NComputing launches a Raspberry Pi 3-based thin client

The versatile RX300 can operate as a locked-down Windows thin client or as a Raspberry Pi 3 device.

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Image: NComputing

NComputing is a desktop virtualisation specialist, whose latest vSpace Pro 10 platform makes use of Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to deliver virtual desktops (rather than virtual machines) to multiple thin clients from a single copy of Windows running on a host server. Low purchase and management costs give NComputing's solution particular appeal to the education and SME sectors, as well as a number of vertical markets.

NComputing sells a range of custom thin client devices designed to work with vSpace servers via its proprietary UXP protocol. You can also download vSpace Pro software clients to use with existing Windows PCs (64-bit Windows 7 or later) and Chromebooks.

Now NComputing has launched a "cloud-ready, dual-screen capable and Wi-Fi ready thin client for Windows and Linux" -- the RX300, which is based on the popular Raspberry Pi 3 platform. The RX300 costs $99, including a one-year connection subscription to vSpace 10.

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The $99 NComputing RX300 can work in thin-client mode or standalone Raspbian Linux mode. It has USB, Ethernet, HDMI, Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity. Dual monitors will be supported via a forthcoming USB dongle.

Images: NComputing

Here are the key features of the RX300 with a vSpace Pro 10 connection:

  • Full-motion HD video playback (1920 x 1200) via HDMI
  • 4x USB 2.0 high-speed ports with full USB redirection, utilizing device drivers from the server side to provide broad peripheral support
  • Built-in 10/100 Ethernet and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Provisioned access to both vSpace and Raspbian Linux OS
  • 8GB internal MicroSD card and 1GB RAM
  • Less than 5W power consumption
  • Sleep mode for additional power savings
  • 1-year vSpace Pro connection license and 1-year hardware warranty
  • Compatibility with vCAST streaming technology

Optional Features

  • Secondary display via NComputing USB dongle (VGA or DVI -- coming Q2 2017)
  • VESA mount kit

You can use the RX300 in two modes -- for locked-down access to Windows desktop sessions via vSpace Pro 10, or as a Raspberry Pi 3 device with direct access to Raspbian Linux OS and local applications including Scratch, Python, Java, Minecraft and productivity tools.

A key vSpace Pro 10 feature, supported on the RX300, is vCAST, which allows web video or local media content to be streamed directly to the client device, bypassing the host server to deliver better quality-of-service and boost the number of thin clients a server deployment can support. You get a 6-month free trial of the premium vCAST streaming and dual monitor display features, but must pay up thereafter.

Windows Server support (for hosting multiple RX300 clients) extends to Server 2016, Server 2012 R2 U1, Server 2012, Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Multipoint Server 2012 and 2011. You can also do 1:1 VDI using a Windows 10, 8.1 or 7 SP1 PC as host.

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The low cost and easy management of NComputing's vSpace Pro 10 platform gives it particular appeal to education establishments and SMEs.

Image: NComputing

NComputing's RX300 series thin clients will be available worldwide in early March through authorised resellers.

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