The Best Windows Thin Client

A couple a weeks ago I covered Raspberry PI as a Thin Client with ThinLinx. Citrix has finally classified the Citrix Ready Thin Clients into 3 categories; HDX Ready, HDX Premium and HDX 3D Pro.

The Raspberry PI falls into the first category, HDX Ready. At the moment it’s missing support for Smartcard, Web camera and most importantly the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack.

When that arrives it will be the perfect Think Client (TC) for Task Workers that only requires one monitor.

windows thin client

In this article I’m going to cover what I believe is the best HDX Premium Thin Client.

Thin Clients based upon Windows will ALWAYS be the Best!

The combination of using Windows and ThinKiosk is a killer combination.

I’ve been discussing a lot with Geert and we came up with the following combo:

That gives us a total cost of $572.46, but that price can vary depending on your Microsoft License agreement and if you go with ThinKiosk Enterprise or just Community Edition.

The reason why we settled for 32-bit is that its faster and uses less memory which again let’s you pick one of the cheapest Intel NUC’s i3 with 4GB of memory and a 60GB M2 hard drive.

Yes! you could almost buy 3 complete Raspberry PI systems for that price, but again this is not the Daily Task Workers Thin Client (HDX Ready) – It’s a HDX Premium Client.

HDX Premium support HDX RealTime Optimization Pack required by Skype for Business, Two 1080p HD Monitors, HDX Smartcard and has better Citrix Receiver updates.

While HDX Ready are cheap at the endpoints, they’re way more expensive Server Side. The Windows Media Player CPU Utilization with the Raspberry PI was 12% while the Windows based TC was max 2,2% while playing a 720P H264 Blueray Rip 2.5GB MP4.

So user density is much higher when you leverage HDX Premium Clients.

CPU Utilization – Server Side

CPU Server Side 03

CPU Server Side 2

CPU Utilization – Client Side

CPU Client Side Windows 10

Not only that, the Raspberry PI bandwidth usage is 2x compared to a Windows TC.

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Bandwith 01

Bandwith 02

ThinKiosk Agent Installation

The installation is straight forward. Since I’m using ThinKiosk Enterprise I can automatically move the clients into the proper folder by using the TARGETFOLDERGUID switch.

ThinKiosk Broker Installation

ThinKiosk Console Installation

ThinKiosk Quick Introduction

While the combo above is 3x more expensive than Raspberry PI there might be a cheaper solution just around the corner.

I’ve just ordered a VOYO V2 TV Box Windows 10 4K – $129. That includes a Windows 10 Home x32 license! Stay tuned for that review The World’s Best and Cheapest Thin Client.

 

 

11 Responses to The Best Windows Thin Client

  1. We have a couple of hundreds HP t620 ordered after a long tendering process and all I want to say is that they’re awesome in a combination with HP Device Manager.

    Some people ask me why we buy Windows Thin Clients.
    Well… I am tired of saying why but your post has 60% of what I want to say.

    Cheers!

    • The problem with WES thin clients (like the HP T620) is that the Windows updates are not done automatically. The Windows Updates mechanism is not Write Filter aware (same with Windows ThinPC). In addition ThinKiosk manages the session and secures the device. This is something that isn’t even in the HP Device Manager. I am sorry, but I fail to see why HP Device Manager offers an awesome combination with the HP T620 (which is a Wyse Z-Class clone in the first place).
      I would assume that the main goal of buying WES thin clients would be to reduce device management (which effectively is OS and – to a lesser extend – application management). By not being able to automate your OS updates, you just increased your management tremendously. Furthermore, the WES OS isn’t anything special. You still end up at a Windows desktop where you have to start to configure your Citrix/Vmware/Microsoft connections (after turning off the Write Filter or you can start all over again(!) :-o). Most likely, you will then have to get an OS image and deploy this. How 90’s is that? Windows should no longer be imaged, but usable from the start. That is exactly what ThinKiosk does. Straight from the start a managed desktop, without any modification (just add your receiver and the ThinKiosk client). Deployment and management time reduced to a minimum and no vendor lockin. How much better is that?

      • You can run into issues using TK as well though, I had some fun getting the old HDX Realtime going through it and don’t forget if you have a proxy using domain creds that the terminal has to be domain joined or you have to pipe flash content via the server.
        It’s always horses for courses, I’ve used most brands of terminal and the idea is you are reducing the attack vector by having Write Protected partitions. If you want a Read/Write device then use a PC, or even better use Powershell in conjunction with HPDM to do Windows Updates.
        Simples

      • Just found this reply after so much time 🙂
        HPDM is Write Filter aware and on the Win8.1 or Win10 devices HP is using UWF which comes with the awesome servicing function embedded 😉

  2. The HDX RealTime Optimization Pack required by Skype for Business definitely needs to be made available for the RPI2. It would be interesting to see how it does without it (if that is actually possible). The smart card is an option only of interest for some. A second monitor could be made available by interconnecting two RPI2 units appropriately, which is quite possible. The nice thing about the Pi is if it dies or is superseded by a newer model, you buy another for $35 as opposed to a much higher investment in other, higher end thin clients. For many types of performance, the RPI2 holds its own surprisingly well.

    • Agree Tobias, and let’s face it, nobody is or should be watching Blueray videoes through their Citrix System 🙂 When ThinLinx get’s support for webcameras I’m going to give it a try with Skype for Business. Just moved from Gmail to Office 365 E3 (Action Pack).

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