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Dell finally ships Android-based PC on a stick

Dell has started shipping the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a US$129 device that is slightly larger than a USB stick and can be used by consumers to watch movies in HD or by enterprises as a virtual desktop client.

The product has been a long time coming; under the code-name "Project Ophelia" the device was demonstrated over a year ago at the International CES trade show in Las Vegas. The concept is simple, just connect it to a computer display or a TV via MHL or HDMI, attach a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you're up and running.

Cloud Connect runs Android 4.1 and is powered by a "multi-core" ARM Cortex-A9 processor. It has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of integrated storage that can be expanded using a Micro SD card slot.

The maximum resolution is 1080p, and it communicates using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The device is powered either via the MHL interface or separately through the integrated USB port.

Consumers can use the device to do the same things they use their Android-based devices for: play games, watch streaming movies and TV programs or just surf the Web, but on a bigger screen.

Enterprises can use the device as a client with virtual desktop platforms from Citrix Systems, Microsoft and VMware. In this role, Cloud Connect could for example work as a cost-effective desktop for the education market, extending application and data access in classrooms, libraries, labs or at home, according to Dell.

Cloud Connect can be managed using the hosted Wyse Cloud Client Manager, through which IT managers can grant access to apps and content based on role, department and location, Dell said.

The device is available in North America and Europe as well as Australia, China, India, Japan and Brazil. Dell also offers compatible accessories including displays, Bluetooth keyboards and mice.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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