The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z is a business all-in-one PC best known for its "edge-to-edge" glossy glass surfaces and beautiful 21.5-inch full HD display. The Edge 91z is for businesses in need of an AIO with not only good performance, but an extra touch of style. We'd even venture to say that even though it's targeted toward business users, consumers can consider purchasing it, too.
Build and Design
When Lenovo first introduced the Edge 91z last year, the design veered slightly off the mostly-traveled road by business PC manufacturers. Especially for Lenovo. Reason being was that it had a whole lot of style in a compact all-in-one form factor, and Lenovo normally didn't sport that kind of design in its business PC lineups. Despite the enlarged 21.5-inch full HD display with edge-to-edge glass, business casual stylings are still present. For example, the black and gray color around the entire AIO isn't outlandish and the stand, wired keyboard and mouse are all very simplistic. In fact, we found that its design was oddly similar to Apple's iMac all-in-one, except in black.
The Edge 91z might not be rugged, but it still has the amount of durability you'd expect at this price point. Meaning, there are some smaller problems with the build, but it's good overall.
The stand is a very typical. It's made entirely of plastic but will most likely be durable enough to hold the AIO up over an extended period of time. It only folds about 5-6 inches outward from its vertical position, meaning the display will only sit (at most) at about a 30 degree slant backward. Even though the stand doesn't extend a great deal, we shouldn't see this being a problem for most people since the display isn't touchscreen. Even when the stand is fully vertical, it holds the Edge 91z up without causing fear in the user that the entire machine is going to fall backward.
We noticed that the outer layer of the screen bezel flexes a little when we press on it. That's not to say the entire screen bezel flexes, because it doesn't; but the very tiny outer layer definitely does (it's made of plastic).
The rubber bumpers that sit on the bottom of the legs come off extremely easily. (They are there to keep the legs from scratching the surface the system is sitting on, such as a desk.) If you slide the AIO back and forth instead of picking it up to position it, they fall off. They aren't secured in their position at all; they're simply fitted to go into the legs' slots.
The rest of the system is made of hardened plastics and metals. It's sturdy and solid, and no other place on it will budge when we press down on it in various places to test for "soft spots."
What's in our box:
Inputs and Expansion
The Edge 91z has a pretty average port selection. The left side contains separate mic and headphone jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 6-in-1 memory card reader. The location of all of these ports on the left side is nice; as in, it wouldn't make sense that the memory card reader, for example, would be on the back. We do wish they could have included more USB ports on the left side, though. If you want to insert multiple flash drives you'd have to reach around the back to insert more than two at a time.
The lower back side holds the rest of the ports and input slots. From left to right, there is a lock slot, four USB 2.0 ports, the slot for the power, Gigabit Ethernet, and then VGA and HDMI for hooking it up to an external display. The Edge 91z is missing a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port for faster flash transfers and eSATA.
Our review unit also came with a DVD-Multi optical drive, meaning it has DVD/CD-R/RW capabilities.
Users also have the option of replacing the stand if something happens. Simply remove a couple of screws and the stand cover, and then remove the stand itself to replace it. You can also remove the cover to add up to 8GB-1333Mhz of RAM in the system.
Display and Speakers
The Edge 91z has a very large 21.5-inch widescreen full HD display. This means the resolution is set at the high 1920 x 1080. The screen is covered in thick glossy glass, which is not the norm for business displays. Although it makes colors brighter and more vibrant, it lowers overall readability because of its highly reflective surface, especially while in a well-lit office. To give you an idea of how reflective it really is, just imagine looking through a mirror without color. I could fix my hair with this screen. Which could be a good or bad thing, depending on whether or not you need to fix your hair....
Jokes aside, the FHD display quality is beautiful. Doing virtually anything on the AIO will feel incredible; you might actually forget you're on your work PC. The contrast is vibrant and you'll be able to tell that it has a higher contrast ratio as soon as you turn it on. It has great viewing angles, too. Almost of the angles you can slant the display to will be readable. The images begin to become overshadowed when the display is tilted up or down at about 20-30 degrees in; but from the left and right the images don't begin to distort until about 50 degrees. Like we mentioned, though, every angle that the stand can slant the display to will still be readable. Some shots of the display at different angles are shown below.
I loved the audio these speakers were able to deliver. The Edge 91z has two speakers, located at the bottom of the AIO on both ends. The speaker location allows the audio to travel down and through rather than directly to your ears from the front. Lenovo went with Realtek HD audio and drivers. The drivers have environment, voice cancellation, pitch shift, equalizer, virtual surround, and loudness equalization audio enhancements. You can hear pretty much every nuance in tone, and the audio sounds very clear. Even at 100 percent volume, the sound does not get distorted. The bass could've been more pronounced and the drivers do not have the bass boost enhancement, but overall, we were very satisfied with the audio.
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