One of the most stunning looking new devices shown at the Comdex show in Las Vegas was the Philips Netdisplay 151N, a thin client computer embedded in a screen.
At first sight the product is a slickly designed 15in LCD screen. But hidden in the base is a Windows Based Terminal (WBT), which allows users to access Windows software via Microsoft's Terminal Server protocols.
The device runs Microsoft Windows CE 2.1 and uses the company's RDP protocol.
It has a 166MHz Mips R5000 processor, 4Mb of Flash memory and 4Mb of RAM.
It features a built-in 10/100Mbps Ethernet card and a Universal Serial Bus port.
Because of the large LCD screen, the device will be priced at $1,299 (#777) when it ships in the first quarter of 1999 - a far higher price than most WBTs. UK pricing and availability have not been confirmed.
However, that price is little more than the cost of the screen itself, Philips pointed out.
The 15in flat-panel Netdisplay 151N is only the first of four models Philips intends to ship. A system built into a conventional 17in CRT monitor will be somewhat cheaper; there is also a 15in CRT model and a standalone screenless device for $599 (#359).
While these are Philips' first WBTs, the company has plenty of experience with Windows CE. The company currently ships handheld PCs and palmsize PCs based on the cutdown operating system.
Another remarkable looking device showcased at Comdex is also powered by Windows CE: the Clio from Vadem, also sold as the Sharp Mobilon Tripad.
It is a subnotebook device with a screen that swivels round to convert the unit into a notepad.
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