When I was trying to get Dell to declare the first Optiplex 5050 bad enough to return, I ordered a Lenovo small desktop as a potential replacement. It arrived at about the same time as the replacement Optiplex, and I set it up while I was attempting to migrate the settings, docs, and apps from the ailing Optiplex.
First off, what is this computer? It’s different than anything I’ve ever used. The way to think of it is that it’s a powerful laptop and docking station, less the display and keyboard. It’s about the size of a hardbound novel:
On the front panel, you see the power switch on the left, and two USB3 ports, plus headphone and microphone jacks.
Here’s the back:
Along the bottom from left to right is the power connector (it uses the same outboard power supply as the larger ThinkPads). a monitor port, a USB3 connector, another monitor port, and three more USB ports. Thus there are a total of six USB3 ports, and zero USB2 ports. On my computer there’s another monitor port in the top row, and the same RJ-45 you see above, and a coax connector for a WiFi antenna. You can lay it on the desk as shown, or mount it on its side, using a supplied — and not very stable — foot.
I ordered mine as follows:
- 2.8 GHz i7
- 16 GB RAM
- 500 GB SSD
- High speed graphics adapter
- Windows 10 x64 Pro
It ended up costing about $300 less than the Optiplex 5050, which, to be fair, had a faster graphics board and an additional 1 TB spinning rust hard disk.
Setup was dead simple. No problems at all. I ran the diagnostics, and manually installed the apps, copied over the data, and manually set up the user profiles. Although I don’t usually do this, I set the computer up with two different Windows Domain user profiles. That went well, except that if one person logs off and another logs on, Outlook 2016 demands that the Exchange credentials be manually re-entered.
The fans are thermally-controlled and normally off. It’s thus dead quiet most of the time. There is one interesting difference between its operation and the similarly configured Optiplea: on the Lenovo, you need to press the power button to awaked the computer from Sleep state, while with the Optiplex, a tap on the space bar will do it. I wonder if that’s a Windows configuration setting.
All in all, a piece of cake.
I did look at the error log, and immediately wished I hadn’t. I’ve got to stop dong that. Ah, well, it runs like a train.
It doesn’t get any better than this. I should point out that my Optiplex experience would have been exactly as stress free if the first computer hadn’t had the intermittent problem.