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Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano Desktop Short Review

Sam Medley, 👁 Allen Ngo, 12/05/2019

Think small. How small can a full-fledged PC be? Lenovo is pushing that limit with the ThinkCentre M90n Nano, a full Windows desktop that can slide into your back pocket. Despite its diminutive size, it packs more than enough power for most users and may be a solid choice for a streaming box.

While desktops are still the most cost-effective computers, they have their fair share of trade-offs. Size is one of the primary concerns with a desktop PC, but what if you could compact a desktop without compromising on power? Enter the Lenovo Thinkcentre M90n Nano.

The M90n Nano is powerful enough to compete against most Ultrabooks but is small enough to fit into a back pocket. The Nano still manages to cram a competent CPU (the Core i5-8265U, up to a Core i7-8565U) and plenty of I/O into its tiny shell. The Nano could make for a small office PC or streaming box, but the tiny form factor doesn't come cheap.

Our review unit (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD) goes for US $1080 before any discounts or coupons. Keep in mind end users will still need to provide their own monitor, though Lenovo does include a wireless keyboard and mouse at that price. 

The M90n Nano does not have a built-in display or SD card reader. As such, we have omitted those sections from this review.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620 - 1024 MB, Intel UHD Graphics 620 26.20.100.6911
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
, 475 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-LP - cAVS
Connections
6 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Combo mic/headphones
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 179 x 88 ( = 0.87 x 7.05 x 3.46 in)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 Watt, Keyboard: Chiclet, Wireless keyboard, Wireless Mouse, USB-C to HDMI dongle, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
499 g ( = 17.6 oz / 1.1 pounds), Power Supply: 376 g ( = 13.26 oz / 0.83 pounds)
Price
1080 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case and Connectivity

The M90n Nano is well-built and solid. The exterior is entirely made from plastic but feels solid and well-made. The chassis does not warp when pressed. The top and bottom are susceptible to light scratches, so nothing should be set on top of the machine to preserve aesthetics. There are holes for a VESA mount (purchased separately) on the rear that could be used to attach the Nano to the back of a monitor or stow it out of the way.

Most of the ports are located on the back with a few situated on the front. All USB ports are 3.1 Gen 2, so they support transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps. There are a few options for display connections. While the DisplayPort can be used, the rear-mounted USB Type-C port can also be used to connect to a monitor. Noticeably absent is a more common HDMI port, which may be a roadblock to some users, though Lenovo sells a USB-C to HDMI adapter.

Size Comparison

221 mm / 8.7 inch 142 mm / 5.59 inch 39 mm / 1.535 inch 1.3 kg2.94 lbs211.1 mm / 8.31 inch 116.1 mm / 4.57 inch 27.9 mm / 1.098 inch 623 g1.373 lbs179 mm / 7.05 inch 88 mm / 3.46 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 499 g1.1 lbs117 mm / 4.61 inch 112 mm / 4.41 inch 52 mm / 2.05 inch 660 g1.455 lbs115 mm / 4.53 inch 111 mm / 4.37 inch 51 mm / 2.01 inch 683 g1.506 lbs115 mm / 4.53 inch 111 mm / 4.37 inch 51 mm / 2.01 inch 683 g1.506 lbs115 mm / 4.53 inch 111 mm / 4.37 inch 51 mm / 2.01 inch 577 g1.272 lbs

Connectivity

Front: Power button, USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A, headset jack
Front: Power button, USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A, headset jack
Rear: DC in, DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A, USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C (w/ display out), Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington lock, WiFi antenna hookup
Rear: DC in, DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A, USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C (w/ display out), Gigabit Ethernet, Kensington lock, WiFi antenna hookup
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
676 (min: 636, max: 689) MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
647 MBit/s ∼96% +1%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
643 MBit/s ∼95%
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
635 MBit/s ∼94% -1%
Dynabook Portégé X30-F-10N
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
509 (min: 434, max: 551) MBit/s ∼75% -21%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
327 (min: 289, max: 356) MBit/s ∼48% -49%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus VivoBook 14 X403FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
629 MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Dynabook Portégé X30-F-10N
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
627 (min: 501, max: 708) MBit/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
604 MBit/s ∼96% 0%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
604 MBit/s ∼96%
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
562 (min: 507, max: 591) MBit/s ∼89% -7%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
313 (min: 176, max: 346) MBit/s ∼50% -48%

