Originally called “Project Ophelia” and shown off a year ago at CES 2013, Dell’s Wyse Cloud Connect device launched on the Dell site this week at a price point of $129. Similar to the Google Chromecast in size, the Wyse Cloud Connect is an HDMI dongle that can plug into a television, projector or monitor and run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at 1080p resolution. After connecting up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, users can use the Wyse Cloud Connect similar to any other Android-based device.
For instance, users can connect to the Google Play store to access both productivity and entertainment applications. While the product is clearly geared towards the business user, a Wyse owner could just as easily fire up Netflix to watch the latest season of House of Cards. Interestingly, the Wyse dongle doesn’t not require an external power source like the Google Chromecast. Power is provided through a MHL interface or integrated USB port, no batteries needed.
Regarding hardware, the Wyse dongle contains a multi-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and 1GB of RAM. It also has 8GB of internal storage and that can be expanded up to an additional 72GB using the included microSD memory card slot. Beyond the Bluetooth connectivity, the device can connect to the Internet using the built-in 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi adapter.
Of course, since the device is squarely marketed at the enterprise user, the Wyse Cloud Connect can act as a client for multiple virtual desktop platforms such as Citrix Systems, Microsoft and VMware. It also comes preloaded with Dell’s first party applications for connecting over remote access. Dell is specifically targeting business users that travel extensively and require PC access in hotel rooms or trade shows. Dell representatives also believe it will work well in the school environment as a low-cost solution for kids to access schoolwork. Hypothetically, kids could take the Wyse dongle home with them in order to complete homework, assuming a computer isn’t available at home.