A “thin client” is basically a computer that doesn’t need a lot of memory, storage, or processing power because it’s designed to let you access software that’s actually running on a server, often due to virtualization technology.
So we typically see thin clients in business and enterprise environments. But Dell’s newest model actually looks like a pretty nice little PC in its own right… if you don’t need a lot of RAM or storage.
The Dell Wyse 3040 Thin Client is a $329 system with an Intel Atom x5 Cherry Trail processor, support for dual displays, wired and wireless network support, and Dell’s ThinOS or ThinLinux operating system options.
The only real catch? The Wyse 3040 has just 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. So if you were going to repurpose it as a full-fledged PC, you might want to either add storage, or find applications that don’t need much additional storage space (like using the system as a media streamer).
Or if you actually are looking to use the system as a thin client, Dell says its Wyse ThinLinux operating system is based on SUSE Linux, but it features additional security hardening. And the system uses less than 5 watts of power.
The Wyse 3040 includes Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.1 port, 3 USB 2,0 ports, a headset jack, and dual DisplayPort jacks with support for up to two 2560 x 1600 monitors with 60 Hz refresh rates.
An 802.11ac WiFi card is also available as an option.
The system measures 3.8″ x 3.8″ x 1.1″ and weighs just over half a pound.