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Thin client technology includes the conventional thin client and zero client market known for HP, Dell, Wyse, IGEL, and others. Typical Windows embedded OS units. A long cry from the original keyboard and screen matchbox with zero local storage.
You can also convert your “old” conventional PC into a thin client. Google is after the Windows 11 desktop upgrade market with its “new” Chrome Flex (which is not so new).
Lockdown clients are available as well for those “old systems”. You can use Sitekiosk to lock down a Windows Terminal desktop to prevent unauthorized data transfers and web browsing as well as filter security threats.
And we extend that definition to include Chromebooks and ChromeOS which these days are often less than $300 and complete with remote management.
And now we have ultra-micro players creeping into the digital signage market.
News of Note
- HP, Lenovo and LG Gain New IGEL Thin clients
- LG Thin Client Options
- Chrome Flex OS Review – The Negatives
- Quick Link News on Flip
What is a Thin Client?
- Originally all data stored/accessed from cloud (a browser with no hard drive)
- NComputing had some really nice and super inexpensive “workstations”
- Became the marquee deployment for Windows Embedded
- Began adding new ports, functions until it almost became your standard PC (it might cost $600 too)
- With advent of raspberry, high-speed internet, and the pandemic to push it along it is now evolving back towards to ultra-micro less than $200
- A new player in the thin client market is the Raspberry Pi. You can get fully configured touchscreen units now from Amazon for less than $200.
- What we are NOT are the usual Dell or Lenovo office desktops. Those are “fat” clients and typically require singular discrete support and security.
- See our feature is the test and review of the Raspberry Pi 400 as a Thin Client (just add a monitor).
Since 1999, Thinclient.org has been reporting the thin client computing market as well as the ChromeBook, Zero Client, Android clients, Pi Raspberry Clients and Thick Client market. Generally the cloud computing market since it started with companies such as Citrix back in the late 80s.
What is it?
A thin client is a lightweight[vague] computer that has been optimized for establishing a remote connection with a server-based computing environment. The server does most of the work, which can include launching software programs, performing calculations, and storing data. This contrasts with a fat client or a conventional personal computer; the former is also intended for working in a client–server model but has significant local processing power, while the latter aims to perform its function mostly locally.
Thin client hardware generally supports a keyboard, mouse, monitor, jacks for sound peripherals, and open ports for USB devices (e.g., printer, flash drive, webcam). Some thin clients include legacy serial or parallel ports to support older devices such as receipt printers, scales or time clocks. Thin client software typically consists of a graphical user interface (GUI), cloud access agents (e.g., RDP, ICA, PCoIP), a local web browser, terminal emulators (in some cases), and a basic set of local utilities.
New hardware interfaces includes socket-based enabled devices eliminating the need for a physical USB connection. Bluetooth wireless connectivity is also a big factor for devices.
- Start with the usual suspects from Dell, HP, Wyse, 10Zig, IGEL, etc
- Add in Chromebooks
- Add in converted desktops running a remote desktop
- You can add in smartphones
- Hardware starts at $25 Pico ITX and Raspberry PI
- You have Power Over Ethernet versions
- Many of the conventional historical thin client computers have taken on so much of the functionality of a standard PC that they are almost a Thin Client in name only. The price can be higher than a standard desktop.
- We have AIO or All-In-One Computers – typically with touchscreens.
- Thin Client vs. Thick Client vs. Zero Client: What’s the Right Fit for Your Business?(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Thin Client vs. Thick Client vs. Zero Client(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Thin Client Market Forecast August 2020(Opens in a new browser tab)
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