Review

Review: Lenovo A70z

Lenovo, that brand that is known for its tank-like laptops also builds many other products, especially workstations.  The question is, do their desktops match up to their laptops?  We recently reviewed the Lenovo A63 which is a formidable solution due to its ergonomics, especially for a desktop PC, but this review focuses on the Lenovo A70z.

The A70z is an All-In-One desktop PC that, as you guessed it, includes everything in one tightly engineered package that sits (or hangs) at your desk (or on your wall).  This model sports a 19 inch 16:10 display with 1440 x 900 resolution, Intel Core 2 Duo (E7500) processor, 320GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, USB mouse, built-in microphone, DVD drive, 1.3MP webcam, integrated speakers, 6 USB ports and an Intel GMA X4500 graphics solution with a starting price of $499.00, which for an AIO, seems to be highly competitive in the field.  Even more, this comes with an on-site 1 year warranty, not a mail or call-in, but on-site for any technical issues that you may have. unfortunately, this unit does not have a touch screen.  

One interesting thing that Lenovo did include with the A70z is a carrying bag that is used as part of the shipping materials.  You can see the bag that the device comes in above and is a welcome change over the typical plastic wrap that you see on most devices.  By doing this, there is less trash and you get a free (relatively speaking) bag that you can use to carry groceries.

Lenovo said that you can have the device up and running in three minutes, while I will say that the A70z is incredibly easy to setup, pulling it out of the box alone will probably take you more time than that.  But, with minimal cords (power, keyboard/mouse) it really won’t take you long to be up and running. 

The unit has some girth to it, it’s not the thinnest AIO in town at 2.44 inches thick but it does feel solid.  The plastics feel very solid but leaves fingerprints relativity easy on its casing.  However, the device is easy enough to move around with little effort, as there is a built in handle on the back of the device that allows for the A70z to be moved quickly which helps to keep your hands off the front of the unit.

Lenovo has always boasted about their tool less chassis, unfortunately the A70z does not fall into that category.  While no tools are needed to set the device up, it does require a total of 7 screws (two on the back panel, 5 underneath) to remove the hard drive, but it’s not a painful task.

The unit runs Windows 7 32-bit operating system and Lenovo claims it has a 35 second boot time, which as I verified, lives up to its word.  Overall the device feels snappy and a quick run on PCMark5 scored 5120 and 844 in 3DMark06.  Not the highest marks on the block but again for the price point it’s competitive and should fulfill most business users’ needs. 

The Intel GMA X4500 is a given for the form factor and the price point but the Intel GMA series have never been the top choice for gamers, in fact, gaming on this device should be considered non-existent, unless minesweeper is your thing.  One positive feature is that it does include integrated Wi-Fi, something the A63 did not have.  By including this, it’s one less USB port that would have been eaten up by a Wi-Fi USB stick.

Despite having Intel GMA graphics the device did run smoothly even during HD playback, Hulu and YouTube all ran smoothly when played in HD, at the same time.  Even though it is a little dated, the E7500 is still a feisty processor despite being over shadowed by the new Core i3/5/7 series. 

The speakers are exactly what you would expect in an AIO, they work, but that’s about the extent of it.  The two tiny speakers produce warm sounds with minimal low end which is a given because of their size.  If you need high quality audio with this unit, buy yourself a pair of speakers. 

The bloatware that ships with the device is minimal (when compared to some other manufactures) but still does have Lenovo’s ThinkVantage suite of applications.  While it does have some features that Mom and Dad might enjoy, for the business environment any IT department will remove as part of step 1.  

So what’s the conclusion?  The A70z is a solid choice for those who are looking for an AIO solution for the office or school.  The ease of setup, durability of Lenovo products, and a low starting price make this an attractive solution for those who need an AIO as desk space is a premium.  While not a powerhouse solution, especially with its Intel GMA graphics, the device will crunch number in Excel with ease.  It’s a great solution if space is a premium and you don’t need extensive video editing capabilities.  
 

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67 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

i kinda like the occasional reviews. for things like this, i never knew Lenovo produced a $500 all in one. the specs are perfect for a basic internet machine and the price fits too. i'd buy one if i saw the need.

I liked the first picture where the cat was part of the shot...ha ha.

