In the desktop PC market, sometimes bigger isn't always better.
Lenovo this week introduced a new round of ThinkCentre desktop models, including the "Tiny" ThinkCentre M93p mini-PC.
The traditional model of large, bulky desktop towers is evolving to smaller profiles, according to Victor Rios, vice president and general manager for Think Desktop, workstations and visuals at Lenovo.
"We're excited about the evolution of the desktop," said Rios. "When looking at a traditional desktop, the tower is fairly large, and with desktop miniaturization, it's small but still powerful."
Rob Robinson, vice president of Computer Upgrade King, a Lenovo partner based in Midlothian, Va., said the move from regular desktop PCs to mini-PCs is due to the smaller form factors' attractive offerings such as lower costs and convenience.
"The move from regular PCs to mini-PCs is based on affordability, taking less space and less energy consumption," said Robinson. "An accounting firm bought 200 [Lenovo mini-PCs] from us in the last month, so rather than stocking a firm with traditional sized desktops, there's more of a move toward portability."
In order to save space, Lenovo developed the "Tiny" ThinkCentre M93p, a small form factor system desktop PC. The mini-PC measures no wider than a golf ball at 34.5 mm, or about 1.36 inches, and comes equipped with Intel Core i7 processors with Intel vPro technology and can host up to 16 GB of RAM.
There is the option of a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD) to boost system performance. A larger Small Form Factor Pro version features dual graphics and dual hard disk drive support, offering the expandability and functionality of a mid-tower at half the size, said Rios.
There are advantages of desktop miniaturization, Rios said. Unlike traditional tall towers, the M93p can be conveniently mounted to save space.
"Miniaturization puts desktop power and performance in unique areas you could never put computers before," said Rios. "Whether it's mounted behind walls or in desk drawers, it enables our customers to have the power of the desktop and put it into discreet places."
The M93p also comes equipped with Lenovo's patented "Smart Power On" capability, which allows a user to power a desktop straight from a wired or wireless keyboard.
In addition to the M93p, Lenovo also unveiled two other desktop models: the ThinkCentre M93z all-in-one desktop and M83 Enterprise desktop tower.
NEXT: ThinkCentre M93z AIO, M83 Enterprise Desktop Tower SpecsThe ThinkCentre M93z AIO desktop features a 23-inch full HD 1080p touchscreen display. It comes with equipped with a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Haswell processor plus SSHD. Lenovo is aiming the M93z at business users that want touchscreen capability in a simple design that can also support VoIP and videoconferencing tasks.
Lenovo's Rios attributes the growing popularity of all-in-one desktop models to them being easy to use and having a smaller footprint.
"The key element here really is simplicity," said Rios.
"People are gravitating toward an easy to set up, low space-taker, and it's not giving up performance; it's still powerful.
Robinson of Computer Upgrade King also said the M93z ThinkCentre model is an attractive offering for the business user because of the touchscreen support and all-in-one form factor.
"It replaces the system for a monitor, keeps power consumption down and its touchscreen enabled, which is great for a business environment," said Robinson. "Touchscreen becomes a point-of-sales systems, punching in time or other types of functionality."
More people are concerned with being environmentally friendly, specifically when it comes to energy consumption, Rio said. To that meet that growing need, the energy-efficiency qualities of the M93p and M93z yield less power consumption compared to traditional PCs, he said.
"Today there is a lot of concern where people want efficient computers that are especially environmentally friendly," said Rios. "With our products you save up to 20-50 percent on energy consumption."
The ThinkCentre M93p is currently available for $749 and up. Lenovo's M93z desktop models will be available later this month, with the touch model listing at $1,269 and the non-touch model priced at $1,029. The M83 will also be available later this month, starting at $699.
PUBLISHED JULY 12, 2013