Dell cooks up an Android PC on an HDMI stick

Dell cooks up an Android PC on an HDMI stick

Summary: Dell's Wyse division, takes an HDMI stick, adds some Android, mixes in some thin-client sauce, and bakes up a new kind of portable PC.

TOPICS: Hardware, Android, Dell

Thin-clients are great for security and keeping everyone on the same software platform page but they can be a pain to set up. Dell's Wyse division, which has been doing thin-clients for decades, has cooked up a new way to avoid the thin-client setup trouble: An Android-powered, universal-thin client called the Wyse Cloud Connect.

Wyse Cloud Connect
Wyse Cloud Connect: An Android PC and thin-client desktop you can carry in your pocket.

The Cloud Connect is about as large as an over-sized USB stick. While it comes with a USB port, to use it you'll need a device such as an HDTV monitor or a modern laptop with an HDMI or Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) port. To "install" it, all you need do is plug Cloud Connect into the device, plug in a power-source with the mini-USB port, and you're ready for business.

Inside it there's a multi-core Cortex-A9 ARM System-on-Chip (SoC), 8GBs of internal storage, and 1GB of RAM. This is powered up with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. It also comes with a micro-SD card slot, which can support up to 72GBs of additional storage. It also comes with 802.11a/b/g/n networking and Bluetooth

Once in place you can use it with a USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to turn any properly equipped display into an Android PC. If you want more than Android's goodness, and Dell and its partners certainly hope you do, the Cloud Connect also comes with Dell's Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service (SaaS). With this IT managers can manage device so that it can be used with the appropriate thin-client, back-end programs.

By default that's Dell Wyse PocketCloud software for remote access to physical or virtual desktops, apps and content. By itself this enables you to access your office Mac or Windows desktop.

If you want more, and Dell and its partners hope you will, you can use it with Citrix, Microsoft or VMware thin-client servers or for Web-based apps. In short, the Wyse Cloud Connect provides IT department with a tasty dish of a way to easily get both conventional and BYOD users on the enterprise desktop with no messy setup annoyances.

For a list price of $129 I can see many companies finding the Wyse Cloud Connect to be the perfect meal for their road warriors.

Related Stories:

Topics: Hardware, Android, Dell

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Dell cooks up an Android PC on a HDMI stick

    • At least Dell is trying something new

      Dell is famous for being the boring beige box manufacturer.

      With sales of traditional PCs now plummeting, it's good that Dell is trying to branch out into other things.

      There is now no doubt that the world will switch to ARM processors, even for the heaviest tasks. Dell has to succeed in the new era with non-Windows devices.
      • Vbitrate: "Dell is famous for being the boring beige box manufacturer"

        I disagree.

        Dell also is the one Microsoft OEM that has been supportive of Ubuntu on laptops and desktops. Currently, it offers a Ubuntu-based laptop for developers and a Ubuntu-based desktop for gamers.

        Remember the Android-based Dell Streak? It was the first phablet (or at least a very early one). Now many OEMs across mobile OSs are interested in phablets.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Since PC sales have been shown not to be "plummeting"

        in fact, it's what makes them billions, so I'm wondering why you think the opposite?

        Dell seems to be one of the OEM's that has to succeed in the new era with Windows devices.

        Take off the anti-MS blinders, view the world as it really is.
        • What view is that?

          “Take off the anti-MS blinders, view the world as it really is.” -Will
  • Seriously there have been hundreds of these on ebay

    For ages, there have been hundreds of these on ebay for $40.
    This is basically a chinese Android Stick with a dell sticker on it, isn't it?
    • Links please

      Post the links to these devices you say are out there.

      “For ages, there have been hundreds of these on ebay for $40.”

      China is now making Android stick?
      Personnel knowledge?

      “This is basically a Chinese Android Stick with a dell sticker on it, isn't it?”
      • search amazon and ebay for android tv stick

        I bought one a few years ago.
        They are great.
      • "Chinese sticks"

        Look up MK802 or MK808 or GV20 (that's the one I have). There are many more newer units than those now. $60USD for the unit, $40 for a wireless multimedia keyboard (K400) = giant tablet on my 52" screen which I control from the couch. Runs Chrome, Netflix, many other Android apps. Before you whiners start: this is NOT a "production machine", I would not want to do my multi-tab, macro-laden analysis spreadsheets on it....but that's NOT why I bought it. It works for ME.
        BobK Linux Noob
        • Hi BobK Linux Noob

          What flavor of Linux are you using as a noob?
      • made-in-china dot com

        android tv sticks made in china are plenty on so many web sites (and ebay too)...
    • Dell has done more integration than the grey-label sticks

      Dell has included native Android versions of Citrix Receiver, an RDP app (not sure which one), and VMware Views client. They've also integrated Mobile Device Mgmt into it, and have a server-side mgmt suite, is my understanding. I believe they were also planning on integrating their SELinux config that was done for a military customer, as well - but I don't know if that made it onto the product.
  • I am a little confused abut the requirements

    If a person has a monitor with USB inputs, can they simply connect the stick and the power supply and have it work directly on the monitor?
    • MHL/HDMI Video Out

      Of course like many similar devices you may be able to power it from a TV/Monitor USB socket.
    • HDMI, Not USB

      The output on these devices is HDMI, not USB. They DO have USB ports but for peripherals. Additional storage is via MicroSD card.
      BobK Linux Noob
      • RE: HDMI, Not USB

        and the USB *should* allow power in (not just for peripherals) just like the Chromecast as the newer HDMI ports/standards that provide power to the HDMI device are few and far between still on devices.. so you use the USB to provide power for the unit to run
  • If only they could do the same with W8E

    I love the concept and i would so bring this to my company but the hard part is the fact there is no Windows on a stick. like W7E or W8E like this. The smallest ones are the ones HP sells and tose are about 400-500 each. I've already found a perfect use for thin clients but 1 use requires IE for the web app to work and the other runs 2 small footprint windows applications which run fine on a W8E or W7E envirnment.... sigh.
    • Can you say Windows to Go

      For small businesses, Dell's solution may be a good fit. But for larger companies, I like my W2G stick. We give these out to our road warriors so they can use their own device for person things and apps, then pop our corporate image via stick, bitlocker enabled, Group policies, virtual apps, offline/online sync, folder redirection and direct access. Doesn't require connectivity so work while in the air. ICA client for sensitive applications. Stick I use was around $80 and ran/setup W2G from the control panel. Our sales guys love them on their Surface and Macs.
      • So you have used this device, Correct?

        What can each device do and not do for the big business?

        You do have your own video, correct?

        ........... ....... .... ..........................................
  • Dell cooks up an Android PC on a HDMI stick

    There is no market for this. A few techies might buy it just for the heck of it but that's about it. The enterprise won't use it because its running android and they know what a security nightmare that is. Cost is too prohibitive. This does not solve any problems.