Dawn of the $399 Enterprise Desktop

Can you blend budget-mindedness and eco cred in a desktop? Lenovo claims to have done just that.
by the staff of EnterpriseITPlanet

Lenovo follows up on its promise to revive its IBM-rooted presence in the desktop market with a desktop that sports an all-new look and a tiny physical profile, the ThinkCentre A61e.

But, does it stack up? We’re going to take a look at what this new design has to offer.

Remember IBM?

ThinkCentre A61eFirst let’s recap the chain of events that brought us to this point. Lenovo of Beijing, China purchased IBM’s desktop and notebook division just two short years ago for a staggering $1.75 billion in one of the largest-ever overseas acquisitions by a Chinese firm in history. And now Lenovo is putting the heat on its main competitors, Dell and HP at a time when the former is still reeling from a year-long investigation into its own accounting practices causing Michael Dell to retake the reins as CEO for the computer giant.

Lenovo’s goal for the desktop space is three fold… make computing simpler, lower the total cost of ownership and increase PC availability and control. In this case, lowering the total cost of ownership includes a greener, more Earth-friendly machine.

The ThinkCentre A61e

About the size of a big city phone book and looking like a 1980’s VCR, Lenovo touts the A61e PC as being the smallest, quietest, and the most energy efficient computer on the market today, which may make a big splash in the newly energy conscious enterprise community. Not only is it small, silent, inexpensive and energy efficient but it’s built with 90 percent recyclable resources AND it’s packaged and shipped with 90 percent recycled packaging material.

Since the ThinkCentre A61e is the very first desktop PC to run one of the two available all-new AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual core chips or the AMD Sempron single core chip, and exceeding the U.S. EPA Energy Star 4.0 criteria with a 85 percent efficient power supply, its sure to catch the attention of those businesses who are committed to being environmentally responsible. The A61e is the first desktop built by Lenovo to achieve EPEAT Gold Status, which is the highest standing that a product can get.

And if that isn’t enough to catch the eye of even the most die-hard environmentalists, Lenovo even offers a renewable energy source to power the A61e. Consuming just half of the energy of a typical desktop computer, the A61e can run up to 12 hours on the reusable solar powered-pack. But since this is a pricey add-on for a desktop unit, it may be best to let it save you money on your electric bill.

What do I get for 399 of my hard earned dollars?

While the A61e isn’t a powerhouse or the ultimate gaming machine, it is a business-class, ultra-small form-factor desktop. Weighing in at 8 pounds, the standard A61e model comes with the following components:

  • Processor: AMD Sempron LE 1150 (2GHz, 256KBL2)
  • Operating system: Windows XP Professional
  • Total memory: 512MB PC2-5300DDR SDRAM
  • Hard drive: 80GB, 7200rpm Serial ATA
  • Networking: Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
  • System graphics: 64MB ATI Radeon X1200
  • Optical device: 16X Max DVD-ROM SATA HH drive
  • Warranty: One year parts and labor - Limited Onsite Warranty
  • Free Shipping

Summary

The $399 (after rebate) deal of course does not include a monitor or flat screen making the ThinkCenter A61e better suited as a replacement computer rather then a new installation. Lenovo will also securely recycle your old PC when you upgrade to a new PC, and they are offering a $50 mail in rebate on top of that, but only if you take advantage of their recycling program.

Clearly Lenovo is engaging a greener, more environmentally conscious electronics community as recognized by Greenpeace in their "Guide to Greener Electronics". Lenovo garnered a tie with rival computer giant Dell, both with a score of 7.3 of a possible rating of 10. Sadly HP rates in at only 5.3.

If your business is planning a large rollout, or particularly those educational, medical or financial organizations that are undergoing a computer refresh, you may want to check this deal out.

Ultimately we give the machine a big thumbs-up for its efficiency, clever engineering and environmentally friendly approach.

This article was first published on enterpriseITplanet.com.






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