Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano: A small but capable mini desktop PC
In our recent review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano, we found a lot to like about the compact desktop PC. However, it all comes at a relatively high cost.
First, the positives: the ThinkCentre M90n Nano is extremely compact and can fit almost anywhere on (or under) a desk or TV. Its small size is its biggest strength. Lenovo also sells a VESA mount that can be used to attach the machine to the back of a display. Performance is adequate for most general use tasks (web browsing, office work), and the M90n Nano can stream media smoothly. As such, the Nano may make for a good HTPC.
Other high points include good thermal performance and the ability to run two NVMe SSDs in RAID. The machine is well-built and solid. There are also plenty of ports (4x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, and more), so there's plenty of room for peripherals.
There are a few compromises. The most glaring is the price. Our configuration of the ThinkCentre M90n Nano (Core i5-8265U, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD) retails for ~US $1080. Lenovo frequently offers sales (sometimes as much as 30% off or more), but even at sale prices, the Nano is relatively expensive given the specifications.
Keep in mind that users will need to provide their own keyboard, mouse, and monitor (Lenovo sells a wireless keyboard and mouse for ~$30 extra; these were included with our model at the price listed above). A mid-range Ultrabook offers similar or better performance, has the perks of portability and a built-in display, and can likely be found at a similar price point.
Additionally, the Nano has limited upgrade options. The CPU is soldered to the mainboard, and the RAM is either soldered or difficult to access. As such, users should take time to consider their computing needs when configuring the machine before clicking "buy." Lastly, the lack of a dedicated HDMI port may be a hurdle for some setups. The Nano has a full-sized DisplayPort, and one of the USB-C ports on the back can be used for display hookup, but a dongle is needed to use an HDMI monitor or television.
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