Dell releases its 'Project Ophelia' mini-PC as the Wyse Cloud Connect

A year ago, the world was first introduced to "Project Ophelia" a mini-PC dongle from Dell designed to connect to a TV or monitor via an HDMI or MHL port. Now that device is finally on sale, with a new name - the Wyse Cloud Connect - for $129.

The press release makes it clear that it is being aimed for the enterprise market, rather than consumers. Dell says that the device will allow employees to work on their virtual desktops anywhere in the world that has a compatible monitor or television, combined with enterprise-level security. The device supports Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware virtual desktop solutions.

The Wyse Cloud Connect runs on a "hardened" and more secure version of Android 4.1 with a multi-core Cortex-A9 ARM processor, along with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of onboard flash storage. There's a mini-USB port that can be used to connect peripherals like a keyboard or mouse and a microSD slot for added storage space.

While the dongle is designed primarily as a way to connect to virtual Windows or Mac OS desktops, it is also a full Android device with Google Play, which means owners can download, install and use a "wide variety" of apps and games from the store.

Source: Dell | Image via Dell

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I hear what people are saying about this being a thin client, but FloatingFatMan is right, you can buy these Android sticks for half the price and install the app to use them as a thin client. Any IT desktop support tech can set them up so that they boot straight-to what ever app you want to access your virtual desktop with; Thus, a cheap(er) thin client. You can even "roll your own" ROM if you wanted and image them to save time. These things are so cheap that it might not make a lot of sense to pay big bucks for support when they are basically disposable. Not saying that's an option for every business out there but I can see some Chinese outfit jumping on this and severely undercutting Dell here.

Some of you are missing the point. This isn't a meant as a stick computer. It isn't meant as an android mobile device. It is a THIN CLIENT used to access Windows virtual desktops on a VDI or DaaS environment. That is why the branded it as WYSE. That is the thin client division Dell bought a few years ago.

Price wise, it is comparable to other thin clients on the market. It has a better form factor than most of the major brands out there. It will likely be manageable from a central point and have some nice security features in there. I could see Dell making this PCI or HIPPA compliant for various customers. If someone steals it, no big deal because it doesn't have any data on it.

It seems to me that Dell takes client virtualization a bit more seriously than many of their other competitors.

I'm just wondering how it's powered. I can see the MiniUSB port for supposedly connecting peripherals to it, but presumably there must be another one for powering it?

Interesting device for companies thinking of going for a thin desktop approach.. VMware's Horizon VDI client is available for and works well on Android. Would love to try it on a large screen like a monitor (compared to say a tablet) and see how it behaves.

FloatingFatMan said,
There are dozens of stick computers already on the market with better specs at less than half the price.

not that I don't believe you, but what devices are you talking about.... This form factor hasn't been on my radar.

Not to be nitpicky, but the article specifically states that these are aimed at enterprise, and not consumers, while both the devices you just mentioned, are consumer devices. They also most likely don't have the ability to connect to a virtual desktop, in the same secure manner as this. ("hardened" version of Android 4.1.... I question this, but still). That alone explains the cost.

Connecting to a virtual desktop is just a matter of installing the software from the Play store. Any of these devices can do that, I've used them and done it. Just because these are aimed at enterprise doesn't mean diddly squat as far as the hardware or software is concerned.

As for "hardened", yeah, riiiiiight.

These are Zero/Thin clients for virtual desktops - I don't think you understand what you are talking about here. This is an enterprise solution for centralized desktops running in a virtual environment, not a standalone device.

You're the one that doesn't understand what this device is. Read it again.


While the dongle is designed primarily as a way to connect to virtual Windows or Mac OS desktops, it is also a full Android device with Google Play, which means owners can download, install and use a "wide variety" of apps and games from the store.

It's absolutely NOT just a thin client for desktop, it's a friggin' Android stick computer, no different to all the others out there; you're just falling for the spiel.
They've likely just wrapped it in their own Home screen to take you straight to the VNC client software.

Steve Galbincea said,
These are Zero/Thin clients for virtual desktops - I don't think you understand what you are talking about here. This is an enterprise solution for centralized desktops running in a virtual environment, not a standalone device.
Going to have to agree with this guy. What you linked isn't remotely in the ball-park of what Dell seems to be providing. Honestly just because another device can mimic the functionality doesn't mean added value isn't there justifying the price from Dell. The market will decide, and I'm sure Dell has done a tiny bit of research to see if someone would buy this.

FloatingFatMan said,
You're the one that doesn't understand what this device is. Read it again.
...
It's absolutely NOT just a thin client for desktop, it's a friggin' Android stick computer, no different to all the others out there; you're just falling for the spiel.
They've likely just wrapped it in their own Home screen to take you straight to the VNC client software.

As a Dell partner, and someone who has been aware of and following this product since its alpha stage, I feel qualified to speak as to what this product is and does. The Android features are a bonus for the mobile worker, but are in no way the intended primary use for this product.

But, if your answer makes you feel like you are right and I am wrong so be it - does not make any difference to me at all.

Wait, what? If this is aimed at the enterprise market, wouldn't it make more sense to just use a smartphone (which they probably already have). Similar hardware, and no need to find an HDMI slot to plug it into and connect a keyboard + mouse.

WAR-DOG said,
It's not about a great idea, it's about how to make more profit. more profit = sell more hardware.
An idea that makes more profit is usually a great idea. People may think you're a fool if you go take classes in and learn basket weaving, but if you can increase your income by 20% tue jokes on him. People, just like companies are profit seeking, bottom line mindful, ROI careful entities just like companies... Its sad that only companies are viewed as greedy money hungry beasts

This is a zero/thin client for virtual desktops. It is designed for simplicity, portability and security. Your phone is not a secure corporate network access medium. This has nothing to do with profit, it has everything to do with meeting an enterprise need. $129 for this is a deal compared to what else is out there currently. It won't be a good fit for everyone, but it is a really big deal to those that it does.

Steve Galbincea said,
This is a zero/thin client for virtual desktops. It is designed for simplicity, portability and security. Your phone is not a secure corporate network access medium. This has nothing to do with profit, it has everything to do with meeting an enterprise need. $129 for this is a deal compared to what else is out there currently. It won't be a good fit for everyone, but it is a really big deal to those that it does.
TBH, it also has to do with profit. If it were to do with losses (the alternative) it would be silly to release.