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Dell's Thumb-Size 'Ophelia' PC Ships in July

By - Source: IDG News Service | B 12 comments

The first units will ship to developers, and then telecom and cable providers. Client versions will arrive sometime after that.

Earlier this year during CES 2013, Dell introduced Project Ophelia, an Android-powered flash drive about the size of a standard USB stick. It plugs into the HDMI port of any HDTV or monitor, turning it into a makeshift Android-based PC that also provides access to locally-stored files, desktop remote access, and all the apps and media served up on Google Play. It even features Bluetooth so that users can connect a mouse and a keyboard, and Wi-Fi for connecting to the local network.

"Built on Dell Wyse software technology already used on millions of devices, Project Ophelia transforms ordinary displays into a window to entertainment, communications and a person’s own personal cloud," the company said in January. "The product addresses a variety of uses being fueled by the growing need to access cloud-based apps and resources at any time, or whenever a larger screen high definition digital display provides a superb user experience."

The device features 8 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for adding more. Powering this stick-sized PC is an SoC with two Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz, and Android 4.1.2 "Jelly Bean." That said, don’t expect to use that microSD card slot to shove apps off the main internal storage – Google nuked that App2SD support feature reportedly due to memory issues with Jelly Bean's initial release.

Jeff McNaught, executive director of cloud client computing at Dell, told the IDG News Service that Project Ophelia will ship in July. It was developed to be an inexpensive alternative to tablets and PCs, he said, and comes with Wyse's PocketCloud, which allows users to access files stored on PCs, servers or mobile devices.

"We've done a number of things in the software of the product and outside that will make it interesting," he added.

The first units shipping in July will be for developers that want to write Android apps specifically for Ophelia. Then in August, Dell will release the Android pocket PC to cable companies and telecom providers that may want to offer it in cable packages and data plans. After that, the gadget will be offered to consumers on Dell's website.

The company also plans to pitch Ophelia as a pocket-sized client to the Enterprise sector based on a set of features that will allow IT administrators to manage and secure the device. "We want to make sure when we release the product that it's perfect. The enterprise is one market we understand," McNaught said.

According to the original announcement, Project Ophelia securely connects to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware. It's also managed by Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service (SaaS), which can ensure the device is being used by the appropriate person with the right permissions and access to apps and content based on role, department, and location.

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  • -3 Hide
    synthaside , May 20, 2013 2:36 AM
    Or you could buy any of the non dell branded android pc usb sticks which I imagine came out of the same factory and have been around for nearly a year. For 50-60 bucks you can buy a android machine capable of replacing your HTPC or for 80 you can buy one that will outperform a entry level laptop from a few years ago ... they are outstanding.
    a blistering array available here
    http://www.geekbuying.com/category/Computer-Components-933/
    One of the best available from these guys because they keep updating their software and its rock solid as a result ( i have the apple tv sized X5) http://www.minix.com.hk/Products/AndroidNEODevices.htm
  • 0 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , May 20, 2013 3:04 AM
    So... This thing is going to commit suicide?
    Don't see any difference against any of the others, just that it's got the dell logo and likely better support.
  • 1 Hide
    icemunk , May 20, 2013 4:19 AM
    Yup, these are available all over the web. DX.com has a ton of them, and cheaper than what Dell will offer. http://dx.com/p/mk8080b-dual-core-android-4-1-google-tv-player-w-bluetooth-1gb-ram-8gb-rom-tf-hdmi-black-175870?utm_source=dx&utm_medium=cdn&utm_campaign=sub1991-175870
  • -1 Hide
    joebob2000 , May 20, 2013 6:03 AM
    This basically has the same specs as the Mk808B or any of the gaggle of Android mini-pc sticks that are all over AliExpress (and other, higher priced sites like Geekbuying). Sure, if you just want the hardware then go for it (I have one and they are pretty handy). But what Dell is adding to the picture is the software.
    "Project Ophelia securely connects to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware."
    That is not something a cheap chinastick can offer, and with the right apps behind it could make it pretty darn powerful. This is basically the final miniaturization of thin-client workstations (yes, they still sell a TON of those).
  • 0 Hide
    Spyker2041 , May 20, 2013 9:28 AM
    Are there any other products like this that run linux? If not do you reckon you will be able to install linux on this?
  • 1 Hide
    joebob2000 , May 20, 2013 9:57 AM
    Quote:
    Are there any other products like this that run linux? If not do you reckon you will be able to install linux on this?


