In an attempt to replace conventional PC towers, Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano does a great job. It is aimed at businesses and corporate offices wanting to streamline their work space, in turn boosting productivity.
Design and I/O selection
Although given its small form factor, the machine packs quite a punch. In our unit, we have Intel’s Core-i5 8th generation 8265U processor and up to 16GB of RAM. This is a great middle ground for moderately heavy tasks such as dealing with large amounts of data, working on presentations, updating dashboards and general web browsing. If you intend to use this in a more creative environment though, you might want to pass because of its lack of a dedicated graphics card.
On the outside, the Nano comes with a good selection of ports. The front has a Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, 2 Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and a headphone and microphone combination jack. On the back, you find the power input, a DisplayPort, another Type-C and 2 Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports respectively, the Ethernet port and the Kensington lock for security.
Set up process
Being such a compact machine, you have the advantage to install this in various configurations. It could be docked underneath your table or placed on a surface nearby. To get up and running, all you need aside from the machine is a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. I would recommend using a wireless keyboard and mouse to truly take advantage of the benefits the M90n-1 brings.
A drawback though, despite its excellent port selection is the omission of a HDMI port. More old-school offices might find this to be a miss and may then have to rely on a Type-C USB dongle to expand on the port selection which could add to clutter, defeating the point of this machine. Conversely, they could switch to using Type-C USB driven displays although that may be an added cost.
Testing the setup with multiple Google Chrome tabs open and working on an Excel file, the machine stayed relatively quiet and cool. This is a good sign if you are considering deploying this in an open office space environment. A big plus point is also familiarity, with the machine running Windows 10 out of the box. And all of this comes with 15 per cent better energy efficiency than any other traditional desktop.
Testing Cinebench, the machine scored 1,157 points, which translates to a good score, delivering ultra-book like performance. The machine also comes with a 256GB SSD, which has sequential read and write speeds of 2,497 and 1,291 MB/s respectively. As mentioned before, graphic rendering and gaming is not a strong suit of the in-built Intel UHD Graphics 620 so if you are looking for a machine to edit videos or game, this is not the ideal choice.
Nowadays, even high-end premium machines do not offer much room for upgrades yet the M90n-1 from Lenovo takes care of this too. Unscrewing the cover from the bottom gives you access to the battery, storage, fan and the machine’s wireless card. From the top, you can access the CPU although it does require a bit more prying.
Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano is the ideal choice for small and large businesses where employees have similar functions. It is a capable machine to streamline workflows, without being too obtrusive to your surroundings. As great as it is though, it still would not be a good choice for typical consumers. Because at its given price, there are options out there that offer slightly inferior specifications, but in a portable laptop form factor.