How Much Does a Thin Client Cost?

The price of a thin client is important when considering to replace existing computers and by knowing the total cost of ownership makes a big difference in purchasing decisions.

How much does a thin client cost? Thin client prices vary per model specification, the market leaders Dell and HP offer the following models:

  • Wyse 3040
  • Wyse 5070
  • Wyse 5470
  • HP t430
  • HP t530
  • HP t640
  • HP t730
  • HP t740
  • HP mt21
  • HP mt45

The prices including the starting prices for the base models are detailed below with prices being higher for models with better specifications

Wyse 3040

The Wyse 3040 thin client is from Dell (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab..

The Wyse 3040 Opens in a new tab.has the following features:

Operating System: Depending on the model of this Wyse Thin Client chosen, a choice of operating systems is available including:

  • Wyse ThinLinux
  • Wyse ThinOS
  • Wyse ThinOS with PCoIP

Processor: This Wyse Thin Client model only comes with the following processor:

  • Intel Cherry Trail (Atom) x5 Z-8350 (1.44 GHz Quad Core)

Graphics: All models come with a built-in graphics controller.

Memory: 2GB of memory is standard.

Storage: The models come with a built-in storage card available as:

  • 4 GB eMMC Flash
  • 8 GB eMMC Flash

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services with Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix with ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon RDP and PCoIP (Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)
  • Amazon Workspaces with Amazon Workspace PCoIP client (Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)

Size: This Wyse Thin Client model comes in one size:

  • Height 27.94mm x Width 101.6mm x Depth 101.6mm

Wyse 5040 All-in-One (AIO)

The Wyse 5040 AIO from Dell is a monitor with the thin client hardware built-in (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The Wyse 5040 AIO has the following features:

Operating System: Depending on the model of this Wyse Thin Client chosen, a choice of operating systems is available including:

  • Windows 10 IoT
  • Wyse ThinOS
  • Wyse ThinOS with PCoIP

Processor: Different specifications of this Wyse Thin Client model have different processors, including:

  • Intel Celeron™ J4005
  • Intel Celeron™ J4105

Graphics: Base models come with the Intel integrated graphics with the option to use a more powerful AMD embedded graphics card available:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6250

Memory: 2 GB of memory is standard.

Storage: The base model comes with a built-in storage card, with a solid state drive available on more powerful options.

  • 8G eMMC Flash

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services with Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix with ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon RDP and PCoIP (Window 10 IoT and Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)
  • Amazon Workspaces with Amazon Workspace PCoIP client (Window 10 IoT and Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)

Size: This Wyse Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 408 mm x Width 531 mm x Depth 408 mm

Wyse 5070

The Wyse 5070 from Dell (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The Wyse 5070 has the following features:

Operating System: Depending on the model of Wyse 5070 chosen, a choice of operating systems is available including:

  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise Edition (WIE10) Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) 2016 RedStone 1 (RS1) upgradable to Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) 2019 RedStone 5 (RS5)
  • Wyse ThinOS
  • Wyse ThinOS with PCoIP
  • Wyse ThinLinux

Processor: Different specifications of Wyse 5070 model have different processors, including:

  • Intel Celeron™ J4105
  • Intel® Pentium® Silver Processor J5005 1.5GHz

Graphics: Base models come with the Intel integrated graphics with the option to use a more powerful AMD embedded graphics card available:

  • Intel UHD 600/605
  • AMD Embedded Radeon™ E9173 (1x DisplayPort + 2x mini DisplayPort)

Memory: 4GB of memory is standard with more powerful models having 8 GB of memory.

Storage: The base model comes with a built-in storage card, with a solid state drive available on more powerful options.

  • 16 GB eMMC Included in Chassis
  • 32 GB eMMC Flash

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services with Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix with ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP, PCoIP and Blast Extreme (Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 and Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)
  • Amazon Workspaces with Amazon Workspace PCoIP client (Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 and Wyse ThinOS with PCOIP)

Size: This Wyse Thin Client model comes in two sizes, the standard slim variant and the extended variant with additional hardware ports:

  • Slim: Height 184 mm x Width 35.6 mm x Depth 184 mm
  • Extended: Height 184 mm x Width 56 mm x Depth 184 mm

HP t430

The HP t430 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP t430 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • HP ThinPro

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • Intel Celeron N4000 / 1.1 GHz (2.6 GHz) (Dual-Core)

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • Intel UHD 600

Memory: 2 GB of memory is standard.

