Lenovo ThinkCentre M58

Lenovo ThinkCentre M58

There’s nothing sexy about this machine. No bright colors or sleek curves. This boxy, black clunker looks like it would be at home under a cubicle desk, and that’s precisely where it’s meant to be. Lenovo (formerly IBM) designed this desktop system with large companies and schools in mind. It’s a mid-priced machine with enough juice to easily support all your basic computing functions: e-mail, Web browsing, and word processing (though lunch-break video gamers may find the standard 1GB memory a bit slow). But the ThinkCentre comes with a set of power- and password-management tools that make it one of the most green and secure options out there. The unit earned the Green Energy Council’s gold EPEAT status—a certification for “green” electronics that offer reduced the power consumption, are made with fewer environmentally sensitive materials, come with less packaging, and more—and other endorsements from Energy Star and the Greenguard Environmental Institute. The power-management tools allow systems administrators to remotely monitor and control the amount of electricity being used by the fleet, as well as program machines to shut down at certain times of the day or week. One study concluded that the tools can help companies save about $40 in electricity costs per machine per year compared to an earlier ThinkCentre version. An accompanying password-management software released in April 2009 lets administrators set access controls to not only software but also hardware, letting them control access to disk drives and plug-in ports, for example.