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Comprehensive guide to using cheap thin clients for VDI

Raspberry Pi devices and Google Chromebooks are among the lowest-cost VDI thin clients, but zero clients and cheap repurposed PCs are viable alternatives. Dive into this guide on cheap thin clients to find out more.


Users can access virtual desktops from traditional PCs, thin clients, zero clients and even mobile devices using an HTML5 browser, but not all endpoints are created equal, particularly in terms of price.

A fully functional PC armed to the teeth with features, for example, costs a lot more than a zero client, which is little more than a keyboard, mouse and Ethernet connection. Or IT can choose the middle ground and use cheap thin clients such as Raspberry Pis and Google Chromebooks. In addition to the initial hardware savings, these low-cost VDI thin clients are also simple to manage, include security features and are easy to replace, so organizations won't rack up any big expenses down the line, either.

Take a closer look at the options for cheap thin clients, discover what to look for in a quality VDI client and learn what's preventing Chromebook laptops and Raspberry Pis from more widespread adoption.

1Save on VDI hardware costs-

Explore cheap VDI client options

It can be a challenge for VDI shops to pick the right set of client devices for users to work from. Traditional PCs offer the best performance and the most features, but they're pricy and not entirely necessary for users who only work with virtual desktops and applications. That opens the door for the large number of cheap thin clients and zero clients to enter the picture. Find out more about setting up VDI thin clients in-house, why zero clients are also a strong alternative and how low-cost PCs are digging into the thin client computing market share.


Don't overlook low-cost VDI thin clients

Inexpensive Chromebook laptops and Raspberry Pi devices save organizations money, but they can also simplify endpoint management and improve security. Continue Reading


Key criteria for choosing VDI thin clients

When searching for the ideal thin clients for desktop virtualization, IT administrators must keep application performance, cost and remote display protocol support in mind. Continue Reading


The argument in favor of zero clients

In the zero client vs. thin client debate, performance and usability are deciding factors. Find out when zero clients are a better fit for IT and end users. Continue Reading


Cheap PCs encroach on thin client market

The emergence of inexpensive, medium-performance PCs has hurt the value proposition of traditional thin clients, causing a decline in the thin client computing market. Continue Reading


Homemade VDI thin clients are too much trouble

Building thin client devices in-house is tricky and, in the end, the work may not save an organization any capital or reduce support headaches. Continue Reading

2Raspberry Pis-

Raspberry Pi devices come cheap

One of the cheapest VDI thin clients on the market is the Raspberry Pi single-board computer, starting at a modest $35 each. They run Linux and because Raspberry Pis are such basic computing devices, they are often easier for IT to manage than more expensive VDI clients. See what Citrix is doing to push the Raspberry Pi 3 closer to widespread enterprise adoption and learn how IT administrators should prepare for these cheap thin clients.


Consider Raspberry Pi for VDI thin clients

With Citrix now peddling its own version of the Raspberry Pi 3, the time is nigh for IT pros to figure out if they have any good use cases for low-cost Raspberry Pi thin clients. Continue Reading


A crash course in Raspberry Pis

Raspberry Pi computers are so inexpensive that they're sure to tempt money-conscious organizations. IT should get to know these devices before they end up managing them. Continue Reading


Citrix gets in the Raspberry Pi game

Raspberry Pi devices aren't popular yet in the enterprise, but Citrix's HDX system-on-chip version could provide workers with cheap remote access to XenApp and XenDesktop. Continue Reading


Prepare to manage nanocomputers in the enterprise

Nanocomputing systems such as Raspberry Pis are gaining popularity, and managing these types of devices could become part of IT's job description sooner rather than later. Continue Reading

3Google Chromebooks-

Google Chromebooks make their case

Google's Chromebook laptops are another cheap thin client option -- and viable for VDI. The Chromebook is as secure as many traditional PCs, performing a verified boot upon each login to check if anything on the device is compromised. If the device notices a problem, it automatically resets itself. Uncover some of the reasons why Google Chromebooks haven't caught on yet in the enterprise, how to make them more business-friendly and what the future holds.


Google Chromebook for VDI tutorial

One of IT's cheapest and most portable options for providing VDI access is through a Google Chromebook remote desktop. Learn how to use Chromebooks as VDI thin clients. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Chromebooks make strides in the enterprise market

Google added features for Chromebooks such as offline apps, free Office Online apps and Chromebook for Work that push theses portable devices closer to enterprise viability. Continue Reading


Where Google Chromebooks fit into the VDI puzzle

Google Chromebook laptops are generally cheap and adequately usable in some corporate settings. Learn when and where they're a good fit for a VDI deployment. Continue Reading


How to make Chromebooks a better enterprise match

Google's Chromebook doesn't have enough horsepower for some businesses. But if IT adds a browser desktop to the device, it becomes more enterprise-friendly. Continue Reading


A look at the money-saving features of Chromebooks

IT can save cash by using Google Chromebooks for VDI in certain groups of workers, but they must weigh all the pros and cons before deployment. Continue Reading

4Thin client glossary-

Key VDI client terms to know

A list of important terminology IT should know about cheap thin clients.

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