Thin-client vendor Devon IT announced today Ceptor, a USB memory stick-sized device that plugs into a monitor or display, transforming it into a zero client. The $89 multimedia VDI client, reminiscent of Dell's forthcoming Project Ophelia, represents another contender for replacing traditional computing devices in the post-PC era.
Similar to traditional thin clients, Ceptor aims to provide end-users with secure access to their virtual desktops. Users plug the Ceptor into any HDMI-capable TV or monitor and are then presented with direct access to a virtual desktop environment (such as Citrix, VMWare, RDP, RemoteFX, and others).
This type of plug-and-play thin clients could prove valuable in the right settings: They're designed to deliver the benefits of traditional thin clients, including superior security and manageability; they're also less expensive than traditional thin clients, they're easier to transport, they use less power, and they take up less space.
Given their dependence on Internet access, these plug-and-play zero clients aren't intended to replace notebooks or tablets for mobile workers. Rather, "Ceptor is a viable alternative for a mobile user who does not have to connect while on the go but rather needs to connect in numerous settings," according to Paul Mancini, VP of marketing at Devon IT.
That includes users who need to access their desktop from home, at the office, when visiting a remote location, or in a cubicle-sharing situation. The caveat is that a user needs Internet access to use the device, though that's not a significant obstacle in enterprise environments.
Ceptor comes loaded with ZetOS, a lightweight version of Devon's Linux-kernel-based DetOS thin-client platform. Hardware-wise, Ceptor has an ARM Cortex A9 1GHz CPU, 512M/1GB of DDR3L memory, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Ceptor also includes USB On-the-Go via a USB-B micro host port as well as high-definition 1080P video output.