Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are getting thinner. PCs are getting smaller. There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way from having computers fill up entire rooms a generation ago. Dell is also following suit by fitting an entire computer onto a stick the size of a USB flash drive.
The PC on a stick, titled Project Ophelia, was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It plugs into any monitor or TV’s HDMI port and will run on the Android OS (most likely Jelly Bean), thus making the device into a full-fledged PC. It will have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity so that you can still use any Bluetooth enabled keyboard and mouse and access the Internet.
According to Jeff McNaught, executive director of cloud client computing at Dell, you can do everything on the device that you could also do on any Android device, such as surf the web, download apps, movies and TV from the Google Play store, and play Android games. In addition, the company is working on a keyboard-like technology for users to type when Ophelia is docked to a screen.
Ophelia will also come 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,” McNaught said.
The very first units of Ophelia will ship to Android developers so that they can write and code apps for the device. In August, it will be available via cable companies or telecom providers that may want to offer it with cable packages or data plans. Shortly after, it will be available to consumers on Dell’s website for US$100 (around Php 4,100).
Dell is also pitching Ophelia to business consumers. A set of features will allow IT administrators to manage and secure the device. For example, it could be wiped clean if it is lost due to its connectivity with the cloud. The feature set, called Cloud Client Manager, will allow system administrators to see where users are and what they are doing with Ophelia. “We want to make sure when we release the product that it’s perfect. The enterprise is one market we understand,” McNaught said.