Accessories

Lenovo included a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, antenna, and USB-C to HDMI adapter in the box. While the antenna is packaged by default, the other accessories come with additional cost. The input accessories are adequate, though the mouse's plastic shell feels thin and cheap and the keyboard's keys feel mushy and spongy. They will get the job done, but regular typists will want to swap out the keyboard.

Maintenance

The Lenovo M90n Nano can be opened by removing a single Phillips Head #00 screw on the bottom plate and sliding either the top or bottom plate forward to and lifting them up. Once inside, users will have access to the fan, the CMOS battery, both M.2 drive bays, and the wireless card. Further disassembly is required to reach the CPU. The RAM is either soldered or not easily accessible to end users, so the desired amount should be selected at checkout.

Bottom panel removed
Bottom panel removed
Top panel removed
Top panel removed
Top panel and aluminum shield removed
Top panel and aluminum shield removed

Performance

The Lenovo M90n Nano under review is powered by an Intel Core i5-8265U and 8 GB of RAM. This puts it on par with most mid-range Ultrabooks. The M90n Nano breezes through most general tasks (office work, web browsing) and easily handles media streaming. As such, the M90n Nano would be well-suited in an office or under the living room TV.

Processor

The ThinkCentre M90n Nano comes in a variety of CPU configurations, ranging from the Intel Celeron N4205U up to the the Intel Core i7-8665U (with vPro). Our review unit is powered by an Intel Core i5-8265U. Performance is about average for other devices that use the 8265U, which should be satisfactory for most general use purposes. Office work won't be a problem, though larger spreadsheets or complex presentations may chug at times.

Long-term performance is stable. In our Cinebench R15 loop test, the M90n Nano's performance falls slightly after the first run (as most devices do) before settling in at around 514 cb. Overall, the Nano elicits no cause for complaint.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø513 (491.14-523.79)
Dynabook Portégé X30-F-10N Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø521 (516.63-551.37)
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600 Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø508 (503.65-519)
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø495 (482.45-528.56)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP ZBook 15u G6 6TP54EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
165 Points ∼76% +11%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (111 - 164, n=32)
155 Points ∼71% +5%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Core i3-8145U
154 Points ∼71% +4%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
150 Points ∼69% +1%
Average of class Desktop
  (68 - 218, n=30)
150 Points ∼69% +1%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Core i5-8265U
148 Points ∼68%
Dynabook Tecra X50-F
Intel Core i7-8665U
143 Points ∼66% -3%
HP Pavilion x360 14-cd0002ng
Intel Core i3-8130U
139 Points ∼64% -6%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Pentium Silver N5000
76 Points ∼35% -49%
Chuwi MiniBook CWI526
Intel Celeron N4100
62 Points ∼28% -58%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average of class Desktop
  (176 - 2021, n=32)
727 Points ∼17% +43%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U
  (457 - 750, n=35)
591 Points ∼14% +16%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel Core i5-8265U
508 Points ∼12%
Dynabook Tecra X50-F
Intel Core i7-8665U
496 Points ∼11% -2%
HP ZBook 15u G6 6TP54EA
Intel Core i7-8565U
494 (min: 492.26, max: 519.15) Points ∼11% -3%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55-31N8
Intel Core i3-8145U
361 Points ∼8% -29%
Dell Latitude 3400
Intel Core i3-8145U
350 Points ∼8% -31%
HP Pavilion x360 14-cd0002ng
Intel Core i3-8130U
320 Points ∼7% -37%
Medion Akoya E4253-30025387
Intel Pentium Silver N5000
233 Points ∼5% -54%
Chuwi MiniBook CWI526
Intel Celeron N4100
221 Points ∼5% -56%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
148 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
508 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
52.04 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

