Lenovo Greens Up the Desktop with ThinkCentre M57p

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

The new ultra-small form-factor ThinkCentre M57 takes up a lot less desktop space. But, does the small form factor translate to smaller electric bills? Take a look at Channel Insider’s review of the unit to find out more.

In IT you would think there was only one color—green. Everything nowadays seems to refer to green technology and reduce energy costs and carbon footprints. Sure, being environmentally friendly benefits everyone, but sometimes green technology is just too hard to sell. 

Lenovo is looking to take the pain out of the green process with the ThinkCentre M57/M57p, a diminutive desktop that sips electricity like an out-of-work yuppie sips lattes at Starbucks. First off, the ThinkCentre M57/M57p machines won't impress anyone looking for raw horsepower, but these latest PCs from Lenovo are the first desktops from any PC maker to garner Greenguard certification. The units go even further when it comes to the Eco-ability factors, which include an EPEAT Gold rating and Energy Star 4.0 rating, and the units are the first ThinkCentres made with recycled material from consumer plastics.

As with most ThinkCentre PCs, there are a range of models. A basic M57 lists for $699 and includes an Intel 1.8GHz Celeron 430 processor with 1GB of RAM, a DVD-ROM drive and Serial ATA hard drive with 80GB of capacity. While not especially cheap, the unit is affordable considering the use of notebook computer components to reduce the size and energy consumption of the M57.

Click here for some green ideas VARs can take to their customers.

Lenovo sent over an M57 Model 29U for review, a unit that is at the top of the line of the M57 spectrum and retails for about $1,350. It includes Windows Vista Business, an Intel 3GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB SATA hard drive and a DVD-Recordable optical drive. As with most of the M57p models, the unit is equipped with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100 series, integrated audio, Gigabit Ethernet and an external power brick. Buyers will also find a USB keyboard and mouse included with the system.

Performance was tested using PerformanceTest V6.1 from PassMark Software, while power consumption was judged using a KillaWatt Pro from P3 Electronics. The unit scored exceptionally well under PerformanceTest, netting an overall PassMark rating of 798.5. That score was relatively impressive, considering the system was using integrated graphics from Intel and running Windows Vista Business edition.

During testing, the unit peaked at 68 watts of power consumption. Power consumption hovered around 32 watts when the unit was idle. During sleep mode, the M57p only consumed 3 watts of power, proving that the unit truly was an efficient power sipper. Users will find that putting the system into sleep mode only takes a mouse click and a couple of seconds, while waking the system up is almost instantaneous.

An added benefit of the low-power design is how quiet the system is. By eliminating a large internal power supply, which usually has a noisy fan, and using cooling technology suited for a portable system, all operational noise was virtually eliminated, save for the audio provided by the built-in speakers.

Lenovo has done a commendable job of combining power efficiency with a small size and more than adequate performance, and the little M57p should be a welcome addition to most anyone’s desktop.

The only downsides to the unit are limited expansion options and a price point a little bit higher than systems with comparable processor performance. Otherwise, Lenovo has put together a system that should meet the green needs of most any corporate user today




Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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