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Virtual thin client builds on Raspberry Pi 3, offers HD streaming, dual displays

Mar 1, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 2,532 views
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NComputing’s RPi 3-based “RX300” thin client can be used as a client for its vSpace Pro 10 virtualization platform, as well as in standalone Raspbian mode.

NComputing has been delivering Linux- and Windows-compatible virtual thin clients for over a decade, with a special focus on the education market and a secondary focus on small businesses. The company has 70,000 customers, with 20 million daily users in 140 countries. Now, it’s launching its most affordable thin client yet built around the Raspberry Pi 3.



RX300 alone (left) and with monitor, mouse and keyboard
(click images to enlarge)

The RX300 is designed to run NComputing’s virtual, cloud-delivered vSpace Pro 10, which provides virtual desktops from nine Windows operating systems, including Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. IT managers can also enable a standalone mode where users can run Raspbian Linux directly. There is no Linux-based virtualization platform available, however, as there is with ViewSonic’s RPi 3 based SC-T25 thin client, which offers a Citrix oriented Debian-based Thin OS (VTOS).

The RX300 is optionally available with NComputing’s VCAST HD video streaming service. VCAST lets users “directly stream web videos or local media content resulting in significant reduction in overall server-side CPU usage, without the need for expensive GPUs,” says the company.

The thin client provides transparent USB redirection, enabling peripheral support beyond the standard keyboard and mouse to include mass storage, printer, scanner, card reader, and COM ports. When using an optional USB dongle that connects to VGA or DVI monitors, you can run two displays at once.



RX300 detail views
(click image to enlarge)

The RX300 offers the Raspberry Pi 3’s 1.2GHz quad-core -A53 Broadcom BCM2837 SoC, as well as 1GB RAM, and the WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 radios. The box exposes the SBC’s 4x USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet port, HDMI port, micro-USB power port, and microSD slot, which is furnished with an 8GB card.

There’s also a speaker jack, a Kensington security port, a sleep mode button, and a VESA mount kit. The 93 x 76 x 30mm device runs on a maximum of 5 Watts, claims NComputing.

Deployments are centrally managed and provisioned by the IT administrator with vSpace Pro 10, which enables up to 100 users per one shared OS installation. Administrators can define a device template with all settings and configurations, then clone and push it to new devices.

 
Further information

The RX300 will be available worldwide in early March, except for the dual-display USB dongle, which will ship in the second quarter. The RX300 starts at $99, including a one year connection license to vSpace Pro 10, but this deal “requires license renewal for subsequent year(s).” The $99 package also includes a 6-month trial of vCAST Streaming. More information may be found at NComputing’s RX300 product page and announcement.
 

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