    Most of the android mini-pc sticks can technically run linux but require a great deal of work to do anything beyond just getting it to boot. So, you would be better off with something like a Beagleboard, Raspberry Pi, or other of the multitude of low power products that have linux communities already. Like I said in my post above, hardware these days is just an inexpensive cobble of chips and solder: a 4-core CPU, 4-core GPU computer can be had for around $50 USD; the presence of good software is what makes it worth actually buying and using (at perhaps a higher price). There is only so much entertainment value in running android and watching bluray rips.
  • 0 Hide
    bull22 , May 20, 2013 9:58 AM
    The Dell name will make this more expensive than current available options.
  • 0 Hide
    Jeff Krogue , May 20, 2013 11:58 AM
    What, arm a15 chips are on the market. Why the old chip?
  • 1 Hide
    synthaside , May 20, 2013 1:57 PM
    There are several stable nix distro's that will run great on an MK808 type device , and any of the cheap china sticks can , already
    " Securely connect to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware."

    its the SAME hardware china have been churning out for decades , but with the open licence model of android they finally have free and good quality software to run on their OEM hardware. the client software will be the same , i already run a VPN and secure desktop to my main device from my workshop , and fyi almost any android devices can already run this

    Https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.citrix.Receiver&hl=en

    or if your virtualisation flavor is this

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vmware.view.client.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS52bXdhcmUudmlldy5jbGllbnQuYW5kcm9pZCJd

    Dell are just re-selling there will be next to nothing new about this device its bandwagon jumping at its finest what it is doing it making them viable for SME level business who source in bulk from dell ultra low cost skinny clients to connect to jump off boxes. with big name brand and big brand support , why buy the better unknown original when you can buy the brand name for twice the price .
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , May 20, 2013 2:14 PM
    Quote:
    So... This thing is going to commit suicide?
    Don't see any difference against any of the others, just that it's got the dell logo and likely better support.


    Better support? Hardly. Most of the major brands offer crap when it comes to technical support. The IT guy at my firm used to work for Acer and he's got some horror stories, believe me.
  • 1 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , May 20, 2013 9:34 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So... This thing is going to commit suicide?
    Don't see any difference against any of the others, just that it's got the dell logo and likely better support.


    Better support? Hardly. Most of the major brands offer crap when it comes to technical support. The IT guy at my firm used to work for Acer and he's got some horror stories, believe me.


    Compared to some company in china that sells 100K of them, then shuts down to avoid warranty/support issues?
  • 0 Hide
    jrstriker12 , July 29, 2013 12:33 PM
    Quote:
    There are several stable nix distro's that will run great on an MK808 type device , and any of the cheap china sticks can , already
    " Securely connect to Windows desktops and applications running on back-end systems from all leading infrastructure providers including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware."

    its the SAME hardware china have been churning out for decades , but with the open licence model of android they finally have free and good quality software to run on their OEM hardware. the client software will be the same , i already run a VPN and secure desktop to my main device from my workshop , and fyi almost any android devices can already run this

    Https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.citrix.Receiver&hl=en

    or if your virtualisation flavor is this

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vmware.view.client.android&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS52bXdhcmUudmlldy5jbGllbnQuYW5kcm9pZCJd

    Dell are just re-selling there will be next to nothing new about this device its bandwagon jumping at its finest what it is doing it making them viable for SME level business who source in bulk from dell ultra low cost skinny clients to connect to jump off boxes. with big name brand and big brand support , why buy the better unknown original when you can buy the brand name for twice the price .


    Thanks for the info. Reading this article I kept thinking. Why buy a USB stick - can't I do this with my phone?