MHz RAM and, as we mentioned earlier, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 BE 2350 2.1GHz CPU. It's not the most powerful system, but a little more RAM might give it a boost. We definitely feel this PC has more focus on size, efficiency and noise reduction than it does on performance. Unfortunately the monitor seen in the images is not included, but costs an additional $649.
In our benchmarks we saw moderate results. In WorldBench 6 the ThinkCentre A61e scored a total of 57, while our MP3 encoding test also showed fairly basic performance from the CPU. Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took 115sec using iTunes, then 133sec using Cdex.
Apart from power savings and quiet operation, the A61e offers a very manageable solution for IT administrators. Although the small form factor provides little to no upgrade options (there's only one hard drive bay and one optical drive bay, but only one of the four RAM slots is occupied), it has a tool-free chassis, which folds open with ease, allowing quick and simple maintenance.
It's a fairly plain design, with two USB ports and a set of audio ports on the front, as well as access to the DVD re-writer. At the rear there is a total of four more USB ports, a D-Sub port for the monitor and the main audio outputs. Beyond that there's little more to consider.
The power supply, like a notebook, is external which helps keep the size and heat down and with only one fan running inside this machine it is the reason why it's so quiet. This makes it ideal for cramped conditions where you can't escape the noise, and the size of the PC almost forces you to keep it on top of your desk, so the quieter the better.
During the initial setup Lenovo bombard you with a heap of software offers from Microsoft Office to antivirus applications, which is a little irritating, unless of course you don't have the software and think you need it. The system also prompts you to setup Lenovo's automated updates, which can be quite useful. Lenovo's management software ThinkVantage is a great little tool for keeping the system running smoothly. It provides quick access to maintenance features like backups, but also has shortcuts to a number of standard Windows features, like hardware configurations.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 5 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo updates ThinkStation family of workstations
- Fujitsu Launches a New Enterprise Thin Client Model
- Breaking down Dell's complex route back to becoming a public company
- WWDC 2018: Apple Introduces macOS Mojave
- Acer unveils new range of desktop PCs, notebooks and gaming machines
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?