Similar to CPU performance, overall system performance is good and is in line with mid-range Ultrabooks. As such, the Nano is well-suited to office work, light content creation, and media consumption. Some photo and video editing can be done, but only simple projects are doable.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Average of class Desktop
  (972 - 11987, n=20)
4206 Points ∼32% +44%
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
GeForce MX250, i5-8265U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G
3604 Points ∼28% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Intel SSD Pro 7600p SSDPEKKF512G8L
2937 Points ∼23% +1%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2067 - 3210, n=26)
2919 Points ∼23% 0%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
2917 Points ∼23%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
GeForce MX130, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM128GDJTNG-831
2477 Points ∼19% -15%
Productivity
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
GeForce MX250, i5-8265U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G
6604 Points ∼63% +4%
Average of class Desktop
  (2883 - 8515, n=20)
6358 Points ∼61% 0%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6337 Points ∼61%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Intel SSD Pro 7600p SSDPEKKF512G8L
6275 Points ∼60% -1%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2941 - 6556, n=26)
6043 Points ∼58% -5%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
GeForce MX130, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM128GDJTNG-831
5088 Points ∼49% -20%
Essentials
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8551 Points ∼75%
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
GeForce MX250, i5-8265U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G
8394 Points ∼73% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Intel SSD Pro 7600p SSDPEKKF512G8L
8015 Points ∼70% -6%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (5073 - 8689, n=26)
7814 Points ∼68% -9%
Average of class Desktop
  (4418 - 10598, n=20)
7759 Points ∼68% -9%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
GeForce MX130, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM128GDJTNG-831
7547 Points ∼66% -12%
Score
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
GeForce MX250, i5-8265U, Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G
4190 Points ∼52% +8%
Average of class Desktop
  (1658 - 7329, n=20)
4163 Points ∼51% +7%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3876 Points ∼48%
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8265U, Intel SSD Pro 7600p SSDPEKKF512G8L
3790 Points ∼47% -2%
Average Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2247 - 3985, n=26)
3699 Points ∼46% -5%
Dell Vostro 15-5581
GeForce MX130, i5-8265U, SK hynix BC501 HFM128GDJTNG-831
3272 Points ∼40% -16%

» No benchmarks for this notebook found!

Storage Devices

The M90n Nano has two M.2 drive bays that are compatible with SATA and PCIe drives. Our unit is configured with a 512 GB Samsung PM981, and it is extremely fast. CrystalDiskMark 6 pegs read and write speeds at about 3.5 GB/s and 3.0 GB/s, respectively. Users can access both drive bays themselves to swap out drives or set up a RAID array.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Vostro 15-5581
SK hynix BC501 HFM128GDJTNG-831
HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng
Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G
Lenovo ThinkPad L490 20Q6S08600
Intel SSD Pro 7600p SSDPEKKF512G8L
Average Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
 
