By MaryAnn Karre
Product: Lenovo (opens in new tab) ThinkCentre M92p Tiny and ThinkVision LT2323z Monitor
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M92p Tiny is a full-featured mini PC with an Intel Core vPro processor, integrated graphics, and a hard drive or SSD, all packed into a durable package about the size of a classic novel.
Quality and Effectiveness
With its unique design, the M92p Tiny is a good choice for schools that need outstanding computing power in a small, energy-efficient package. Roughly 7 x 7 x 1.4” high, the M92p Tiny can be mounted behind a monitor, under a desk, or in practically any space. Yet it packs a choice of Intel 3rd Gen Core Ivy Bridge processors (the review model contained an Intel Core i5-3470T (2.9Ghz) processor), a 4 GB memory, a choice of traditional or SSD storage, Windows Professional 64-bit operating system, integrated graphics, along with Lenovo’s RapidBoot technology which uses system memory (RAM) as a cache for boot files and delays non-essential Windows 7 services until after the boot process is complete, which optimizes the boot sequence and opens the desktop 30 percent faster.
As expected, there are some drawbacks to such a small form factor. For those who need a DVD/ CD drive, a VESA mounted optical drive almost doubles the thickness of the Tiny. External speakers or headphones are needed, but this should not impact school computer labs, where headphones are the norm. WiFi is available on some models; on others, an Ethernet connection is provided, and there is an optional port to install a WiFi card module antenna. However, there are 5 handy USB ports: 2 USB 3.0 in front, 2 USB 3.0 and one 2.0 on the back. These SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (opens in new tab) ports claim to transfer files up to 10 times faster, which can be especially useful when copying large media files. The rear panel also holds a DisplayPort connector for a high-performance monitor, a VGA monitor connector, and an integrated cable lock slot; two audio connectors on the front panel are available for microphone and headphones.
The M92p Tiny was reviewed along with Lenovo’s new IPS-based LCD display that has been specially designed for VoIP and video conferencing, allowing multiple viewers to see images clearly regardless of their viewing angle. The 23-inch ThinkVision LT2323z Wide Monitor has a sharp 1920 x 1200 resolution with very little glare, a full HD webcam with a privacy cover, speakers and dual Lync VoIP-certified, noise-cancelling microphones. It also has a unique dual-screen mode, which Lenovo says is as good as “two monitors in one” and an adjustable stand that lifts, pivots, tilts, and swivels to a vertical position. Its streamlined design cleverly conceals a VGA + DisplayPort (opens in new tab)and 4-USB ports, and a cord corral on the column that helps manage the numerous connectors.
Ease of Use
Because of its small size, low energy consumption and Intel® Virtualization Technologies, the M92p Tiny gives school districts that are considering desktop virtualization or virtual desktop infrastructurea new and more efficient option that supports desktop virtualization or functions as a traditional desktop, like a thin client.
Creative Use of Technology
It's not only the compact size that makes the Tiny so impressive. Lenovo’s SimpleTap program provides a quick way to customize some basic computer settings such as muting the speakers, adjusting the volume, locking the computer operating system, launching a program, opening a Web page, opening a file, and so on, right on the desktop.
With the energy efficient performance of the 3rd Generation Intel Core vPro Processor, the M92p Tiny is also the most energy-efficient ThinkCentre to date. Up to 40 percent more energy efficient than the prior-generation platform, it features certifications from EPEAT Gold, UL Environment Gold, Energy Star, GREENGUARD and Cisco EnergyWise. Plus, all computers in the ThinkCentre series are made with up to 42% post-consumer content, and minimal use of plastic. The metal case is more durable than plastic, which is advantageous in the school environment.
Lenovo’s unique Intelligent Cooling Engine (ICE2) monitors component temperatures and adjusts the fan speed in real time, to keep the system incredibly cool and quiet. Not only is the unit almost completely noiseless, but this feature also can prolong the life span of the system. The ThinkVantage Power Manager program adjusts power settings to achieve the best balance between system performance and power saving. Graphics and video are increasingly important in educational applications, especially in flipped classrooms and distance learning situations. Because the M92p Tiny is based on 3rd Generation Intel Core vPro Processor, it has with the latest and most comprehensive hardware-based management and security capabilities and ample performance to support video, Flash, and collaboration-based applications.
Since it was designed primarily for business, the Tiny has many features that make multi-tasking and collaboration more efficient. For example, DisplayPort adapters allow it to support up to three independent displays or up to four monitors, without the need for a discrete graphics card, when used in conjunction with the available Mosaic Quad Display capability.
Lenovo's ThinkVision LT2323z monitor is an energy-miser as well; it is the first monitor to be qualified by Microsoft Lync, the industry's first TUV Green Mark certified monitor, and it meets the highest industry standards for environmental safety and energy efficiency including: UL Environment Gold, TUV Green Mark, Energy Star, TCO Edge, and EPEAT Gold.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment
Since it is energy-efficient, quiet, cool and can fit in very small spaces, the M92p is ideal for school situations where space, acoustics, or heat are an important consideration. The metal chassis is designed to take a bit of abuse in public environments, and the system can be easily mounted to the back of monitors or under a desk.
IT departments will appreciate that the M92p Tiny includes Intel vPro with Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) for effective remote maintenance and management, allowing authorized personnel to remotely access, diagnose, fix, manage and secure desktops. Yet its 3rd Generation Intel Core vPro processors provide hardware-enhanced security for better protection and enable the M92p Tiny to be more manageable for better control.
- The ThinkCentre M92p Tiny’s one-liter, ultra-compact footprint, highly energy-efficient design, and nearly silent operation make it ideal for the school environment where noise, heat and space are key considerations.
- The Lenovo Think Centre M92p Tiny combines the energy-efficiency and remote management benefits of a thin state client device, but with more power to effectively deliver video and other graphic-intensive applications.
- Durability of the M92p Tiny is boosted by its metal case and Intelligent Cooling Engine that can increase the life span of the system.