Google isn’t the only company shipping a tiny ARM-based device that you can plug into a TV or monitor this week. PC World reports that Dell’s Project Ophelia is now shipping to beta testers.

Project Ophelia is a small device that looks like a chunky USB flash drive, but instead of a USB connector, it has an HDMI adapter on one end and a USB input port on the other. Plug the HDMI end into your TV or monitor, hook up a mouse and keyboard and you’ve basically got yourself a tiny PC.

Dell Project Ophelia

The device ships with Google Android and you can use it to run Android apps, surf the web, watch videos, or perform other basic functions.

We’ve seen many similar devices from Chinese manufacturers in the past year or so.

But there are at least two things that could make Dell’s Project Ophelia stand out:

  • It comes from a well-known western PC maker.
  • Dell is emphasizing its Wyse PocketCloud software, which lets you login to a remote PC, effectively using the little Android PC as if it were a Mac or Windows desktop.

Theoretically you could install Splashtop, TeamViewer, LogMein, or another remote desktop app on any Android TV stick, but it could be nice to have one that comes with the software pre-loaded.

More importantly, Dell has more name recognition in the US than companies like Rikomagic and Tronsmart, and that could help the company move some devices. Hopefully Dell will also offer more support for its Android stick than you might expect from some other companies.

Dell plans to sell the Project Ophelia device to the public starting in a few months, with a price tag around $100. While it could be attractive to consumers looking for a more versatile way to turn a TV into a Smart TV than you get with a Chromecast, Dell is also positioning the device as a cheap computer for enterprise customers.

It could be helpful for folks who work in the field, allowing them to essentially carry a computer in their pockets instead of lugging around a laptop. The ability to login to remote machines means they’re not limited to running Android apps on the go, but could also access Windows software back on their work PC or server.

via Engadget

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9 replies on “Dell’s Project Ophelia mini PC now shipping to beta testers”

  1. Dell is one of the biggest Ubuntu laptop vendors in the US (as in, one of the few vendors who have laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed instead of Windows). I’m surprised they don’t have one running Ubuntu.

  2. I’ll buy it when ARM vendors start implementing things with some sort of standard and also provide long term (or even any) support for their, as usual, proprietary drivers. Until then, I’ll stick to whatever small x86 device I can buy.

    Usability is more important to me when it comes to desktop tasks. ARM + Android is very far from that.

    1. I want a small device that I can easily install Arch or OpenSUSE on. From the looks of it, I’ll have to wait until Intel Silvermont based devices come out. It doesn’t look like anything ARM will make that happen any time in the near nor somewhat far off future.

  3. I’m wondering about these field workers who carry an HDMI monitor, keyboard, and mouse in their pockets. Yep, so much easier than lugging a laptop.

    1. While you’re obviously right… 🙂 That actually did get me thinking. Someone with a professional video camera might already have a field monitor with HDMI-in. It would be easy enough to carry a flymouse/keyboard remote with the stick. Maybe the stick would be used in tandem with a cell-phone’s mobile hotspot to upload a finished video clip to YouTube or an FTP server?

      Complete stretch, but not impossible as a backup to a laptop.

  4. I wonder if the $100 price tag will include a wireless keyboard and mouse – even just a remote control-styled version? If so, and its wi-fi is on par with most smartphones, this will be an attractive Stick PC option.

    If not, the Tronsmart CX-919 would seem to be a far better option.

    1. Maybe is to late for dell google tha adventage why the wait so much for this device but dell product is a complet device full android like those chinese hdm stick,powered throught the same hdmi and i think more port,and the wysepocketcloud is a pretty good idea little over prize for home costumer

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