Lenovo took over IBM and is relatively new in comparison. IBM’s ThinkCentre and ThinkPad series were always known to be workhorses. Now Lenovo’s All-in-One PC solutions also have usually done quite well and they obviously want to carry the trend forward. All-in-One PCs are usually meant for easy setup, no-nonsense desktop PCs meant usually for home use. Some offices also use them and these PCs are known for consuming very less space on your desk. Now that the A70z has come in for review, we put it through its paces and see whether it gives you a good bang for your buck.
Design and Build Quality
The package consists of three components, the screen with the CPU integrated into it, a mouse and a keyboard. Setting up the whole system is quite simple, as all you have to do is find some space, plug the keyboard and mouse to the screen, plug the screen to a power source and you’re good to go.
Ports behind are placed well, metal stand is strong
At first glance, the monitor has a typical ThinkCentre look and feel to it. It has a black colour with a non-glossy finish throughout, means it doesn’t attract unnecessary smudges on the body. For that matter, even the 19-inch display screen has a matte finish which is nice and makes viewing quite comfortable. The metal stand behind is foldable and because of the solid metal rod it gives the screen a firm support, without any kind of wobbling or instability whatsoever. While on a whole the design and build quality of the monitor is nice, the thick bezel around the display wastes space and could have looked a lot sleeker.
Lenovo hasn’t really made too much of a change to the design and build quality of the keyboard either. Instead, continuing with that same design, Lenovo has added a little bit of colour, by making keys of the same function (for e.g. F1-F11, or the Enter keys) of the same colour which is a nice thing and helps the user to easily differentiate between them. Anyway, the keyboard as mentioned earlier has been built well and the keys are big and are quite soft to press. Personally, I liked the whole experience of typing on the A70z’s keyboard.
The mouse also compliments the combination and has been built quite well. The buttons are firm to press, the middle wheel scrolls quite smoothly and on a whole it works quite well. However, the mouse feet are really thin and are bound to wear off after use on a hard surface.
The A70z has six USB ports – three at the back of the screen and the rest on the side. It’s a good thing that the keyboard and mouse have long wires and can be connected at the back, which makes the USB ports at the side free to use to connect external hard drives, pen drives or any other USB-based devices. Apart from these ports, there’s a VGA and an Ethernet port behind and at the side along with the other three USB ports, there’s an audio jack and a line-in port as well. Apart from these features, this desktop PC has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for wireless internet which works quite well. There’s Bluetooth 3.0 for transferring data with portable devices like mobile phones.
Thick bezel around the screen could have been avoided
The power button is located at the right bottom of the screen which is very easy to access, but the brightness controls located on the side should have rather been placed next to the button which would have made it more convenient to use.
On the other side, there’s a DVD RW tray and the grip at the centre of the tray works pretty well to hold CDs or DVDs in place. The A70z also has a webcam at the centre on top of the screen that has a 1.3 Megapixel lens.
Coming to the specifications, the A70z has a pretty outdated Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 processor, which clocks at 2.93 GHz. There is 2GB of RAM and 320GB of Hard Disk space which is low by today's standards but will be good enough to install software, movies and games. Many netbooks nowadays come with 500GB built in. Also, the Intel GM45 chipset means that the on-board graphics is not really meant for gaming or other high-end purposes like graphics designing and so on.
The ThinkCentre A70z was put through the grind, by making it run all our regular set of benchmarks to test the hard disk, processor and other performances. The hard disk scores were pretty average as the file transfer test of a 4GB sequential data file saw a speed of 58.51 MB/s and this further dropped to 40.96 MB/s for the assorted data of the same capacity. A score of 4347 for the PCMark Vantage benchmark again looks very mediocre; the IdeaPad Z570 for instance scores better at 4609. File compression took 65 seconds and encoding our standard video file was done in 122 seconds.
Side ports are convenient to use
Leaving the scores aside, let’s come to the display screen of the A70z. While we can say that the viewing angles are pretty good, the screen has its share of issues, as well. While watching movies, we noticed banding and in scenes with dim light, backlight issues were noticeable at the edges. Nevertheless, we’ll also add that an HD 1080p clip having a frame rate of 60 fps ran just fine without any stuttering or audio sync issues.
While running the benchmarks, we also noticed that the machine did not heat up. However, the screen did get a little warm.
Simple Setup, Average Performance and a tad expensive
While the performance of the A70z is average, it should be noted that this All-in-One is not meant to deliver a lot in terms of performance. However, we’re judging the performance in terms of its price. At Rs. 33,200 which this model of the A70z is priced at, there are quite a few notebooks that can perform quite well. For e.g. Lenovo’s very own IdeaPad Z570 can do the same and is a lot more portable than the A70z for sure. The HP Omni 100-6120in Desktop PC comes for about Rs. 29,680 which is about Rs. 4,000 less and has very similar specifications albeit an Intel E5800 processor that clock 3.2 GHz and a 500 GB HDD.
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