Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Form factor, optional solar panel, low noise emission, easy maintenance


  • Few upgrade options, monitor not included

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?