Storage: This model comes with a built-in storage card:

  • 16 GB eMMC Flash

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon RDP and PCoIP (all installed operating systems)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 32 mm x Width 135 mm x Depth 135 mm

HP t530

The HP t530 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP t530 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard (WES) 7E (MS WES 7E) (requires a minimum of 16 GB memory)
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (requires a minimum of 32 GB memory)

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • AMD GX-215JJ 1.5 GHz

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • AMD Radeon R2E

Memory: 4, 8, and 16 GB options

Storage: This model comes with a built-in storage card:

  • 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512 GB options

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Amazon WorkSpaces using Amazon WorkSpace Client/PCoIP (HP ThinPro and Smart Zero Core)
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon RDP and PCoIP (all installed operating systems)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 199 mm x Width 35.05 mm x Depth 199 mm

HP t640

The HP t640 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

he HP t640 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • HP ThinPro (Linux based)
  • HP Smart Zero Core (Linux based)
  • Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard (WES) 7E
  • Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • AMD Ryzen R1505G 2.4 GHz

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • AMD Radeon R2E

Memory: 4, 8, 16 and 32 GB options

Storage: This model comes with the following storage options:

  • 16 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 32 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 64 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 128 GB M.2 SATA flash module
  • 256 GB M.2 NVMe flash module
  • 512 GB M.2 NVMe flash module

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)
  • Citrix ICA and HDX (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP, PCoIP and Blast Extreme (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 196 mm x Width 35 mm x Depth 196 mm

HP t730

The HP t730 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP t730 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • HP Smart Zero Core
  • HP ThinPro
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7P
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise for Thin Clients

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • AMD RX-427BB

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • AMD FirePro W2100 professional graphics based on Oland GPU

Memory: 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB options

Storage: This model comes with the following storage options:

  • 16 GB MLC (multi-level cell)
  • 16 GB UMLC (ultra multi-level cell)
  • 32 GB MLC
  • 32 GB UMLC
  • 64 GB MLC
  • 128 GB MLC

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services – Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix – ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP and PCoIP (all installed operating systems)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 240 mm x Width 221 mm x Depth 67 mm

HP t740

The HP t740 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP t740 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • HP ThinPro
  • HP Smart Zero Core
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • AMD Ryzen Embedded V1756B 3.25 GHz

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • Radeon Vega 8

Memory: 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB options

Storage: This model comes with the following storage options:

  • 16 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 32 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 64 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
  • 128 GB M.2 SATA flash module
  • 256 GB M.2 NVMe flash module
  • 512 GB M.2 NVMe flash module

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites):

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services – Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)
  • Citrix – ICA and HDX (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP, PCoIP, and Blast Extreme (HP ThinPro and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Height 210 mm x Width 50 mm x Depth 210 mm

HP mt21

The HP mt21 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP mt21 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
  • HP ThinPro with Smart Zero Core

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • Intel Celeron 3865U 1.8 GHz

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • Intel HD Graphics (Integrated)

Memory: 4 GB and 8 GB options

Storage: This model comes with the following storage options:

  • 128 GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services – Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix – ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP and PCoIP (all installed operating systems)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • Non-touch – Height 1.99cm x Width 33.60 x Depth 23.80 cm
  • Touch – Height 2.55 x Width 33.60 x Depth 23.80 cm

Weight: This HP Thin client has the following weight:

  • Starting at 1.63 kg (3.60 lb)

HP mt45

The HP mt45 from Hewlett Packard (check latest prices on Amazon)Opens in a new tab.

The HP mt45 has the following features:

Operating System: This model of HP Thin Client has the following operating systems available:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 for Thin Client
  • HP ThinPro
  • HP Smart Zero

Processor: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following processor options:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3300U APU with Radeon Vega Graphics 2.1

Graphics: This model of the HP Thin Client comes with the following graphic options:

  • Radeon Vega Graphics 2.1

Memory: 4 GB (only available on HP ThinPro or HP Smart Zero) and 8 GB options

Storage: This model comes with the following storage options:

  • 128 GB M.2 2280 SATA-3 flash memory storage drive

Protocols: This model works with the following protocols (operating systems prerequisites)

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services – Remote FX (RFX) and RDP (all installed operating systems)
  • Citrix – ICA and HDX (all installed operating systems)
  • VMware Horizon – RDP and PCoIP (all installed operating systems)

Size: This HP Thin Client comes in the following sizes:

  • 18.03 x 326.14 x 234.19 mm

Weight: This HP Thin client has the following weight:

  • Touch – starting at 1.58 kg (3.48 lb)
  • Non-touch – starting at 1.53 kg (3.37 lb)

All-in-One Thin Clients

All-In-One thin clients contain the thin client inside the display unit by integrating the thin client computing hardware with the display unit. This saves even more space, as only space for the monitor is required.

