The tiny device can run virtualised desktops, cloud content and Android apps
Dell has launched Wyse Cloud Connect, its first portable Android-based thin client platform. Formerly known as Project Ophelia, the device transforms any compatible display into a cloud-enabled PC ready for work.
Cloud Connect is based around technology developed by virtual desktop specialist Wyse Technology, which was acquired by Dell in 2012. It is aimed primarily at the enterprise market, but Dell previously said it could find other uses, for example converting older screens into Smart TVs.
The device is available immediately to corporate customers in the UK, priced at £89.
Dell revealed the existence of Project Ophelia at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2013, and originally expected to start shipping by Christmas. The device itself is not much bigger than a USB memory stick, runs Android 4.0 and features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, along with a Micro SD card slot.
Cloud Connect plugs into any HDMI or MHL screen to add PC functionality. It doesn’t need batteries, since the energy-efficient design draws power directly from the display. All it requires is a Bluetooth keyboard and a mouse – Dell conveniently offers several options, but third-party accessories are also supported.
The device is powerful enough to display HD content, but Dell currently keeps the exact hardware specifications a secret. Besides accessing virtualised desktops and cloud content, Ophelia is also capable of installing native Android (and by extension, Chrome OS) apps, which are then available offline.
“Cloud Connect is among the most cutting-edge mobile thin client solutions that we have tested at our labs,” commented Joseph Korah, senior director and head of Kochi Operations at Cognizant. “With its ability to work seamlessly with Citrix, Microsoft and VMware environments, the solution holds great potential for the futuristic enterprise that is looking for ways to improve productivity at work and on the go.”
Enterprise-level security is ensured through the usual cloud management tools, such as the Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager and Dell Wyse PocketCloud.
The device could also be used in classrooms and libraries, and the small form-factor makes it a possible platform for digital signage and other applications where space is limited.
“Small, smart and secure; Cloud Connect is a disruptive device,” said Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager for Dell Cloud Client Computing. “We unlock new options for our customers to access their data and applications by combining mobility, manageability and security with a powerful user experience at an affordable price-point.”
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