Average of class Desktop
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-34%
-12%
-3%
34%
-14%
Write 4K
130
129.3
-1%
149.3
15%
128.3
-1%
125 (90.4 - 176, n=60)
-4%
104 (0.942 - 272, n=14)
-20%
Read 4K
45.61
41.02
-10%
52.73
16%
61.6
35%
43.7 (28 - 61.3, n=59)
-4%
46.4 (0.273 - 179, n=14)
2%
Write Seq
203.4
666.9
845.6
1605 (112 - 2730, n=58)
846 (96.5 - 2019, n=12)
Read Seq
271.2
818.1
1425
1719 (501 - 2665, n=58)
1062 (51.4 - 2726, n=12)
Write 4K Q32T1
365.3
252.3
-31%
332.1
-9%
503.2
38%
414 (198 - 1707, n=60)
13%
296 (1.061 - 844, n=14)
-19%
Read 4K Q32T1
350.2
281.4
-20%
467.1
33%
418.7
20%
414 (230 - 1015, n=60)
18%
339 (0.774 - 884, n=14)
-3%
Write Seq Q32T1
2985.9
319.8
-89%
984.8
-67%
1391
-53%
2083 (1714 - 2994, n=60)
-30%
1174 (64 - 2986, n=14)
-61%
Read Seq Q32T1
3564.9
1588.6
-55%
1454
-59%
1570
-56%
3110 (1772 - 3565, n=60)
-13%
1961 (51.4 - 3565, n=14)
-45%
Write 4K Q8T8
368.7
1264 (369 - 1814, n=13)
243%
553 (208 - 1115, n=5)
50%
Read 4K Q8T8
789.7
1193 (527 - 1620, n=13)
51%
645 (383 - 812, n=5)
-18%
AS SSD
-54%
-168%
-4%
9%
-44%
Copy Game MB/s
646
1037 (547 - 1639, n=41)
692 (124 - 1577, n=9)
Copy Program MB/s
445.14
454 (206 - 828, n=41)
344 (76.3 - 747, n=9)
Copy ISO MB/s
1163.89
1742 (917 - 3259, n=41)
954 (241 - 1984, n=9)
Score Total
2716
922
-66%
1822
-33%
2400
-12%
3939 (2348 - 5316, n=58)
45%
2019 (395 - 4454, n=16)
-26%
Score Write
1305
319
-76%
649
-50%
1116
-14%
1776 (147 - 2992, n=58)
36%
735 (113 - 2193, n=16)
-44%
Score Read
942
417
-56%
780
-17%
858
-9%
1436 (752 - 2125, n=58)
52%
858 (184 - 1524, n=16)
-9%
Access Time Write *
0.032
0.045
-41%
0.233
-628%
0.025
22%
0.0849 (0.025 - 2.52, n=58)
-165%
0.0759 (0.025 - 0.31, n=15)
-137%
Access Time Read *
0.039
0.073
-87%
0.421
-979%
0.025
36%
0.0509 (0.029 - 0.103, n=58)
-31%
0.0919 (0.025 - 0.26, n=16)
-136%
4K-64 Write
1073.77
166.22
-85%
461.38
-57%
905.01
-16%
1503 (96.2 - 2716, n=58)
40%
553 (38.2 - 1829, n=16)
-48%
4K-64 Read
726.4
257.9
-64%
618.48
-15%
685.47
-6%
1190 (530 - 1823, n=58)
64%
678 (122 - 1258, n=16)
-7%
4K Write
116.47
115.54
-1%
114.11
-2%
137.49
18%
111 (1.76 - 142, n=58)
-5%
90.1 (14.1 - 173, n=16)
-23%
4K Read
48.46
39.14
-19%
46.51
-4%
46.44
-4%
50.2 (31.7 - 61, n=58)
4%
40.6 (14.6 - 128, n=16)
-16%
Seq Write
1150.28
370.18
-68%
735.84
-36%
734.84
-36%
1622 (487 - 2564, n=58)
41%
919 (213 - 2315, n=16)
-20%
Seq Read
1668.47
1194.79
-28%
1152.69
-31%
1262.49
-24%
1965 (1030 - 2806, n=58)
18%
1394 (452 - 2640, n=16)
-16%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-44% / -47%
-90% / -113%
-4% / -4%
22% / 20%
-29% / -31%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3564.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2985.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 350.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 365.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 45.61 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 130 MB/s
CDM 6 Write 4K Q8T8: 368.7 MB/s
CDM 6 Read 4K Q8T8: 789.7 MB/s

GPU Performance & Gaming Performance

The Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU is suitable for most home and office work, but not much else. Video streaming is a snap thanks to the iGPU's support for H.265/HEVC Main10 and HDCP 2.2. Some lighter content creation work is possible, but the machine will grind to a halt during moderately complex photo or video work.

