Lenovo A70z All-in-One PC Adds to Growing Market
Lenovo introduced its first all-in-one desktop for business users, the
ThinkCentre A70z, on Nov. 2. The new Lenovo A70z features a 19-inch, 16:10 widescreen LCD monitor with a resolution
of 1,440 by 900 pixels, a choice of a dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo or Celeron
processor, and Microsoft's
newly released Windows 7.
The A70z is said to feature a boot-up time of 35 seconds, a shutdown time that's 40 percent faster than the average desktop and a footprint that takes up 70 percent less space than a traditional desktop and monitor.
"Most customers don't like an external brick power supply, so we've even integrated that into the monitor," Bill Dominici, a Lenovo product marketing manager, told eWEEK. "With the wireless version, customers can pull it out of the box, plug it in and have it ready to go in 3 minutes."
Another convenience feature, Dominici points out, is the ability to service the A70z.
"A lot of [AIO] machines in market, if you want to crack open the box and do something with it, you literally have to crack it open," said Dominici. "This has two screws and you're able to open it up. You're able to access the hard drive and upgrade the memory."
The A70z offers support for up to 500GB of data storage.
The AIO market is a growing one, with IDC predicting growth of 16 percent year-to-year worldwide in 2010. NextWindow-a provider of touch screens, such as the one in Hewlett-Packard's TouchSmart 600 all-in-one, which arrived in October-cites data from Gartner, which expects the number of AIOs with a screen size greater than 16 inches to double from 2009 to 2010.
The growth, according to IDC, is due partly to Windows 7 and its integrated touch capabilities. While 3.2 million AIO desktop PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, that number is expected to reach 5.9 million in 2010, according to IDC affiliate MPD Group.
On Oct. 7, Gateway introduced its ZX Series of AIO touch-screen desktops, and while pre-Windows 7, in July Dell introduced a Vostro All-In-One desktop for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), and on Oct. 20 Apple introduced two new AIO iMacs-a 21.5- and 27-incher-running Apple's Snow Leopard operating system.
Dominici said that with the A70z, Lenovo has eliminated some of the previous obstacles to the AIO's growth.
"Among the inhibitors we saw was price. [Deploying] all-in-ones has historically been a $1,000-plus opportunity, whereas the A70z starts at $499," said Dominici. "The other inhibitor was serviceability. The only option before was to send it back, whereas here you can update it yourself."
The A70z also comes with a wall-mount embedded in the product, enabling it to be hung on a wall to free up still more desk space. Lenovo-like competitors such as HP, which is shipping products in fully recyclable packaging materials-is also touting some green credentials with the A70z, which ships in a single slim box. When compared with the amount of shipping materials that accompany a traditional 19-inch monitor, Lenovo tallies the difference to be the equivalent of saving 250 paper cups and 139 plastic bags.
It's also Energy Star 5.0-compliant, and Lenovo's Power Manager ThinkVantage Technology (TVT), which enables IT to remotely deploy power schemes and global settings, can contribute to still more energy savings.
The A70z, which will begin shipping sometime in November, features Direct X10 graphics, a DVD drive, six USB ports, two speakers and optional Wi-Fi. A high-resolution Webcam and built-in Skype application for facilitating remote meetings are also optional.
On Nov. 2, Lenovo additionally introduced a ThinkCentre A58e tower. It supports Microsoft Windows 7, is based on Intel Core 2 Duo or Celeron processors, and features 320GB of data storage, up to 2GB of memory and a DVD burner. Geared toward SMBs, the A58e, as well as the A70z, is offered with a 24/7 Priority Support package from technical support.
The TVT Power Manager is said to offer energy savings of up to 69 percent, versus a traditional tower. The desktop will be available through www.lenovo.com and Lenovo business partners, starting at $349.