All-In-One PCs have traditionally been aimed at the consumer market -- you know, for the kitchen counter and such. But Lenovo says it's ThinkCentre A70z was designed specifically for small and midsize businesses.So what make the A70z appropriate for business use? According to Bill Dominici, a Lenovo product marketing team manager, it's a combination of typical All-In-One strengths, plus an upgradable design, built-in VESA mount for wall or stand installations, and economical pricing, starting at less than $500. The Windows 7 powered unit also features Lenovo's Enhanced Experience software.
Those traditional All-In-One advantages include good looks, a small footprint, and fast "box to boot" setup times, Dominici said (as little as 3 minutes for the A70z, he claimed). In addition, the A70z features an integrated power supply (no "brick") and servicable chassis that comes apart easily with just a few screws. The machine has Direct X10 graphics support and a 19-inch widescreen with 1440 x 900 resolution, along with integrated speakers.
It's also Engergy Star 5.0 compliant and the All-In-One design means less packaging -- Dominici said the packaging savings compared to a typical tower configuration equals 250 paper cups and 139 paper bags. "We're out to save the world one paper cup at a time," he jokes.
Just be aware that the $499 entry price includes a wired keyboard and mouse. It's an extra $50 if you want a wireless keyboard and mouse -- and with an All-In-One, you do want a wireless keyboard and mouse. And while Intel Core 2 Duo processors are available, the entry level is a relatively pokey Intel Celeron Dual Core. And while a DVD drive and 6 USB ports are standard, there's not video out, and Wi-Fi is also optional. (C'mon, why don't All-In-One makers understand that the whole point of these things is to ditch the wires. All the wires!)
What kind of SMB is going to choose an All-In-One PC? Dominici says Lenovo hopes to capture some of the normal desktop business. "The smaller footprint is a plus," he notes. Beyond that, All-In-Ones hold appeal in a number of vertical markets, inlcuding healthcare (on carts and at nurses' stations), in retail point of sale (POS) and back office uses, and in often-crowded educational settings. Surprisingly, Dominici noted that while Lenovo is focusing the A70z on SMBs, the company has gotten a lot of interest from larger enterprises as well.
Note: Lenovo also introduced the A58e standard tower desktop starting at $349
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