Six thin clients reviewed

Summary:In the first instalment of a two-part review on thin clients, we look at thin-client terminals.

Ipex WBT 370CE
MaxTerm 8300B
Sun Ray 170
VXL Itona
Wyse S30
Asterisk PC reviver
What to look out for
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Wyse S30

Wyse is currently going through a product changeover cycle and its new products are looking extremely promising. The S30 -- an update of the 5150 -- runs WinCE and Linux and is powered by an AMD processor.

Most of the Wyse terminals are around the AU$600 mark and when you compare the fact that they have the availability for enterprises to run embedded 32-bit operating system (Linux) over the other most common OS (WinCE), the product and application development including drivers and support for Linux is virtually unrivalled. So while Linux may never take over the desktop PC market in a thin-client environment (particularly using Citrix MetaFrame), users can have a seamless experience with the desktop applications they know and love running on an open, powerful, and scalable platform.

The new S30 chassis measures just 175 x 120 x 40mm and has some neat little feet which slide on and off and allow various mounting options, as well as the addition of port replicators such as parallel etc. The front of the unit has the power button, two USB ports and two audio jacks (mic and headphones). The rear of the unit has a Kensington physical lock-port, power jack, 15-pin VGA connection, 9-pin serial connection, RJ45 network port, and two more USB ports.

Wyse claims the unit draws just 1 Watt of power and looking at the fan-less design this is believable. While the unit may indeed be fan-less there is more than adequate ventilation provided by the sturdy metal grills covering the majority of the top and bottom of the casing.

Not only is the S30 unit very compact, scalable, and powerful it is also very attractive. Definitely worthy of investigation should thin-client procurement or evaluation be on your mind. And if the S30 does not entice then there is probably another terminal in the Wyse range that may well do.

Wyse Tablet

Mobility is widely being touted as bringing on the next big leap in productivity. The Wyse Tablet that we had a look at was very impressive a very small footprint, akin in some ways to the in-car DVD screens now commonly available. Running WinCE, there is a range of add-ons such as VGA output and serial ports to add to the functionality. There are also three USB ports, a Compact Flash port, and PCMCIA ports. With the expansion capabilities it is very easy to add wireless LAN connectivity (the machine we looked at used a CF WLAN card).

And when this unit hits the streets it is likely to be sub AU$1000.

We played around with this device for just under an hour and found it was very versatile and have no real complaints. It is far easier to hold than the usual bulkier "thick" Tablet PCs, and the contrast and resolution of the LCD screen is very good. The "soft" keyboard takes a little getting used to, but quick launch buttons on the side of the screen bezel are also a handy bonus. And let's face it, as with all good thin-client deployments, the user interface will be customised to suit the exact application even to the extent of taking the input method into hand.

Product S30
Price AU$650
Vendor Wyse Technology Australia
Phone 02 9492 0184
Good range of interoperability with most services.
Excellent ports as well as expansion options.
Excellent price for this device.
A 3-year warranty is very good.
Wyse S30

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Innovation

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