Built to Be Thin, Simple and Secure

If you subscribe to the theory that computers, like people, can never be too thin, you may want to consider HP’s t5720 thin client, which the Palo Alto, Calif.-based system vendor announced today.

HP has been manufacturing thin clients for about three years, but “this is HP’s first partnership with AMD in the thin client space,” Tad Bodeman, director of PC Blade and Thin Client Solutions, said. More specifically, the HP Compaq t5720 Thin Client is based on AMD’s new Geode NX 1500 processor, which is based on AMD’s mobile, low power-consumption Athlon technology.

HP and other vendors maintain that thin clients’ inherent security and simplicity are a good fit for small businesses. If you aren’t familiar with thin client technology, it’s a network computer (sometimes called an appliance) without a hard disk drive. While a thin client has its own memory, processor, Internet browser and a variety of ports for connecting peripherals, all the network intelligence resides on a central server where the applications run. The theory is that it’s more cost-effective to set up and manage one or two servers rather than 10 or 20 PCs.

“Thin clients allow customers to use the shared resources of centralized servers, blade servers and network storage to deploy applications to secure thin clients,” said Tad Bodeman, director, PC Blade and Thin Client Solutions Personal Systems Group, HP. “It gives security to small businesses that struggle against viruses.”

In addition to the AMD Geode processor, the t5720 includes 512 MB of DDR RAM and 512 MB of flash memory, which Bodeman said is “hardened against viruses.”

HP Compaq t5720 Thin Clien
Is thin in? If you’re looking for a sleek and secure alternative to desktop PCs — and you don’t mind a device that’s network-dependent for its applications — you may find the t5720 appealing .

The t5720 ships with the Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system and includes the HP Sygate Security Agent, which is designed to defend Windows XP Embedded thin clients against worms, Trojan horses and other malicious code. HP reports that it will soon add support the Symantec Embedded Security Agent with Anti-Virus. HP’s new thin client also includes a license for Altiris Deployment Solution, which is designed to let you manage thin clients, desktop PCs and handheld devices from a single console.

For additional expansion, an optional PCI slot on the t5720 adds support for more devices, and a front USB connector is designed to allow for more options for connecting peripherals. HP includes a simple Quick Connect connector that’s designed to let you attach the t5720 to the side of a desk or anywhere where there’s a flat surface.

The starting price for the new thin client is $699.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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