Gamers will only be able to enjoy lighter or older titles, and even then only at reduced graphics settings. Indie games like Stardew Valley run smoothly, but newer 3D titles are likely out of reach.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average of class Desktop
  (484 - 49282, n=23)
10694 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
4594 Points ∼43%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
4380 Points ∼41%
Asus VivoBook 15 X512FL-EJ205T
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
4274 Points ∼40%
Walmart Motile M142
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
3332 Points ∼31%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G4
3228 Points ∼30%
Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UM462DA-AI023T
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
3064 Points ∼29%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 2006, n=192)
1725 Points ∼16%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (255 - 14249, n=11)
4148 Points ∼100%
Asus VivoBook 15 X512FL-EJ205T
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
1000 Points ∼24%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
872 Points ∼21%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
833 Points ∼20%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G4
619 Points ∼15%
Walmart Motile M142
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
618 Points ∼15%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (299 - 443, n=50)
370 Points ∼9%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (603 - 34697, n=23)
7587 Points ∼100% +541%
Asus VivoBook 15 X512FL-EJ205T
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
3321 Points ∼44% +181%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
3144 Points ∼41% +166%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
2789 Points ∼37% +136%
Walmart Motile M142
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
2020 Points ∼27% +71%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1183 Points ∼16%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1418, n=162)
1136 Points ∼15% -4%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average of class Desktop
  (5027 - 182888, n=20)
33351 Points ∼100% +248%
Asus VivoBook 15 X512FL-EJ205T
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-8565U
20961 Points ∼63% +119%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen 5 3580U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9, AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
19255 Points ∼58% +101%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
18881 Points ∼57% +97%
Walmart Motile M142
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
13919 Points ∼42% +45%
Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
9590 Points ∼29%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=180)
9160 Points ∼27% -4%
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8337 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1089 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 53 32 29 10 fps

Emissions & Power

Stress and Heat

The ThinkCentre M90n Nano performs within expectations under stressful loads. When running Prime95, the CPU manages a consistent 2.2 GHz clock, slightly above its 1.6 GHz base. Temperatures averaged about 90° C. However, loading the iGPU with Furmark causes the whole chip to pull back. Under both our Furmark and Prime95+Furmark stress tests, the CPU hovered around 1.0 GHz, though temperatures across the package stayed around 74° C.

Heat across the chassis causes no concerns, especially since the machine will likely be tucked away.

Prime95
Prime95
FurMark
FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Idle
Idle
Load
Load

Fan, Speakers, & Power Consumption

The M90n Nano uses a single fan. At a normal use distance (about three feet away), the fan is virtually silent. Under load, it is barely audible. The Nano also has small, thin speakers that are only suitable for setting the machine up; external speakers or headphones should be used.

Power consumption is in line with most Ultrabooks. The Nano draws under 5 Watts when idle. Under load, the Nano pulls about 27-28 Watts on averages with spikes up to 50.

3DMark
3DMark
Prime95
Prime95
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.81 / 1.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.4 / 4.4 / 4.7 Watt
Load midlight 27.7 / 49.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Pros

+ compact size
+ VESA mount compatible
+ plenty of ports
+ well-built
+ good performance

Cons

- no HDMI
- expensive
- limited upgrade options

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano. Review Unit provided by Lenovo.
In review: Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano. Review Unit provided by Lenovo.

The ThinkCentre M90n Nano is a nice option for buyers in search of a compact desktop PC for general use. The Nano would also make a decent home theatre PC (HTPC) due to its small size; the device could be mounted to the back of a living room TV or easily stored in an unobtrusive spot.

The Nano's internals are powerful enough for most consumer use. Web browsing is a snap, media streaming is smooth, and the machine chews through general office work.

However, the Nano carries a relatively high price tag considering the spec sheet. Lenovo frequently offers sales and specials, but at its full retail price, our opinion is that the Nano is far too expensive for what it offers. At the same price, it's likely buyers could find a similarly-specced Ultrabook. In addition to the built-in display, keyboard, and trackpad, the Ultrabook could be carried around and still hook up to an external monitor or TV when home.

For those in search of an incredibly compact desktop PC and are willing to pay a slight premium for the privilege, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano is a good option. Cost-conscious consumers should look elsewhere.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkCentre M90n Nano Desktop Short Review
Sam Medley, 2019-12- 5 (Update: 2019-12- 5)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.