By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. May 16, 2018
The PC market is one where form tends to dominate function–where pedestrian features are often dressed up in progressively stylish wrappers to emphasize varying attributes—thinness, lightness, specific application support—and attract certain customers. There’s nothing wrong with that approach. In fact, it’s a model that has long typified many parts of the consumer PC and electronics markets. But it also differs distinctly from thin clients where function leads or even dominates form.
Why is that important or even worth discussing? For a number of reasons. First, though many people regard general purpose PCs as ideal solutions for productivity tasks, there are critical differences separating “ideal” and “best”, especially when it comes to the needs of organizations. That point is readily acknowledged at 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 office mates.
But it is also true for collaboration/knowledge workers and others who typically use a few simple, necessary workplace applications that require modest or even minimal compute resources. Providing those employees full-featured PCs is akin to demanding that people whose transportation needs could be easily met with small sedans drive Humvees instead.
Initially, thin clients focused almost exclusively on applications and employees with modest performance requirements. But over time, and with the aid of ever more flexible and powerful compute, storage and networking technologies, thin clients have evolved into workplace solutions that can be adapted and finely tuned for a wide variety of use cases, including tasks requiring robust compute performance. Which brings us to the new Dell Wyse 5070 thin client introduced at Dell Technologies World 2018.
Dell Wyse 5070 – A tool for power users everywhere
One of the most striking points about the new Dell Wyse solution is how it serves to simplify both the company’s thin client portfolio and customers’ experience. By incorporating a range of 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 improvements while keeping pricing for 5070 configurations 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/integration of technologies and options in the Dell Wyse 5070 that previously required six separate products says a great deal about the company’s design and manufacturing prowess. But the 5070 is just the latest Dell Wyse solution to enjoy this transformation. The 3040 introduced last year followed a similar flexible simplification path for lower end thin client solutions.
It’s a subject that receives less discussion than it deserves, especially considering the resulting benefits that 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 emphasizes one of the key points of thin client solutions – to deliver the exact computing features organizations need in a package that is considerably more price and performance efficient than general purpose PCs.
The 5070’s configuration flexibility also enables it to effectively be adapted to and support organizations in virtually every global market. The fact is that 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 features (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 embrace new tecnologies.
Overall, the new 5070 stands a terrific example of the continuing vitality of thin client technologies. In addition, it underscores why Dell Wyse has long been and remains a leading providing of thin client solutions for global customers.
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