Dell Releases Two New Thin Clients - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Dell Releases Two New Thin Clients

The vendor upgrades its premium OptiPlex model and introduces a thin client for "task-oriented workers."

Dell OptiPlex FX170 & FX130
(click image for larger view)
Dell OptiPlex FX170 & FX130
Dell on Wednesday introduced two thin clients to its Desktop Virtualization portfolio, both intended for vertically focused enterprise markets.

The OptiPlex FX170 and FX130 thin clients are the smallest yet for Dell, at 1.5 inches wide and less than 1.5 pounds. Like other thin clients, they allow computation and file work to be done on a centralized application server that allows different points of access.

Dell says the thin clients are ideal for vertical markets such as education and healthcare and can even be used in a call center environment, where access to desktop PCs is controlled.

These thin clients "can be used in public sectors through the large enterprise, but we are really focused and continue to focus on the vertical markets," said John Holstrom, director of software and solutions product marketing in Dell's business client group.

Dell is offering the two models for high-end enterprise and lower-end computing, based on two different architectures. The OptiPlex FX170 runs on the Intel Atom 1.6-GHz processor, supports up to 1,600 by 1,200 32-bit color, and supports both Linux and Windows embedded 2009 operating systems. The FX130 features VIA Eden processor architecture and 1 GB of flash storage and supports up to 1,920 by 1,200 32-bit color.

Both thin clients feature fanless designs, four USB 2.0 ports, and 1 GB DDR2 memory and are about 6 by 1.5 by 5 inches. The thin clients come with Dell ProSupport, a three-year coverage plan.

Dell introduced its OptiPlex thin client product line in 2008 with the OptiPlex FX160. The FX170 is a replacement of the FX160, and the FX130 is in response to Dell seeing a market for clients who are "task-oriented workers and content creators," such as nurses needing mobile healthcare computing and people who work from home. The FX170, on the other hand, is for "knowledge workers" such as financial traders who need better graphics capabilities and real-time dual displays.

"We listened to what our customers needed in the thin client market and realized two separate products were needed," Holstrom said. "For the task-oriented worker we have the FX130, for people that are more price conscious and do more consuming rather creation. Then we have the knowledge worker for what the 170 is target for. … They need less than a full desktop and they need a thin client, but they need more power."

Dell's Virtual Lab 2.0 is another product in conjunction with the thin clients that gives IT administrators the ability to control access to shared application licenses, including Adobe Premiere, AutoCAD, Wolfram Mathmatica 7, Mathworks MatLab, SAS, and IBM SPSS. Virtual Lab 2.0 has disaster recovery, access management and tools for IT support.

The OptiPlex FX130 starts at $349 and the OptiPlex FX170 starts at $449.

The release of the thin clients was a good move for Dell, which is continuing its push into the enterprise, said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner, in an interview. Yet Dell faces strong competition from thin client market leaders Hewlett-Packard and Wyse. "They are in a really good position at the moment," Kitagawa said. "The thin client device market continues to see growth, and they have a pretty good customer base and strong relationship with Citrix and VMware as partners."

In the new, all-digital InformationWeek Best Of Interop supplement: See why VMware's vCenter Operations and eight other products stood out at Interop 2011. Also in our supplement: Dell, HP, IBM, and 13 other vendors team up to showcase gear based on OpenFlow, the network virtualization standard. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll