Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT: A fanless mini PC that can't take the heat
We recently reviewed the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT, a tiny desktop PC with a fanless design. While the computer is completely silent under operation, it falls victim to a fatal flaw: thermal management.
First, the positives: the machine is built like a tank. Its defining aesthetic feature is the fin array adorning the top. These fins are thick and cut from metal, giving the entire device a robust and sturdy feel. Despite its small size, the Nano IoT offers a bevy of ports, including several USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 ports, two Ethernet ports, and two serial ports. The device is completely silent and does not not draw much power.
Unfortunately, the trade-off for its silent operation is poor thermal management. The device handles short bursts of activity well enough, but workloads longer than a minute or two cause the Core i3-8145U to heavily pull back. As such, longer workloads fall far behind competitors in terms of performance. Thermal throttling is a common occurrence for the Nano IoT, and the entire experience is frustrating as a result.
Overall, the Nano IoT is a device targeted for very specific use cases. IT professionals looking for a silent device that can handle quick workloads may be interested, but the Nano IoT is a poor choice for general consumers.
Be sure to read our full review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT here.