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Review Lenovo ThinkCentre Nano M90N-1 Mini PC


hey everybody is lying side bend and we’re taking a look today at a rather small full-fledged Windows PC from Lenovo this is their m90 nano and it’s essentially a laptop without the laptop and we’re going to be taking a closer look at what you can do with this little Windows computer here in just a second now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in on loan from Lenovo so when we’re done with this it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this little computer is all about so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware the price on this one will vary based on your particular configuration the one we’re looking at today should run you just under $700 it’s got an i-5 80 to 65 you processor inside eight gigs of ram and a 256 gigabyte SSD you can probably get in the door though for about 400 bucks with the entry-level version which is a seller on 4205 you processor with 4 gigs of ram and you can go all the way up to an i7 so there’s a lot of different ways you can configure this they have a beefier looking one for IOT applications it’s got this big metal heatsink on it that is rated to some milspec durability specifications as well this one is more of the office

machine so we’ll be not putting it through any punishment in this review it’s not very upgradeable from a ram or processor standpoint but you can upgrade the storage so you will need to choose the RAM and processor when you buy it knowing that that’s what you’re going to be stuck with for life but there are 2 m2 slots inside of it we discovered that when we took it apart a little bit earlier here on the channel so you can add a second m2m vm e or swap out the first one if you want but again you can’t get at that processor or ram very small form-factor as you can see here again it’s the guts of a laptop so it will perform about where we’ve seen other laptops similarly configured perform and you’ve got a lot of ports to choose from including a number right here on the front we’ve got a USB type-c port along with 2 you usb3 ports here these are all rated at the Gentoo specs so you can get the theoretical 10 gigabits per second running out of each of those and it was also nice to see that you’ve got an audio jack here front and center for a microphone and headphones around the back here we’ve got a few more ports including a power port for the power adapter you’ve got a DisplayPort output here you have a USB 3 port here and another one here both of these rated at 10 gigabits per second and you’ve got a full service USB C port here under number five and this one actually will work

for power too in fact we plugged it into one of my displays over there that has a built in USB C dock and we were able to get the whole computer up and running with a single cable which was pretty cool so you can make use of that USB C port for more than just data and video the front port by the way just does data though so keep that in mind you’ve got Gigabit Ethernet here you have a Kensington lock here for locking it down it is very easy to walk away with of course and then you’ve got error antenna port there for connecting up your Wi-Fi antenna it supports all the latest wireless standards and we found the performance to be pretty decent which you will see in a few minutes I know this is not fanless of course because it is very compact and you’ll definitely want to keep all of these vents free so that you can keep the device cool the rubber feet here will keep it elevated high enough for that purpose but you just want to be careful not to block the vents here on the other side and we’ll take a look at its thermal performance here a little bit later in the review so let’s plug it in now to my monitor and see how it performs all right so we have now the computer booted up and you’ll note that we don’t have an HDMI port on the back of it but they do give you an adapter in the box to get an HDMI port out of that USB C port on the back remember the front one here does not deliver video only the rear one does so you can choose to use that DisplayPort or use the USB C port or both to get dual display going out what’s interesting though is the adapter they included in the box would not go up to 30 Hertz at 4k but a third-party adapter I have that’s rated for if okay at that refresh rate did work so the adapter here could have been better but if you are doing 1080p like we are now it should be fine at higher refresh rates I was very impressed with how snappy this thing is and of course that’s because it’s a

full performance machine here in a mini PC shell so doing things like web browsing and word processing and all the other stuff you would typically do on your computer will be very very quick on this I haven’t now connected to Wi-Fi we have it on an AC wireless network note that it doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6 but it does of course support the recent AC standard and all in it’s a very nicely performing device for all of the basics that a computer like this might do and perhaps a few other things as well a little bit earlier we took a look at my youtube channel running at 60 frames per second at 1080p that worked just fine as expected no dropped frames everything was good on that front and we also ran the browser bench org speedometer test to see how this stacks up against other similarly equipped computers for web browsing and on that test we got a score of 170 1.7 on version 1.0 of that test 101 on version 2.0 and for the most part this is right within the margin of error of other machines we’ve looked at running with this same processor now all the other computers were looking at today on that chart our laptops this of course is a desktop but it’s the same guts so we’re getting the same performance which of course is no surprise so altogether not bad performance here and of course you never run out of battery on it either so let’s move on now to gaming we’ll begin with fortnight running at the absolute lowest 1080p settings it doesn’t look so great because of course it does render out at a lower resolution but we were able to get a pretty

