If you love the old-school look of Lenovo ThinkPads, but you want desktop performance and pricing, check out Lenovo's ThinkCentre M91p series. This machine packs second-generation Intel processors into a slim, retro-style case. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p has the look of an old-school Lenovo ThinkPad, but you can get similar performance and better specs at a lower price.
The ThinkCentre M91p's performance was pretty solid. In our WorldBench 6 benchmark tests, it managed a more than respectable score of 142. By way of comparison, the more expensive Dell Studio XPS 7100 scored a 120.
The ThinkCentre's graphics performance is somewhat less impressive, not a surprising weakness considering that the system has no discrete graphics card and relies instead on the integrated graphics of its Sandy Bridge processor. In our Unreal Tournament 3 graphics tests, the ThinkCentre M91p managed a barely playable frame rate of 29.4 frames per second (at high quality settings and 1024-by-768-pixel resolution). Still, you'll be able to perform basic business tasks and stream video without a problem.
The ThinkCentre M91p looks and feels quite a bit like the models in Lenovo's ThinkPad laptop line. The chassis is slim and black, and it constitutes the "ultrasmall form factor" member of the M91p series. The other two ThinkCentre M91p machines are larger. Because our review model was the ultrasmall version, you can't get into the case at all to upgrade. Our review model had matte black aluminum sides and a plastic face with an old-school diagonal vent pattern.
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The included peripherals similarly follow the ThinkPad design route: The black keyboard sports loud, evenly spaced keys and no special buttons. The mouse is small and black, with a red scroll-wheel that looks and feels a lot like the red ThinkPad pointing nub. Neither peripheral is wireless, but both are USB and comfortable to use.
The front of the ThinkCentre accommodates two USB ports, plus microphone and headphone jacks, and a tray-loading DVD-RW drive. On the back of the computer are six more USB ports, gigabit ethernet, a microphone jack, line-out and line-in, Display Port, and VGA-out. To foil thieves who find the slim profile of the ThinkCentre too tempting, there's also a Kensington lock slot.
We've quoted Lenovo's online SRP of £680 inc VAT for the Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p, but shopping around online can reap substantial savings.
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