Lenovo 3319 SFF
Lenovo 3319 SFF
- Intel core I3
- 3.2 GHZ
- 2 GB RAM
- 320 GH HDD
- Original Windows 7
The M58p’s look is true to the ThinkCentre line’s corporate tradition. From the front, it matches the M57p Eco and the a61e, which Lenovo released last year. It’s a compact machine, only about 3 by 11 by 9.5 inches (HWD), which makes it a lot smaller than the average business minitower. Yet it holds full-size optical and hard drives, two pluses allowing for easy (and cheap) servicing by IT folks. You could, however, get away with servicing it yourself if you’re handy with tech products: You need no tools to get inside, and most components pop right out without the need for a screwdriver. There’s an internal PCI card slot for upgrades but no PCIe slots. This means you can plug in older cards in case you need to support older add-on cards like I/O ports for bar code scanners or cash register drawers. There’s an eSATA port for connecting speedy external drives to the system, but it is inside the case, a sizable inconvenience for the space-constrained SMB user. What’s more, you’d have to thread the cable out the door for the PCI slot, rendering the slot useless: It’s a one-or-the-other situation. The hidden eSATA port is less of a concern to the corporate user, since IT dictates port-use policy and services the systems.
The unit that I tested had a DisplayPort connector instead of the DVI port you’d find on older desktops. That will keep you ahead of the curve if you’re planning on rolling out DisplayPort monitors in the future, but it also means you will need to use the included adapter if you want to pair M58p systems with your old monitors. If you really want to go old-school, there’s a VGA port—the m58p really is a mix of the old and the new.
My test unit packed an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, DVD burner, and Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics. These specs are easily good enough for day-to-day business use and will be a lot faster than any single-core Pentium 4 systems you’re replacing. The system is also Intel vPro certified, which means it interfaces nicely with management packages like Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT). The vPro spec also means the M58p has TPM (Trusted Platform Module) for added security. It works well with Lenovo’s fingerprint-reader-equipped keyboard. Like previous Lenovo desktops, the M58p comes with Lenovo’s ThinkCentre utilities, including security and rescue and recovery utilities, which makes it a good fit for SMB use.
The system is a decent performer: It got a score of 4,740 on Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage test, which is better than some quad-core systems, such as the Cybernet iOne-GX31, can do. It also finished the Windows Media Encoder test in 48 seconds—great for a dual-core—though it took a relatively leisurely 2:30 on the Photoshop CS4 test. That said, the M58p should be more than enough for the average clerical or professional worker. Only specialized users like graphic artists and financial analysts running models will need more. Note: I compared the M58p with the consumer-grade Acer AspireX1700-U3700A, Apple Mac mini, and HP Pavilion Slimline s3710t in the benchmark table because I’ve changed my test formats since the last time I did a business desktop roundup. All four systems are small-form-factor systems, and the graphics hardware differences are unimportant in this instance.
Though the system isn’t aimed at running games at all, it is notable that it at least loads both Crysis and World in Conflict. Both games score in the 3-to-4-frame-per-second (fps) range at 1,280-by-1,024 resolution, so they’re far from playable. You will, however, be able to run light 3D tasks like the Aero interface in Vista Business, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Ultimate.
The M58p comes with EPEAT Gold and Energy Star 4.0 certifications (Energy Star 5.0 hasn’t been ratified yet). It also comes with Greenguard certification, which purports to promote indoor-air-pollution reduction, but Lenovo is the only computer maker working with Greenguard right now. The system uses only 40 watts while idle and 7W while sleeping. It used 76W while running the CineBench R10 test, so it’s above par in the desktop PC category as a whole (which averages around 120W for a system without gaming-style graphics.) It does use a few more watts of power than last year’s M57p (58W when I ran CineBench R10 on it), but then again, the M58p has a more powerful processor and graphics. Rest assured that, overall, the m58p is worthy of its Eco moniker and earns our GreenTech Approved seal.
The M58p is a mainstream business PC, aka corporate PC. It can be compared most directly with the HP Compaq dc7800 (and dc7900) desktop and the Dell OptiPlex 755 (and OptiPlex 760) product lines. All of these corporate-oriented systems are available in several different form factors, including tower, small form factor and ultra-small form factor. The dc7800 and dc7900 use notebook optical drives in their ultraslim desktops, which could be an issue if you don’t also use HP notebooks in your organization. (Desktop-class optical drives, which Lenovo uses in the M58p, are cheaper, easy to find, and exchangeable between brands. Brand-specific optical drives are specialized and must be bought from that company.) The Dell OptiPlex 755 and 760 ultra-small-form-factor desktops also use notebook optical drives.
The ThinkCentre M58p also has better security options than the HP systems, whose keyboards rely on smart cards, which can be lost. Its fingerprint reader is well integrated into the keyboard, and it worked well in our testing. Dell sells its own branded fingerprint readers and third-party smart-card readers, but they are not integrated into the keyboards. All three of these PC makers give their corporate systems three-year standard parts-and-labor warranties, but you can of course add service contracts to expand or extend those warranties.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p Eco Ultra Small is a better system than its forebear, the M57p Eco, largely because it has a speedier processor, larger hard drive, better graphics, and a low price. It has a full-size desktop hard drive and optical drive, so it will be economical to upgrade compared with a small-form-factor (SFF) system that uses notebook-style components. Overall, the M58p is a compact and powerful yet energy-efficient SFF PC for your business. Put this new Editors’ Choice on your short list if you’re outfitting a new office or you’re upgrading an entire workgroup