Lenovo ThinkCentre M700 Tiny Desktop Review

     
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When you think about a desktop often an image of big, grey or black computer case comes into mind. Indeed, that is how the desktop computers have traditionally been, but as the technology has advanced and components made even smaller, new kinds of desktops have emerged. Enter Lenovo ThinkCentre M700, a tiny business desktop that fits in your pocket! Furthermore, it seems to offer some tough performance so such a tiny wonder shouldn’t be only for the looks…

The Smallest Desktop You Will Ever Meet?

Lenovo ThinkCentre M700, as you can see from the above photo, is nothing like your average desktop. Its long sides are 7 inches wide and thickness is 1.4 inches – the unit is essentially shorter than a pen. The weight stands at a comfortable 2.9 pounds which is less than most laptops. Call this a portable desktop, will you!

Despite the computer being so small it doesn’t lack in performance. The processor is Intel Core i5-6500T, a reliable quad-core workhorse whose clock speed starts from 2.5GHz and ends up at 3.1GHz with the turbo boost. The i5-6500T is from 2015, a 6th generation Skylake model, yet it reaches more than 6000 points in CPU Mark test. This is enough for power users, and the same can be said about memory and storage drive. The memory configuration is 8GB DDR4 2133MHz (2x4GB) with the possibility to upgrade to 32GB, and storage is provided by a 256GB solid-state drive. The desktop has one 2.5″ and one M.2 slot, although I was not able to find out which one the current SSD is using.

Not for Hardcore Gaming

Lenovo ThinkCentre M700 has many uses, but for serious gamers it doesn’t offer that much. You would need to be a wizard to install a full gaming card inside this kind of a compact unit. So the problem of graphics performance is solved the usual way: an integrated graphics card which are known for their small size and low-end performance. The Intel HD 530 chip can run most games, however in exchange the gamer needs to use low settings. For example, in Tom’s Hardware test, the HD 530 got around 60 FPS on Bioshock Infinite on Full HD and low settings.

Video Review

A Full Ports Selection

One might think a compact desktop like this has almost no ports. But let me tell you, that’s not entirely true. The small ThinkCentre contains as much as six USB 3.0 ports, two DisplayPort, headphones/mic combo and Ethernet connector. In essence, six USB ports in this small desktop is a good job, and you will not run out of those connectors. The two DisplayPorts offer a way to hook up two external monitors at a time; if you need HDMI support, special DisplayPort to HDMI cables exist.

There are networking interfaces for everybody: the said Ethernet port with Gigabit speed, but also a dual-band 802.11ac Wireless adapter. The Lenovo parts list shows either Realtek RTL8821AE, Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377/QCA6174 or Intel 3165/8260 as the WiFi card here.

No wonder, an optical drive is not provided with this model – nobody could fit a DVD burner inside! Of course, the traditional solution for the missing optical drive exists: you can shop for an external DVD burner and plug it in to this Lenovo’s USB port. The same goes for a memory card reader, there’s none installed inside.

Pros:
Snappy - Don't be fooled by the Lenovo's small cover, it still houses desktop-level components such as the Intel Core i5 processor and even a solid-state drive. These are bound to run your programs, even many demanding ones, without slowdowns!

Compact as laptop - With 3 pounds weight you are not looking at a big and clumsy desktop, but a portable laptop-like unit. Finding room for this Lenovo is not an issue like with bigger computers.

Cons:
Not great for gaming - Because there is no dedicated graphics, I wouldn't recommend this ThinkCentre for avid gamers. You can throw a few titles at it but be prepared to keep in-game settings at bay!

The biggest benefit of Lenovo ThinkCentre M700 is the portability. As the manufacturer says, it deploys anywhere – it’s not an issue at slightest to carry this unit with you and set it up in any place (provided you have a display at hand). Once you have it running, you’ll notice the ThinkCentre operating quite smooth and responding to your commands promptly, as its powered by a 6th generation Core i5 processor and a solid-state drive. If you really want to save space without compromising on performance, this business-friendly, tiny Lenovo desktop should be worth your money.

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