I know that companies are looking to just get rid of the bulky PC box...but unfortunately...you aren't going to get the kind of speed and gaming type of environment from a PC unless you use a PC box.

You can't cram all that into a monitor...no worries folks..the PC box is here to stay.

I personally wouldn't use this myself (and I keep calling it a laptop for some reason) but nice review. I'm glad to see new/extra content over the weekends as weekends tend to usually be very boring for me on the tech side of things. Would like to see more content by forum users as well.

That Windows 7 Welcome screen looks so out of place. This looks more like a computer that came with Windows 95 or even 3.11!!!!!!!!!!! That's how FUGLY this thing is.

Should be beige. Also,

the device will crunch number in Excel with ease.

Is there ANY non-Linux device that won't do that?

Shiranui said,

Indeed. My 17" laptop, which I bought over two years ago, has 1920x1200.


dunno bout you but i don't have my face glued to the screen while i use my computers.

high resoluton? awesome yes, till it starts to hurt my eyes. then again, i sit 3 feet away from my laptop's 17 inch, 1920x1200 LCD and use an external keyboard. much like normal people use their desktops. never seen a 1920x1200 desktop monitor in the 17 inch format? readability is the reason.

if i had one of these A70 AIOs, i would probably have it situated the same way but it'd be so much easier to see. 1440x900 is the perfect res for a 19 inch LCD.

I seriously hope the news section isn't going to be dominated by reviews in the future. If so I will be unsubscribing very soon. I come here for tech news, and I don't consider reviews to be news. I think they belong in their own section, or at least under their own tab on the homepage. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I?

Zer0_II said,
I seriously hope the news section isn't going to be dominated by reviews in the future. If so I will be unsubscribing very soon. I come here for tech news, and I don't consider reviews to be news. I think they belong in their own section, or at least under their own tab on the homepage. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I?

kbye

Zer0_II said,
I seriously hope the news section isn't going to be dominated by reviews in the future. If so I will be unsubscribing very soon. I come here for tech news, and I don't consider reviews to be news. I think they belong in their own section, or at least under their own tab on the homepage. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I?

Geeze, we post a few reviews over the weekend during the dead times, and now we're review central? Not to worry, we will always be first and foremost dedicated to tech news.

Blasius said,
Geeze, we post a few reviews over the weekend during the dead times, and now we're review central? Not to worry, we will always be first and foremost dedicated to tech news.

I for one want to see more reviews; and be as hard and brutal as you can because lord knows the current situation right now is almost every reviewer on the interwebs is unwilling to be critical when there is dire need for such a wake up call being sent to the hardware vendor.

Zer0_II said,
I seriously hope the news section isn't going to be dominated by reviews in the future. If so I will be unsubscribing very soon. I come here for tech news, and I don't consider reviews to be news. I think they belong in their own section, or at least under their own tab on the homepage. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I?

And I bet this week with E3 going on you are going to complain that this site is nothing but game news.

Temperingpick said,

And I bet this week with E3 going on you are going to complain that this site is nothing but game news.

I hope you don't gamble, because you would certainly lose that bet. I'm not a moron, and I understand that E3 is a major event, and it would only be natural to report news being reported from the event. These reviews on the other hand bare no similarity to an event and it's associated news being reported during a short temporary time period. Just because I'm not happy with a new feature doesn't mean that I'm going to complain about everything. That is a rather ignorant assumption on your part.

It's a 19" monitor and for the price and specs, why wouldn't you want a 17" laptop instead? It's not a whole lot smaller screen and you have the option to carry it around with you. And they could have made the keyboard and mouse wireless to minimize the wiring mess.

mayamaniac said,
It's a 19" monitor and for the price and specs, why wouldn't you want a 17" laptop instead? It's not a whole lot smaller screen and you have the option to carry it around with you. And they could have made the keyboard and mouse wireless to minimize the wiring mess.

Wireless is optional SOme people dont like them some peopele do...

PC's can be mounted to wall mounts and also 17" and 19" is just enough extra screen so yeah

Nice price point. These look like solid replacements to these thin clients my computer science department uses in the student lounge lab. (those ones are horrendously slow and loud)

(also, nice cat )

MarenLBC said,
That is one hideous computer! It looks like it came straight out of 1993.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

MarenLBC said,
That is one hideous computer! It looks like it came straight out of 1993.

