GCN LAB REVIEW: Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p

Pros: Fingerprint reader, decent upgrade capacity
Cons: Some cable management issues
Performance: B+
Upgradability: B+
Ease of access: A
Features: A-
Value: A
Price: $1,191 ($1,012 government)

GCN Lab Reviewers Choice small logoLenovo’s ThinkCentre M58p is a good all-around system for a good price. It has acceptable performance, good security features and a fair amount of upgrade capacity.

It has two DisplayPorts — one on the motherboard and the other on the graphics card. That card is an nVidia GeForce 9500 GT, a powerful accelerator with both a DVI port and a DisplayPort. Also, the ThinkCentre was the only desktop PC in our review that had a fingerprint reader built into its keyboard. That additional security feature is common on laptop PCs, and it’s nice to see that Lenovo knows the federal market well enough to include it on desktop computers.

The ThinkCentre can be opened without tools. In addition, everything is spaced out to make access a breeze. The only flaw in that area is cable management. The cables could have been tied to the sides a bit more, considering how much room there was inside.

The ThinkCentre also has a fair amount of capacity for upgrades. It has one 3.5-inch and one 5.25-inch external drive bay. The motherboard has two PCI slots and one PCIe x1 slot available. The two empty memory slots allow for as much as 16G to be added before the existing memory must be replaced.

The ThinkCentre performed well in our benchmark tests, earning a score of 947.6. The strong graphics adapter and the 3.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor helped boost that performance, but the 2G of memory hampered it. The score put the ThinkCentre’s performance squarely in the middle of the pack.

Lenovo’s list price of $1,191 is fair, considering its qualities, but the government price of $1,012 makes it an even better bargain. Although not the best in some categories, the ThinkCentre would do well at almost any office task, and the extra security is a plus. It earns a Reviewer’s Choice designation.

Lenovo, 866-968-4465, www.lenovo.com

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