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HP's PC sharing solution gets Ethernet connectivity

The addition of Ethernet opens the door for physically dispersed deployments

Hewlett-Packard has launched the t200 Zero Client, a US$99 device meant to be attached to a monitor, that when used with a host allows up to 15 users to share a PC, the company said on Wednesday.

The t200 can connect to an HP Compaq ms6200 host via USB for close-proximity computing environments, or via Ethernet for more physically dispersed deployments. The operating system is Windows MultiPoint Server 2011.

PC sharing solutions aren't for everyone. The t200 is a good fit for use by small and midsize businesses, including training and call centers, schools, medical offices, manufacturing sites and other organizations with multiple employees in a shared workspace. Reducing the number of physical PCs simplifies management, including the chore of doing software upgrades, according to HP.

The t200 is slightly larger than a deck of cards, and consumes about 3 watts of power when connected to the host via USB, reducing energy costs, according to HP.

The small size allows it to be mounted on the back of a monitor, resulting in a less cluttered office environment. The device lowers environmental heat and noise output compared to traditional PCs, HP said. It also has four additional USB ports, to which users can connect mouse, keyboard and a memory stick to take their files with them.

The t200, which was announced at the Small Business Expo 2011 in New York City, is expected to start shipping worldwide in early November. The HP Compaq ms6200 is shipping and HP currently offers pre-configured models for between $669 and $1369.

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