After first showing up at CES 2013, Dell is finally shipping the Dell Wyse Cloud Connect HDMI dongle that turns any display into a PC.
Priced at $129, the Android-based Wyse dongle is slightly larger than a typical USB stick and gives you full access to Google Play’s app catalog. When you need to get some serious work done, Wyse integrates with desktop virtualization services from Citrix, Microsoft, and VMWare, as well as Dell’s own apps and files remote access solution, PocketCloud.
As you might have guessed from the description, the Wyse dongle is aimed at enterprises and other large organizations including educational institutions. But it’s easy to imagine how this device could appeal to anyone else who wants the power of a PC in their pocket without the hassle of lugging a laptop everywhere.
When you first slap the Wyse Cloud Connect dongle into a display via HDMI or MHL port you are greeted with an Android Jelly Bean home screen. You can then access Android apps installed on the device or fire up your remote desktop.
The biggest downside for business travelers is Wyse Cloud Connect requires you to bring your own keyboard and mouse.
Wyse can connect to peripherals via Bluetooth or you can alternate using a wired keyboard and mouse with the dongle’s single USB port. There’s also a micro SD card slot supporting up to 72GB expandable storage, 8GB onboard storage, and 1GB RAM. For networking you’ve got Bluetooth and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and the device is powered by a Cortex-A9 SoC. The Wyse Cloud Connect dongle takes its name from Wyse Technology, a thin-client service provider Dell acquired in 2012.
The arrival of Dell’s Wyse Cloud Connect has been a long time coming. After first debuting the dongle two CESes ago, Dell said in May 2013 that it would ship the device—then known as Project Ophelia—that July for around $100. But when July 2013 rolled around, the PC maker only shipped the device to beta testers.