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Device Profile: Devon Ntavo NTA 6010A Linux thin-client

Jul 29, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Devon IT Inc. has embedded an “optimized” version of Red Hat Linux in a line of low-cost thin-client terminals ranging from the entry-level Ntavo NTA 6010A priced at $149, to the $599 NTA 6015L that boasts an integrated 15-inch, 1024×668 TFT LCD screen. The company has avoided the common practice of maximizing features and charging high prices, in favor of offering the most… “cost-effective thin-client alternative to desktop PCs,” it says.

(Click image for larger view)

According to the company, the low-end 6010A is powered by a Via Eden 4000 433 MHz processor. It comes equipped with 64MB of socketed DIMM DRAM and 64MB of CompactFlash memory, and a display controller that supports CRT and LCD monitors at up to 1280×1024 pixels in 24-bit color. Expansion ports include: three USB ports; serial, parallel, and PS/2 keyboard/mouse “legacy” ports; audio in/out ports; and a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet interface.



Inside the NTA 6010A
(Click each image to enlarge)

The NTA 6010A offers an “easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) based on [a] Windows XP theme,” according to Devon, and it comes with built-in support for RDP (remote desktop protocol), ICA, and X client protocols, enabling its use as a terminal running remotely served Windows, Linux, or UNIX software applications, whether on a LAN or over the Internet.

The device's embedded software also includes QVW Windows Manager and the Mozilla Firefox Web browser, as well as a client-side version of the company's ThinManage configuration software. Thanks to the presence of Firefox, the device can be used out-of-the-box as a Web appliance, according to Devon vice president of marketing Paul Mancini.

As noted, the NTA 6010A and its higher-priced siblings include USB ports as well as a single internal PCI slot, which can be used for system expansion. The internal PCI slot is typically used to add a WiFi wireless card, according to Mancini.

Users can also add external hard drives and CD-ROMs by means of the USB ports. Additionally, the device's DRAM consists of a socketed DIMM module, and its Flash memory is implemented with a CompactFlash card, so it should be easy to upgrade the unit's DRAM memory and Flash storage. It also seems likely that the CompactFlash memory card can be replaced with a CompactFlash “Microdrive” hard drive, or even a 2.5-inch, laptop-style hard drive.

To date, all of Devon's products have been based on Linux, Mancini added. However, “we will be announcing a Windows XPe thin client terminal soon, based on customer demand,” he said.

At $149, the NTA 6010A appears to be one of the lowest priced Linux thin clients currently on the market. “We are not aware of any terminals at this price point,” said Mancini. “The specs on our 6010A terminals at $149 compare to Wyse and Neoware terminals that are nearly $400 (list price),” he added.

The NTA 6010A is currently available from Devon IT.


 
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