HP Expands Thin Client Lineup

Microsoft's Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack makes its first appearance in a HP thin client in the t5740e.
HP t5740e Thin Client
(click image for larger view)
HP t5740e Thin Client
HP has expanded its thin client product line with the addition of the HP t5740e, with Citrix, Windows, and virtual desktop infrastructure connectivity, and remote access to rich media and 3-D applications.

The t5740e is HP's first thin client to use the Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack, a Microsoft platform developed for Windows Server 2008 RS/Windows 7 that improves the visual capabilities of Windows 7 Remote Desktop clients. The Microsoft Service Pack includes RemoteFX (RFX) technology that enables the HP t5740e thin client to take advantage of graphics virtualization and the use of advanced codecs. This allows remote workers to access applications or screen content, including rich media and 3-D applications, through virtual desktop architecture.

The HP t5740e hardware features Intel's 1.6-GHz Atom N280 N280 processor and GL40 chipset. It also includes 2 GB of DDR3 memory (with a slot free for an additional 2 GB) and 4 GB of primary flash storage (with availability for a 16-GB secondary flash drive).

HP first introduced its T5500 series thin clients in January and said they were designed for "simple, reliable computing for office applications and Web browsing for client virtualization or cloud computing." The series also is geared toward virtualization settings that need support for legacy ports, Citrix Independent Computing Architecture, Remote Desktop Protocol, terminal emulation, Windows Media Player, and Microsoft Office viewers.

HP also said its thin clients can save energy and meet Energy Star requirements and European standards for energy conservation.

"HP is the only major PC vendor that's also a major thin client player," said Tom Mainelli, research manager, IDC clients and displays, in an interview. "We know that very few companies go 'all in' on thin clients, as there are some employees who simply need a full PC. With its wide-ranging portfolio of both PCs and thin clients, HP can act as a one-stop shop for many companies."

While the HP t5740e is geared toward users that work with or enjoy high-resolution graphics, thin clients in general have been used by many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) for various IT reasons--including reducing maintenance and service calls to diagnose or replace users' hardware. Tad Bodeman, director of thin client solutions at HP, said he sees thin clients in numerous places including in doctor offices for billing and patient checking, in warehouses for scanning and tracking inventory, and by knowledge workers in SMBs.

HP claims a thin client is 30% cheaper than a PC in total cost of ownership over five to seven years, primarily in maintaining and managing software centrally. Pricing for the HP t5740e thin client begins at $489.