The downside to integrated all in one thin clients is if the thin client hardware develops a fault, the thin client elements can’t be swapped as easily as if it was a separate thin client device.

Mobile Thin Clients

The mobile thin clients are just laptops with thin client computing hardware. These laptops are able to use Wi-Fi with some capable of using LTE (3G/4G/5G) to connect to remote servers.

Mobile Thin Clients are good for home workers and workers on the move. They can be used anywhere where there is a good Wi-Fi or LTE connection.

Repurpose a PC as a Thin Client?

Older PCs unable to deal with the demands of today’s workloads can be repurposed as thin clients by installing thin client operating systems like ThinStation.

This approach can provide free thin clients as the cost of the PC has already been paid for and the PC itself is up for decommissioning.

Thin client cost benefit analysis

The advantages of thin clients over PCs realise cost benefits over the thin client’s lifetime. The procurement price is just one element of the overall costs. The following costs can be realised by using thin clients:

  • Lower administration costs
  • Lower procurement costs
  • Lower energy costs (less power required)
  • Lower network costs (network bandwidth is less)
  • Lower upgrade costs (minimal service interruption)

Research from Gartner (TCO Comparison of PCs with Server-Based Computing)[1] concluded in favour of thin clients:

  • 79% less downtime cost per user
  • 16% capital cost savings
  • 34% less in maintenance
  • 19% less to operate
  • 48% overall lower total cost

Can a thin client be used as a PC?

One of the key decisions to make when choosing to buy a thin client is whether it can provide the level of functionality you are accustomed to from using a PC. A thin client is computer hardware connected to a remote computer known as a terminal server.

The thin client offers users with functional the same interactions as of using a PC, however, the remote terminal server stores all the application and files. In essence the thin client is acting as dumb terminal for the remote terminal server.

The remote terminal server will use an operating system like Microsoft Windows and when users connect using the thin client. They will get access to a Microsoft Windows Desktop, so for all intents and purposes the look and feel of what the user sees on the thin client connected display is the same as what they would see on a PC display. 

USB Peripherals

Over the past couple of years, thin clients have been poor, especially with the USB peripherals. But today’s thin clients are far much better than those of old and comparable to PCs in terms of connectivity and USB peripheral handling.

Price

For entry level computing, the thin client is cheaper than the PC and is still able to offer similar levels of functionality. There are more advanced thin clients with better hardware that can cost as much or more than PCs and these are suited for high end tasks as they have better specification hardware including processors that can easily work with thin client offloading technologies.

Offloading technologies use some of the thin client processing power to run tasks on behalf of the remote terminal servers such as using the thin client processor to play videos, thereby offloading this from the remote servers.    

Operational & Support costs

When coming to operational costs, the thin client is worth consideration. Thin clients are less complicated than PCs with hardly any moving parts like the non-solid state hard disks which constantly spin to retrieve information or a fan to keep the processor cool. With less hardware and no moving parts, the reliability of the thin client is greater than that of the PC.

Security

Security is improved with thin clients as no data is stored on the device from the applications the users use in their day to day activities. Meaning, if the thin client device is stolen, there is no data on the device at all, so the criminal cannot benefit. The data instead resides on the remote terminal server the user connects to.

Backing up data is also easier as only the remote servers need to be backed up instead of backing every PC up if PCs were used. Files stored on remote servers are less likely to get lost than storing them on local machines.

Conclusion

Thin client technology has become one of the most popular and innovative computing ways that many people have turned their heads to. The device security, storage and application are a combination of features that makes this software a real winner. Thin clients are an excellent alternative to conventional desktops.

[1] https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/736526/total-cost-of-ownership-comparison-of-pcs-with-server-basOpens in a new tab.