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Lenovo’s New ThinkCentre Desktops Showcase On-Device AI Improvements

Lenovo’s New ThinkCentre Desktops Showcase On-Device AI Improvements

The News: Lenovo has unveiled new ThinkCentre desktops powered by AMD Ryzen PRO 8000 Series desktop processors: The performance focused ThinkCentre M75t Gen 5, the flexible ThinkCentre M75s Gen 5, and the compact ThinkCentre M75q Gen 5. These AI-ready PCs deliver up to 16 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of integrated NPU capability dedicated to process AI workloads and are designed to meet the diverse needs of modern business, including optimizing energy efficiency. Read the full press release here.

Lenovo’s New ThinkCentre Desktops Showcase On-Device AI Improvements

Analyst Take: Before I get into the specifics of the devices, I couldn’t help but notice that this announcement from Lenovo makes only passing references to AI-specific workloads but instead, drills down into some of the performance-based value of new AI-ready PCs: Smarter, adaptive, self-optimizing systems to boost performance and minimize energy consumption; enhanced security; the ability to handle multiple monitors and applications simultaneously, all in a relatively compact package.

I suspect that the reason for this trend (Lenovo isn’t the only PC OEM to PC system performance over new AI-forward capabilities whenever they introduce a new enterprise-focused AI-ready PC) is that the use case for generative AI in the enterprise remains somewhat nebulous for many IT decision-makers, or at best niche for the time being. And so new and emerging AI workloads may still be too new to be prioritized in PC buying decisions, or at least prioritized over the overall value equation of a PC: Speed, power, versatility, reliability, efficiency, and TCO. This is why I expect to keep seeing PC OEMs continue to lean on more “traditional” performance narratives for AI-ready PCs more than on their new generative AI and AI-forward capabilities, at least when it comes to the enterprise market, at least into the next year, when the ROI of those new use cases become a little clearer, and the app ecosystem begins to flesh itself out. And that isn’t a bad thing. On-device generative AI capabilities and AI assistants are great, but AI-ready PCs promise to be much faster, more powerful, more energy efficient and more secure than their predecessors, and those performance enhancements deserve at least as much attention, if not more, at least when it comes to enterprise, healthcare, and retail environments.

In case you still have doubts about what I just pointed out, here is a quote from Sanjeev Menon, vice president and general manager, Worldwide Desktop Business in Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo, which, I think, illustrates this focus on AI-enhanced performance rather than generative AI capabilities rather well: “The AI PC era is already here and at Lenovo we are embracing it to unlock new possibilities. The need for businesses to integrate AI into their operations continues to grow and our ThinkCentre M75 family of desktops, with a strong and stable power supply, the ability to upgrade components when needed, and the space to expand memory and optimize thermal management are the ideal options to enhance productivity with AI without heavy investments. Lenovo and AMD have a long-standing partnership focused on delivering value to our customers and we know users will be delighted by the leap in performance of our new desktops.”

So here we are, and based on their specs, the ThinkCentre M75t Gen 5 and ThinkCentre M75s Gen 5 desktops will feel much more dynamic than their predecessors thanks to Lenovo’s chip-level AI features, which include power usage prioritization (to allocate power to the correct apps at the right time) and an AI-managed fan that optimizes fan speed to keep the system cool and reduce noise levels. AI features also help the desktops maximize video rendering software’s performance (great for content creators), increase fan speed during intense coding sessions, and balance software performance while multitasking. And because the built-in AI features continuously learn as users multitask, the result is a progressively smarter and well-adapted system for each individual user.

Designed to be enterprise workhorses, both desktops also offer a flexible expansion slot for hardware additions, 9 USB ports for easy connectivity, and the ability to support up to 4 independent compatible displays, making them ideal for content creators, engineers, artists, and those looking for more graphic options. The tower’s ability to host either an AMD Radeon RX 550 4G or AMD Radeon RX 6600LE graphic card is obviously going to be a plus there.

The ThinkCentre M75q Gen 5 is reportedly small enough to fit inside a shoebox but is designed to deliver full-size performance (it packs up to an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 8700GE desktop processor, integrated graphics with AMD RDNA 3 technology and up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR5 (5200MHz) memory), making it ideal for any type of workspace, including banking, healthcare, and retail. Despite its size, the ThinkCentre M75q Gen 5 is also expandable, customizable, and easily upgradable, supporting 7 USB connections, 2 Gen 4 SSDs, built-in driver support for older OS versions, connection capabilities for up to 3 compatible displays and toolless access to the SSD and memory module for easy expansion when needed. For the most extremely space-restricted environments, the ThinkCentre M75q Gen 5 can also be mounted using a universal VESA mount.

Peace of Mind, Enhanced Security, and ESG Considerations

The ThinkCentre M75 Gen 5 family of desktops are also eligible for optional Lenovo Premier Support Plus service, which includes remote fix/repair access, proactive and preventive alerts, next business day onsite labor and parts prioritization, and Accidental Damage Protection (for mishaps such as drink spills) to keep productivity and device longevity to a maximum.

The desktops are also Secured-core PCs and come with the extremely secure Microsoft Pluton security processor. As a Windows Secured-core PC, the ThinkCentre M75 Gen 5 desktops aim to block physical attacks, protect down to the firmware level, and offer extra security for even the most sensitive data. Additionally, the desktops are backed by Lenovo ThinkShield (Lenovo’s end-to-end security solution that combines hardware and software to protect user data), comes with a dTPM 2.0 chip that encrypts passwords and data, a BIOS-based Smart USB protection and individual USB port disablement to help prevent unauthorized access via peripherals, among other security features.

Per the announcement, “Lenovo’s commitment to sustainability is also reflected in the lineup of ThinkCentre M75 Gen 5 desktops, with each system incorporating 85% and 95% PCC (Post-Consumer Content) plastic materials in the chassis and keyboard/mouse respectively.” Packaging for ThinkCentre M75 Gen 5 desktops also features a thermal shell and bag made of 30% OBP (Ocean-Bound Plastic) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) carton that pulls from specially-managed forests and recycled sources.

On Pricing and Availability

While the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75t Gen 5 will not be available in North America (it will be available in select global markets), the ThinkCentre M75s Gen 5 will be available in May 2024 with an expected starting price of $709, and the ThinkCentre M75q Gen 5 will be available in June 2024 with an expected starting price of $749.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Lenovo Q3 Earnings: AI-Accelerated Tech Sector Recovery Is Here – The Futurum Group

Lenovo Q2 FY 2024 Earnings – The Futurum Group

On-Device AI, Part 2 | The AI Moment, Episode 6 – The Futurum Group

Image Credit: Lenovo

Author Information

Olivier Blanchard has extensive experience managing product innovation, technology adoption, digital integration, and change management for industry leaders in the B2B, B2C, B2G sectors, and the IT channel. His passion is helping decision-makers and their organizations understand the many risks and opportunities of technology-driven disruption, and leverage innovation to build stronger, better, more competitive companies.  Read Full Bio.

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