Earlier this week, Wyse announced a very unique ultraportable laptop, the Wyse X90 and X90e “Thin Clients”. What makes them a “thin client”? They don’t have a true hard drive, at least not in the sense we are used to. They have 512MB of flash-based storage for loading the OS (MicrosoftÂ® Windows XPe SP2 Wyse Feature Release 1 (WFR1)) which you then use to access a server (Windows Terminal Services, Citrix or VMware) through the browser window. You do all of your work through the browser, and it’s stored on the server. This is done for security purposes – the data and remote applications are never stored on the thin client, so if something happens to it, it’s not that big of a deal.
The X90 and X90e weigh in at under four pounds, and because they are using a VIA 1.2GHz Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) CPU and flash-based memory, they are fanless, and Wyse claims they get up to 5-7 hours of battery life (there are 6 and 9 cell batteries available).
– 512MB RAM, upgradeable to 2GB
– Full-size keyboard
– 3x USB 2.0 plus 1x ExpressCard 34/54
– Fanless, for increased battery life and silent computing
– Windows XP Embedded for use when there is no network available
– 3G Mobile Broadband options for when WiFi access is limited or unavailable.
The differences between the X90 and X90e are that the X90e is about $50 – $80 more (the X90 is $600, X90e $680, and both are going up $100 after October 31st, 2007). The price difference is due to the X90e having Bluetooth 2.0 and a Smart Card slot.
Just looking at the specs, you might think this is like the Palm Foleo, but as James Kendrick points out, it’s not – it’s not limited on applications or storage, it just needs access to WiFi or 3G and you can run all of the applications loaded on your terminal server, as well as utilize a lot more storage space than what comes with the X90 / X90e.