Review

Review: Lenovo M75e

Lenovo builds solid business machines, few will argue with that. Typically they come ready to go, minimal setup is required and maintenance is about as simple as it comes. Lenovo recently shipped Neowin an M75e to put through its regular paces and give some feedback. So the question remains, is the M753 up to the same standards as the rest of the Lenovo lineup?

Neowin has reviewed several different Lenovo machines incluidng the A63, A70z, M90z and now the M75e. This model falls closest to the A63 but represents a small/medium sized chasis so it doesnt boast as much room inside as the A63 but it does have a smaller footprint.

The system we got to review came with an AMD Athlon II X4 640 CPU at 3Ghz, 4 GB of RAM, AMD 760G Chipset, and all your other standard ports (2x USB up front with audio/mic input) 4 USB in the back, DVI, VGA, PS2 inputs and ethernet, all of which are a standard affair.

The unit will run dual monitors out of the box, which Lenovo conveniently provided to show off this trick. While this may seem trivial, it really goes a long way if you find yourself needing 2 monitors down the road, rather than having to shove another GPU inside, your box is ready to roll. It's one consistant feature that Lenovo has always included in its tower units, and it's one we like. Regardless if you need it, you have the option which is always nice.

  

The graphics in this unit are ho-hum, nothing skyrocketing (it's really just an AMD Radeon 3000) but one noteable feature is that it is Direct X 10 compliant. To the average user this may not mean much but for those who are looking for semi-future resistant technology, having that support is always a good thing.

     

Without drilling down to how long it takes to open Photoshop, the performance of this unit feels snappy. The windows experience score for the CPU comes in at 7.3 and the RAM at 5.9. For your average, every day YouTubbing, Excel Spreadsheet cramming and Email, this machine will blaze through it all in a field of glory.

One area of dissapointment that we loved about the A63 are the front USB ports. On the A63 they were tilted up, within the chasis, at a 45 (or so) degree angle. This may seem trivial, but when you get used to the ease of plugging in USB devices with an upward facing USB port, you hate to go back. It's to bad they didnt carry that feature over, it's a lot like going from heated leather seats to cloth, sure it gets the job done but you long for the heated seats. 

          

The case is rather compact and does have a power button that is at the top of the chasis which was carried over from the A63 which is a nice feature as it will save your lower back from having to bend over too far. There is also a built in handle too which makes transporation a breeze. Another downer is that it does not incorporate Lenovo's tooless design. While you can enter the case without any tools, you do need atleast a screwdriver to remove the harddrive.

One really cool thing about the M75e is that it is eco-friendly, the system is actually 16% more energy efficient than the Energy Star 5.0 certification and 65% of the system is made of recycled post consumer content. Its always good to cut back on waste when possible, so big points for that.

At a high level, the M75e is a small little fighter and with base units starting at $484.00, it makes for an attractive option for a PC that is easy to set it away and forget about it. The machine runs nearly silent, except when the fans spin up (which can be a bit loud especially at startup), and it's easy to forget that it's there.

So what's left? The M75e is a good competitor, its hard to give it the top notch award but it will not dissapoint. It's the small things that make this unit great but also the small things that could help set itself apart. If Lenovo could integrate the 45 degree USB ports and truly tooless design, it would have a home run, but at the same time, its smaller form factor, solid performance running Windows 7, and low entry point, do make it an attractive machine. For what its worth, you could buy this machine and be very happy with it, and it's worth your time to take it for a spin.

Also, because Lenovo loves its readers, they have hooked us up with a coupon code: USPM75EBUNDLE. If you purchase a Lenovo M75e (any configuration) with one or more L2250p monitors, you will hack 30% off the monitors purchase price. But this deal ends Dec 31st, so time is limited.

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That is one very ugly machine. WTF is Lenovo thinking? My Compaq tower I bought in 1996 looked better than this crap. Design is supposed to evolve, too, you know?

'Lenovo builds solid business machines, few will argue with that.'

Really? Its sad that people still think this - that Lenovos marketing machine worked that well that they are still regarded as a 'top business machine'. Lenovos are so bad, so awful, so poorly built I cannot fathom why they are still in business. From utter and complete mess of a website - to the mind bogglingly ugly and difficult to work on designs, how they can ever be described as 'CONSISTENT' & 'Business Machines' is incredible. They are neither.

Take the ThinkCentre M57 - touted as a green machine. This machine still comes with an external power pack - which I hate passionately. It also has a small form factor motherboard (its not ATX or BTX, I cannot remember what they call it)with laptop DIMMs. This, for a business machine (I assume to save power) makes for a crappy, crappy experience. One review on these machines said they were the top of the game in terms of tooless access - perfect for IT administrators. When you do open the case to gain this access it flops and falls all over the desk, and good luck swapping out a drive quickly as they suggest. Compare this to a Dell 755 and there is no comparison. Dell, from RAM to HDD can be swapped out in 5 seconds. And their website, I can find drivers easily and efficiently. I can easily determine a fault on a 755 from the beeps which are always consistent. Lenovo - its a new day every day. And - who combines serials and model types like that?

Even now they are marketing the 'ThinkCentre M Series' an all-in-one machine built specifically for the Enterprise. An all-in-one.....if they think that is what the Enterprise needs then they have been speaking to clueless managers and not technicians.

The above comment in regards to 'classic keyboards'. I cannot disagree more. From the R51s to the smaller X300s keyboards have been the epitome of bad. The keys break, they have that springy effect when you type - akin to chinese water torture. The touchpads feel like cheap plastic, and why they have two I've never been able to work that out. HP and Dells touchpads are so superior and feel so much more solid, I am wondering if you are even talking about Lenovo gear?! Personally, I find the flat keyboards are a dream to type on. I'm very confused how you could prefer the Lenovo 'classic style'?

Steer very clear of these machines.

Lenovo machines aren't made to look the most aesthetically pleasing. Their notebooks are the best around for durability and quality in build - and they have classic keyboards on their notebooks that have keys that are raised slightly. Many keyboards on laptops are flat and I tend to find it hard to type on those keyboards. Lenovo are a really good brand.

Like duritz said, they're consistently designed for optimum use and durability. Many laptop vendors sacrifice form over function - especially with the keyboard and touchpad. Lenovo doesn't.

rajputwarrior said,
1995 called, they want their tower designs back.

+1 - someone took a standard cream case, and sprayed it black. That's recycling for you

ba55meister said,
crap looking case

i like lenovo design...its different and CONSISTENT. There is no ridiculous frilly designs (hp) or chrome (toshiba) or brushed metal (dell). a man's computer for sure!