In PC’s, form tends to dominate function with pedestrian features dressed in progressively stylish wrappers to attract specific customers and audiences. It’s a longstanding, conventional approach and, in fact, the model has been in practice in consumer PC and electronics markets for decades. But it also differs considerably from thin clients where function leads or even dominates form.
Why is that important? First and foremost, though many people regard general purpose PCs as ideal for productivity tasks and applications, there are critical differences separating “ideal” and “best” when it comes to the needs of businesses and other organizations. That point is clear in the high end of the market where engineers, financial specialists and others have long utilized powerful workstations instead of the garden variety PCs provided to their fellow employees.
But it is equally true for collaboration/knowledge workers and others whose jobs require a few simple, necessary applications that require modest or nominal compute resources. In fact, that point is becoming increasingly relevant as browser- and cloud-based productivity suites, like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs replace packaged software. Providing full featured PCs to employees with minimal computing needs is akin to giving Humvees to folks whose transportation needs could be easily met with Smart Cars.
Initially, thin clients focused almost exclusively on applications and employees with modest performance requirements. But over time, as ever more flexible and adaptable compute, storage and networking technologies appeared, thin clients evolved into workplace solutions that can be finely tuned for a wide variety of use cases, including tasks that require substantial compute performance.
Dell Wyse 5070 – A tool for everyone, everywhere
What’s initially striking about the new Dell Wyse solution is how it simplifies both the company’s thin client portfolio and its customers’ experience. By incorporating core technologies and also offering numerous options, the 5070 effectively replaces six separate Dell Wyse mid-range thin client devices.
That substantially reduces the purchasing, deployment and management complexity, always a bonus for customers. Plus, it should make life easier for Dell Technologies partners that offer thin client maintenance and support services. Most importantly, Dell Wyse has achieved these benefits while keeping pricing for 5070 solutions comparable to the six thin clients they replace.
So what specific technologies and options does the Dell Wyse 5070 offer?
- Compute: The 5070 is available with Intel’s latest model quad core Celeron or Pentium processors.
- Monitors: The new solutions variously offer two, three or six ports for driving up to 4K @60Hz UHD displays.
- Networking/peripherals: The 5070 has three networking options in addition to the standard RJ45 port; a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) port (fiber and copper), dual-band wireless and a second RJ45 to address teaming and failover requirements. There are 8 external USB ports, including one for USB 3.1 Type-C.
- Models: The Celeron-based 5070 includes two display ports, audio jacks on the front, and comes in a slim form factor. The Pentium-based 5070 supports three display ports and an additional audio port on the rear. There’s also a Pentium-based 5070 Extended model that has three display ports and a second serial port, a parallel port, and a half-height PCIe slot. It also supports an optional AMD GPU, thus gaining three additional factory-supported display ports.
- Security: The 5070 and 5070 Extended also offer an optional integrated CAC/SmartCard reader for supporting dual factor authentication.
- Mounts: The 5070 is available with a chassis stand, and supports optional wall mounts and behind the monitor mounts for Dell’s E-Series, P-Series and U-Series displays.
- OS, VDI and browser-based application options: The 5070 is available with Wyse ThinOS, Wyse ThinLinux, and Windows IoTEnterprise operating environments. It supports Citrix, VMware, Microsoft VDI infrastructure solutions, as well as browser-based applications, including Microsoft Office365 and Google Docs.
The incorporation and integration of technologies and options in the 5070 that previously required six individual products says a great deal about the Dell Technologies’ design and manufacturing prowess. But this just the latest Dell Wyse solution to enjoy such a transformation. The 3040 introduced last year followed a similar flexible path for lower end thin client solutions.
Manufacturing innovation is a subject that receives less discussion than it deserves, especially considering what customers stand to gain from these new offerings. But consolidating solutions also enables Dell Technologies to deliver significantly enhanced features and business class performance while holding the line on pricing.
That also emphasizes one of the key points of thin client solutions – to deliver the best computing features and options that organizations need in a package that is far more price and performance efficient than general purpose PCs.
The 5070’s configuration flexibility also means that it can be adapted to and support organizations worldwide. In point of fact, there is no such thing as a one size fits all computing solution, especially when it comes to global markets. By offering both future-focused technologies (like USB Type C) and still-useful old school options (like Serial ports), Dell Wyse is ensuring that no customer will be left behind. But it is also offers ways forward for organizations ready to deploy and embrace new technologies.
In essence, the new 5070 stands a terrific example of the continuing vitality of thin client technologies. In addition, the new Dell Wyse solutions underscore why the company has long been and remains a leading providing of thin client offerings for global customers.