Comdex: Faster, cheaper Windows terminals

Network Computing Devices announced availability of a faster, Pentium II-based thin client at Comdex this week, while Boundless Technologies aimed for the other end of the market with an inexpensive low-end terminal.
Written by Eamonn Sullivan, Contributor

The NCD ThinSTAR 300, which is the first Windows CE-based terminal based on Intel's proposed Intel Architecture Lean Client guidelines, features a 133MHz Pentium II, 100BaseT support and more interface ports -- including a parallel, two serial and two USB ports - and support for both Microsoft's RDP and Citrix's ICA protocols. It will ship worldwide next month for about $799 (£499).

NCD officials said the ThinSTAR 300 is only the first of a series of Intel-based terminals that will use faster chips. "We're also working with Intel to design a unique chip set for thin clients," said Robert Gilbertson, CEO of NCD. The Intel architecture also enables IT managers to more easily manage the ThinSTAR 300, Gildertson said, since the product uses Intel's Wire for Management features.

Boundless' new Capio, which also ships in December, is an inexpensive alternative to the company's ViewPoint terminals. It will sell for $399 (£249) in the US and $499 (£311) in Europe.

"This produce is for really price sensitive people who are looking to transition from the text terminal world," said Michael Oliva, marketing director for Boundless. The Capio will lower the entry point for customers wanting to try thin client computing, he said. The ViewPoint range provides more expansion options and will be aimed at more sophisticated applications.

The Capio uses a 180MHz Cyrix MediaGX processor, supports RDP and ICA in multiple concurrent sessions, and is based on Windows CE 2.1. Terminal emulation software and 100BaseT will also be available as option, Oliva said.

Oliva said the next version of the Capio will probably be based on Linux, as that operating system has more built-in features, such as X Windows support.

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