|Processor||Intel Core i5-3470T
(2x2.9GHz + HTT, 22nm, Turbo to 3.6GHz, 3MB L3, 35W)
|Memory||4GB DDR3 RAM|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
|Hard Drive(s)||500GB HDD|
|Power Supply||AC Adapter 19V-3.42A|
|Ethernet||Intel 82579LM Gigabit Ethernet|
Headphone and MIC Jacks
|Front Side||2x USB 3.0
Headphone And MIC Jacks
|Back Side||AC adaptor
2x USB 3.0
1X VGA Port
1X USB 2.0
Design and Features
The M92p Tiny is, well, tiny. It's measures about 1.5 by 7 by 7 inches (HWD), which is diminutive even among systems like the Apple Mac mini (Thunderbolt) ($799 list, 4.5 stars) (1.4 by 7.7 by 7.7 inches) and our current small form factor Editor's Choice, the Polywell Poly i1000A-3770T ($899 list, 4.5 stars) (7.7 by 2.9 by 7.9 inches) : . The system we reviewed came with Lenovo's optical drive accessory, which adds about an inch to the system's width. The optical drive add-on isn't entirely necessary for most installations these days, but it was convenient to have when loading some of our benchmark files. The M92p Tiny is touted as a "1-liter" design, displacing only about a liter's volume on a desk space. In contrast, the original Mac mini from 2005 is considered a "1.4 liter" design.
The M92p Tiny packs a lot of hardware into that one liter. The system features an Intel Core i5-3470T processor, 4GB of memory, 500GB hard drive, and Intel integrated graphics. Its only internal expansion room is a free SO-DIMM slot for added memory. Unfortunately, the configuration we tested didn't come with Wi-Fi, which is kind of a no-brainer in this form factor. Wi-Fi is optional on the M92p Tiny. While tightly run IT organizations will eschew Wi-Fi as a security risk, companies that are more convenience-oriented will miss wireless networking.
All other expansion (including the optical drive) are external, using the M92p Tiny's very good selection of ports. The system has four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port (for the optical drive), audio, VGA, Ethernet, and DisplayPort. The DisplayPort is novel because it can be "split" with an optional $80 connector to support two DisplayPort monitors. Add the VGA port to the mix, and the tested system can support up to three monitors. Two of the system's four USB 3.0 ports are on the front panel with two on the back panel, facilitating speedy hard drive hookups no matter which way the system is situated. Since the system is so tiny, it can be mounted under a desk surface or even in a special bracket on the back of the user's monitor, making it an almost all-in-one PC.
The M92p Tiny came with Windows 7 Professional, but the system is ready for Windows 8. Lenovo has pledged that it will support the system with drivers and tech support when Windows 8 is released later this year. The system we reviewed came with a few extra programs installed. These included a tablet-like interface called SimpleTap. Inside SimpleTap, there were a few pre-installed third party programs, like eBay, Lenovo App Shop, Skype, Evernote, and Kayak, among others. The system's desktop screen was free of extra icons. The M92p Tiny is Intel vPro certified, and comes with many of Intel's IT-friendly features like AMT (Active Management Technology) and Trusted Execution Technology. The system has a three-year warranty.
The M92p Tiny has solid performance. Its third-generation Intel Core i5 processor helps it achieve good scores on our multimedia tests like Handbrake (1 minute 30 seconds) and Photoshop CS5 (3:21). These are faster than our former entry-level business Editors' Choice system, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71 ($508 list, 4 stars) (1:37 Handbrake, 3:40 CS5). The Polywell Poly i1000A-3770T is quite a bit faster (1:11 Handbrake, 3:03 CS5) due to its Core i7 processor. The Polywell i1000A-3770T was also faster at PCMark 7 (5,412 points), which measures day-to-day performance. The M92p Tiny brought in a still respectable score of 2,491 points. The Poly is faster due to its Core i7 processor and the system's 120GB SSD. The M92p's 500GB spinning hard drive held it back a little in comparison. That said, the M92p is certainly fast enough for most general business users.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M92p Tiny is the pint-sized member of the enterprise-class ThinkCentre M92p family. Despite its diminutive size, it's a powerful and feature-filled system in its own right. The Poly i1000A-3770T holds on to its Editors' Choice award for small form factor systems, as it is a better performer (for quite a bit more money). But the ThinkCentre M92p Tiny win the Editor's Choice award for entry-level business systems over the aging Lenovo IdeaCenter Edge 71, since the M92p Tiny is a better forward-looking PC. Besides, most business users will never need the expansion room of a full sized tower chassis, and if they do there are larger versions of the M92p. The M92p beats the Lenovo Edge 71 in performance and in the number of next-generation I/O ports (like DisplayPort and USB 3.0). Plus, the M92p takes up little to no space on your worker's desks. This is important in an office full of cubicles, where space is a premium. The M92p Tiny works equally well in the startup or in the massive enterprise office, and its IT credentials are impeccable.