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HP debuts Linux-based thin client

Jan 28, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Hewlett-Packard unveiled its first new thin clients since acquiring Neoware last fall. Among the new products is a Debian- based “t5735” model featuring a CPU and GPU (graphics processor unit) from AMD, which acquired GPU specialist ATI recently.

(Click for larger view of the t5735

The announcement is HP's first in the category since it completed its $214 million acquisition of Neoware three months ago. The t5735 is based on an AMD Sempron 2100+ processor clocked at 1GHz. The graphics processor is a Radeon x1250, suggesting that the chipset could be AMD's 690G or 690V; the 690x chipsets are AMD's first to include an IGP (integrated graphics processor), following AMD's acquisition of ATI.

The t5735 supports resolutions up to 2048 x 1536. It also boasts dual-monitor capability, via VGA and DVI ports.

Along with the Linux-based t5735, HP unveiled a Windows-based near-twin called the t5730, which runs Windows XP Embedded. Nearly identical to the Linux-based t5735, it costs $50 more, and offers a 1GB RAM option. Both devices come standard with 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 32MB of which is reserved for video graphics. Both have 1GB of flash, Gigabit Ethernet, and a serial port. Both offer eight USB ports — two in front, four in the rear, and two in a “secure USB compartment.”

An expansion module provides a parallel port and second serial port, as well as a slot that accepts a PCI or PCIe expansion card, but there are no external SD or PC Card slots. The system includes an internal amplified speaker, 3.5mm jacks for microphone input, and headphone output. The fanless, 1.8 x 8.5 x 10.5-inch box is said to offer an energy-saving, automatic power-down feature.

One change made by HP is the shift from Neoware's homegrown NeoLinux distribution to the Linux-2.6-based Debian Etch (4.0). HP's Debian package is said to support a variety of open-source applications, and includes an Iceweasel (Firefox) browser, Citrix ICA and rdesktop RDP clients, and widescreen support. The t5735 also supports two-factor user authentication.

Specifications provided by HP for the t5735 include:

  • Processor — AMD Sempron 2100+ clocked at 1GHz
  • Memory — 512MB DDR2 RAM, 1GB flash
  • Display — ATI Radeon x1250, supporting dual monitors and resolution up to 2048 x 1536
  • Networking — 10/100 Gigabit Ethernet, optional modem
  • Other I/O:
    • 8 USB ports (2 front, 4 rear, and two in secure compartment)
    • PS/2 mouse connector
    • microphone input and headphone/speaker output
    • PCI or PCIe expansion slot (on optional module)
    • 2 x serial (one on optional module)
    • 1 x parallel (on optional module)
  • Dimensions — 1.8 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches (4.57 x 21.51 x 26.67 cm) with stand
  • Weight — 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) with stand
  • Power supply — surge-tolerant 50 W power supply with worldwide auto-sensing 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz energy-saving automatic power-down

When the Neoware acquisition was announced in July, Neoware was the third-largest thin client vendor, after Wyse and HP, and the most committed to Linux. That commitment may have softened under HP, despite the company's claim that it bought Neoware to strengthen its Linux-based thin client offerings. For example, previous Neoware laptop thin clients, such as the M100, supported Linux, but HP only sells the XPE version. Meanwhile, HP's new 6720t laptop thin client, which was also announced along with the t573x desktops, supports XPE only.


The t5735 is available now for $450. More information on the thin client is available here.

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