Dell takes on pocketable computing with the Project Ophelia Android dongle

first_imgDell may have decided to quit building smartphones, but the company isn’t finished with Android. At CES 2013, the company is showing off a slick, portable device codenamed Project Ophelia. It’s an MHL stick computer — much like the MK802 and innumerable others that followed — that can be plugged into any display with an HDMI input to provide a full-featured computing experience.Over the past six months or so, manufacturers have cranked out countless Android-powered HDMI stick computers. They all rely on WiFi for network connectivity, offer at least one USB port for peripheral connections, and many include integrated Bluetooth for connecting to your cordless keyboard and mouse. While Dell’s device checks all those boxes, it’s a bit different than your run-of-the-mill stick PC with Android.As you may have guessed from the Wyse branding on the stick, Dell’s pushing a cloud-powered thin-client experience with Project Ophelia. The limited hardware in the dongle is ultimately just a terminal that initiates a remote desktop session with Dell’s servers. It’s the servers that do all the heavy lifting, from transcoding video to powering through the physics and 3D graphics required to deliver a quality gaming experience.It’s a great idea for mobile professionals. Instead of traveling with a notebook that could possibly have its screen crushed by someone else’s hard-sided luggage in the overhead compartment, the MHL stick puts a complete computing experience right in your pocket. You’ll still need to pack a keyboard and mouse or one with an integrated pointing device, of course. And like the MK802 et al, Dell’s aiming for a price point below $100.For enterprise IT admins, this could be a killer piece of hardware. It’s small, cheap, easy to replace, should be configurable via the Wyse Cloud Client Manager, and it doesn’t hold any critical data — so companies are really only out a few bucks if one goes missing.Presumably Project Ophelia would work with the same types of servers as other Dell Wyse hardware — like Citrix, VMWare, and Windows. It could also be aimed at subscription-based cloud computing solutions, too. Dell stands to make way more money off services and cloud storage fees than it does off the Ophelia hardware itself, so it’s probable that this is one MHL computer that you won’t be using to turn your spare HDTV into a big-screen Android.More on MHL at Geek.comlast_img read more