More like the early 2000s. But hey, doesn't look too bad.

Let me break it down computer design for you.
Apple - Porsche.
Dell, HP, other Western manufacturers - Ford, Chevrolet, other Western humdrum.
Acer, Sony, other Eastern manufacturers - Honda, Toyota, other Eastern humdrum.
IBM - Rolls-Royce. Serious, understated and timeless.

Hot said,
Let me break it down computer design for you.
Apple - Porsche.
Dell, HP, other Western manufacturers - Ford, Chevrolet, other Western humdrum.
Acer, Sony, other Eastern manufacturers - Honda, Toyota, other Eastern humdrum.
IBM - Rolls-Royce. Serious, understated and timeless.

Or rather they look dated from day 1!

MarenLBC said,
That is one hideous computer! It looks like it came straight out of 1993.

+1 they could have done much better. This thing looks like the door to my freezer.

MarenLBC said,
That is one hideous computer! It looks like it came straight out of 1993.

+1 but old is good, at least it look sturdy and trusty.

Hot said,
Let me break it down computer design for you.
Apple - Porsche.
Dell, HP, other Western manufacturers - Ford, Chevrolet, other Western humdrum.
Acer, Sony, other Eastern manufacturers - Honda, Toyota, other Eastern humdrum.
IBM - Rolls-Royce. Serious, understated and timeless.

Porsche is all about no-nonsense precision engineering. They produce the cheapest super car (yet the perfomace is amoung the best), which is exactly what Apple don't do. Apple is more like Ferrari -- they're about style and passion (and maybe a little showing-off), while not that good at engineering or pricing (or further more, practicality).

Field Commander A9 said,

Porsche is all about no-nonsense precision engineering. They produce the cheapest super car (yet the perfomace is amoung the best), which is exactly what Apple don't do. Apple is more like Ferrari -- they're about style and passion (and maybe a little showing-off), while not that good at engineering or pricing (or further more, practicality).

What you are talking about would describe Alienware. Apple has bad engineers and is impractical? Seriously? Yea. That must be why their sales are high enough to tie for the most valuable tech company in the world.

Hot said,

What you are talking about would describe Alienware. Apple has bad engineers and is impractical? Seriously? Yea. That must be why their sales are high enough to tie for the most valuable tech company in the world.

Sales != quality

It's good to see Lenovo saving money by bundling some of their old DOS keyboards with their AIOs. By the way...the CD-ROM drive with the mechanical tray is pure class! Slot loading drives on AIOs is soooo ostentatious.

Edited by MarenLBC, Jun 13 2010, 6:38am :

MarenLBC said,
It's good to see Lenovo saving money by bundling some of their old DOS keyboards with their AIOs. By the way...the CD-ROM drive with the mechanical tray is pure class! Slot loading drives on AIOs is soooo ostentatious.

The dvd drive looks very weird on the device, a push-in drive would have been the best solution.

MarenLBC said,
It's good to see Lenovo saving money by bundling some of their old DOS keyboards with their AIOs. By the way...the CD-ROM drive with the mechanical tray is pure class! Slot loading drives on AIOs is soooo ostentatious.

Don't be knocking the legacy keyboard... I still use one daily, and to be honest, it's not that bad. At least not when compared to some of the crap from other hardware vendors.

Hot said,

What you are talking about would describe Alienware. Apple has bad engineers and is impractical? Seriously? Yea. That must be why their sales are high enough to tie for the most valuable tech company in the world.

How much of this is due to sales of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (though) and the rest of their legacy iPod line-up?

bluarash said,

How much of this is due to sales of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (though) and the rest of their legacy iPod line-up?

iDevices combined with iTunes and the App Store bring in between 50% of the companies revenue. Also, the market cap is not based on sales or revenue. The valuation of the stock is based on investor confidence that the stock will become more valuable in the future. Microsoft still is a bigger company, brings in more money, has more sales.

MarenLBC said,
That is one hideous computer! It looks like it came straight out of 1993.

+1, I know IBM notebooks and computers are always considered reliable and powerful but god I hate their designs, they don't look any different than a brick.