Amazon has launched a new thin client solution for users of the company’s cloud-based virtual desktop solution called Amazon WorkSpaces. And when I say “new,” I mean Amazon basically repurposed its existing Fire TV Cube as a thin client.

It’s now available as an Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client for $195 and up.

The hardware is really just an Amazon Fire TV Cube. As GeekWire notes, Amazon didn’t even bother to remove the parts that thin client users won’t need, like the IR receiver and HDMI input.

But rather than Amazon’s Fire TV software that allows you to stream content from the internet, the WorkSpaces Thin Client ships with a version of Amazon’s Fire OS that’s been customized for thin client use, basically allowing you to plug in a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and connect to a remote server that runs the actual software you’ll interact with.

The upshot for end users is that they get a small, cheap, low-power device sitting on their desk that’s easy to transport from one location to another. And IT managers can manage and configure software in the cloud rather than maintaining a bunch of individual computers.

Thin clients are hardly a new idea. They’ve been around for about as long as computers have supported network connections. But it is a little unusual to see a company repurpose a consumer device like a media streamer for use as one.

Amazon also offers a $280 Thin Client Dual Screen Bundle that includes a USB hub with a second HDMI output, although I suspect you could also bring your own USB to HDMI adapter.

via AWS Blog and GeekWire 

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  1. I don’t like it mainly for it’s biggest draw: It’s so simple to use, because it seems that it only works with Amazon’s services.
    This just isn’t nearly as versatile as a mini PC you can get for about the same price.

    1. I’d compare it to the price of other thin clients. Not sure it’s a good deal then either, but that’s not a market I’m familiar with.

      1. Prices for thin clients seem to be around the same price range as mini PCs, but most of the thin clients seem to be less than $500. This device is actually relatively cheap for a new device from a recognizable brand in either category, but you can get MSI Cubi boxes for about as much.