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May 25, 2011

Dell Wades into Thin Client a little at a time

Dell steps a bit deeper into the thin client pool with new 130 and 170 FX clients. Currently the 160 was their solo entry. Also partnered with Devon IT.

Dell adds thin clients to OptiPlex portfolio - 25 May 2011 - Computing News

Dell has added two thin client systems to its OptiPlex portfolio that are designed to meet the needs of "data entry users" and "knowledge workers", according to the firm.

The OptiPlex FX170 and FX130 use different processor vendors for their chipset architecture and graphics: the FX170 uses Intel's Atom architecture while the FX130 uses the Via Technologies Eden chipset.

Dell's UK client solutions marketing manager James Jones said that "the FX130 is part of our 'best-value' thin client line targeting data entry users using a single or very few applications, like call centre environments.

"The FX170 is aimed at the knowledge worker requiring standard desktop functionality within a thin client device, along with HD graphics support for multimedia users, and also requiring dual-monitor support out-of-the-box," added Jones.

The FX130 and FX170's operating systems do not run locally, but are delivered to end users over LAN or WAN connections, from datacentre servers.

Dell global solutions architect Jerome Semichon said, "Both devices use Citrix XenDesktop and VMware's View desktop clients for delivering virtual desktops and applications to end users, so any OS that can run under those packages is supported."

Firms do not have to deploy the thin clients over Dell's end-to-end virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution, but Dell hopes firms will sign up to use preferred global partner Devon IT's Echo Management console system for provisioning and managing the OS images and associated applications.

Semichon said, "The key factor in the user's virtual desktop experience is not the bandwidth, but the network latency between the datacentre and the virtual desktop itself.

"If I touch something on the screen, how long does it take to go to the virtual desktop and come back to me [from the datacentre]? That's a function of your LAN or WAN and the underlying VDI technology you're using."

Dell is also targeting public-sector remote and flexible workers with the systems, so residential ADSL broadband connections have to be able to provide optimal network connectivity.

Asked whether such residential systems might limit usability, Semichon said "generally in the UK, normal residential ADSL network latency is more than capable of sustaining a very decent user experience."

Both models are available now, the FX130 costing £220 + VAT and the FX170 costing £249 + VAT.

Hardware specifications

The FX130 uses VIA Technologies Eden ultra low voltage (ULV) 1GHz processor with graphics capabilities provided by a VIA VX855 media processor, giving a maximum resolution of 1600 x1200 in 32-bit colour.

The FX170 chipset and graphics is provided by Intel, marrying an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor with Intel's 945GSE graphics subsystem giving HD-capable 1920x1200 resolution in 32-bit, with dual monitor use also supported.

Both systems have 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 system memory, gigabit Ethernet adaptors, and four USB ports (two front and two rear). The FX130 weighs in at 0.53kg and the FX170 0.60kg, and both have dimensions of 156 x 121 x 36mm.

Dell adds thin clients to OptiPlex portfolio - 25 May 2011 - Computing News

Posted by Staff at May 25, 2011 07:39 AM