steady 35 to 65 frames per second depending on what was going on in the game remember that these Intel chips are not very well suited for gaming so you’re not going to be able to run a lot of triple-a titles but you can squeeze a couple things together and maybe get a playable game of Fortnight going every once in a while we also took a look at rocket League they’re at the lowest 1080p settings we were going at about 45 to 65 frames per second when we crank the settings up to the highest settings we were getting around 30 to 45 frames per second not bad but again you’ll see better performance out of a computer designed for gaming with the proper graphics hardware installed but as we’ve always seen on these Intel chips older games run great a half-life 2 at 1080p was doing north of a hundred frames per second so a lot of the games from 10 or 15 years ago on the PC including a lot of emulation should work fine on this little computer and you should have a pretty good run at it but again don’t buy it for gaming this is really more of a work oriented device and on the 3dmark Cloud Gate benchmark test we got a score of 8048 that puts it ahead of a few of the laptops we’ve looked at with this similar configuration which is pretty good but it’s not significantly better it’s just a little bit better but overall again this is not going to be something I’m going to recommend on the gaming front and on the 3d mark stress test we got a score of 90 5.40% this puts the computer under load and sees what kind of performance drop-offs you can expect now 95% is not a bad score but it’s also not a passing score on that test to pass it you got to hit 97% but it’s not bad for this form factor and of course we’ve seen laptops perform worse than this one but just keep that in mind you will get some throttling as you’re using it now I also measured power consumption and at idle according to our kilowatt it’s only

consuming about 5 watts of power even with the display output running I thought that was pretty good when you’re putting it under load you’re gonna see a power consumption go up to about 40 watts or so and then it’s going to drop down after about 30 seconds to about 25 watts give or take depending on what it is you’re doing that’s the throttling inaction so you’ll hear that fan spin up and then it’ll run pretty good for a little bit and then it will drop down and begin running at a lower level of performance they do that to prevent the chip from overheating the good news is is that you won’t hear loud fan noise for sustained periods of time because once it does throttle that CPU down it runs the fan at a lower speed so the fan noise I would say on is pretty comparable to a laptop fan it’s the same fan pretty much that those laptops have so it’s certainly audible and you will hear that fan kick on from time to time and the unit itself does get a little bit warm which is why you definitely want to keep all those vents clear to keep that fan working and cooling off the computer there is only a single fan in here and the components are pretty close together on it so definitely keep that in mind if you want more consistent performance you’ll probably need a larger desktop with a larger fan and heatsink to keep that computer running at a consistent speed now we also tested its home theater capabilities we started off by running that jellyfish test file we like to run on all of these mini pcs that as expected decoded properly it’s a 140 megabit per second h-e-b c4k file at 10 bit so that is pretty comparable to what you would get out of a blu-ray 4k movie so all good there the problem though is that it did not support any of the lossless audio formats so we were not able to get

DTS HD or Dolby true HD out of this even when I switched over to that other adapter that I talked about a little bit earlier so it looks like from the home theater perspective this is not going to cut it but it will decode the video just fine and we also booted up a boon to to make sure that it was able to detect all of the hardware so Wi-Fi Bluetooth audio video everything here seems to be working just fine from a compatibility standpoint so that is all good as well so you could definitely get some alternative operating systems running here on the device and this was consistent with other machines built around the same hardware so overall this is a very nicely performing general computing device I like the performance I’m getting out of the form factor for sure but one thing to keep in mind if you are in the market for a little PC like this one is that you could get the same performance out of a laptop and you might end up paying less and picking up a portable display in the process don’t forget this one needs a display paired with it to work and it doesn’t come with a display it does though come with a keyboard and mouse at least so you will maybe spend more to get the same experience you’d have with a laptop on your desk and of course a laptop can also be connected to larger display and it will perform the same as what you’re seeing here so just keep that in mind and add the laptop to your list of comparisons as you’re running around because again the performance out of this thing will be the same given it’s got laptop components inside these things are really useful in corporate environments though because they are really nicely performing they’re not very heavy at all and as a result they’re very easy to do large-scale deployments with

you’re not going to have anyone breaking their backs lugging computers up and down flights of stairs because you just got these little tiny things here that you can pop on the back of a monitor unfortunately they don’t give you the VESA mount to pop it on the back of the monitor in the box that’s an optional purchase with this but overall from a corporate perspective I think this is a good device to consider I just wish the RAM was upgradable but the good news is you’ve got some upgrade ability on the storage so that’s going to do it for the ThinkCentre m93p supporters including gold level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht Rajesh logic gr and Kalyan Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month at over two lon TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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