Dell's thumb drive-sized computer will ship in July for $100

By on May 20, 2013, 7:30 AM
android, dell, usb, ces, mini pc, project ophelia, thumb drive

Project Ophelia, Dell’s Android-based computer on a USB stick that was first showcased at CES early this year, is scheduled to begin shipping in July for around $100. The device is designed to plug directly into the HDMI port of a monitor to turn any display into a PC, gaming machine or even a set-top box.

Jeff McNaught, executive director of cloud client computing at Dell said users will be able to download apps, movies and television shows from the Google Play store. The device can also run Android games and stream videos from Netflix and Hulu.

Dell believes the thumb PC will appeal to those that do most of their computing on the web. What’s more, it’s positioned price-wise for people looking for an inexpensive alternative to tablets and notebooks. True enough, the form factor will allow users to take their computer with them on the go but the lack of display means you’ll have to have a visual aid handy wherever you plan to use it.

The company is expected to demonstrate the system-on-a-stick at the Citrix Synergy Conference in Los Angeles this week. It will be shown using a 19-inch display as well as a 55-inch television, we’re told.

As for shipping, the unit will first be available to Android app developers. Dell plans to make the mini systems available to telecom and cable providers in August for inclusion in cable or data plans before finally offering it up to the average Joe via their website.




User Comments: 20

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Guest said:

It's just a fat USB drive with an OS on it, passed off

as something clever, isn't it.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's just a fat USB drive with an OS on it, passed off

as something clever, isn't it.

No or the following quote would not be possible.

The device is designed to plug directly into the HDMI port of a monitor to turn any display into a PC, gaming machine or even a set-top box.

Guest said:

So what inputs are going to control this thing? Mouse and keyboard?

Let's say that this thing could be controlled by a wireless mouse and keyboard, and that it has a few gigs of storage space, maybe 8 or 16 gigs, I think it's possibly a viable device. I could use a device like this to run netflix on the living room tv, check facebook, etc. I personally could see this device as being worthy of a purchase.

The big questions I have for this device is whether or not it has access to the whole google play store. That's the biggest drawback of some of the other devices similar to this thing like the Rasberry PI, the rock paper scissor devices, or any of the current google tv's.

Give me a pretty cheap android based device that can use all of google play's apps, and can be controlled by a wireless mouse and keyboard and I'm sold. I'll buy a gang of them for every tv in the house. Also, the ability to network the sucker to access my current library of media on my primary rig would be a nice touch as well.

I'm going to keep an eye on this device and see how some of the reviews pan out.

General Sam General Sam said:

Can it run crysis?

What is the actual spec of this computer? Since it's running android I can't imagine it's very high.

TheHinac said:

Dell like usual. Be the time we get the hardware, it's so old no one wants it because some else like Acer will have already stole the market out from underneath them with hardware that's faster and cheaper in half the time. While Dell try's to get a contract with someone that will make them peanuts before dropping the the line of product saying there's no money to be made, because of bad product management. Wow, the Dell Streak series comes to mind. Yeay.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guys stop, imagine this:

A cellphone, without a screen, with an HDMI interface.

And they sell it as the next big thing.

ikesmasher said:

Android versions of these have been around for a while? im confused over the hoopla?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Can it run crysis?
This question no longer holds any humor, but yet there is always someone mentioning it. Whats the word for someone who continues to use old jokes that are no longer amusing? Ex-comedian just doesn't have a good ring to it.
What is the actual spec of this computer?
Since it's the size of an average pocket knife, I can't imagine it's very high. The fact that Android is on it, seems to me would be irrelevant.

99_XC600 99_XC600 said:

So what is the minimum hardware spec for this if it plugs into Monitor? All the processing takes place on the USB drive.?

Guest said:

I think this is a really good idea, at least if it works well. I guess it depends on their definition of "computer." I haven't used the android apps for netflix, etc, but I certainly hope they're better than the apps that run on my internet-enabled TV. If they work more like the versions on my PC, I would definitely buy one of these. I'm guessing you'll need a wireless keyboard / pointing device to make it usable.

HalfHuman said:

Bitching alert!

this is a smartphone without battery, display and controller. the amount of nand will be important coz a tv does not have storage. I do not understand why it's a usb stick, it should have some hdmi/video output and maybe a usb port to plugin stuff like keyboard, usb stick, controller. the ideea is that it will not be a usb stick... usb stick size but not usb stick. maybe it's a error from the editor. 100 usd for no display/battery/controller... u get full tablets for this price... the concept sounds promising though.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Can it run crysis?
Well yes, I believe it should there GS. First though, you have to put it up your behind, and then stick your finger in a light socket, to provide enough power for the overclock, which is almost mandatory for any version of that bloated pig of a game... Then, you put on your "Google Glass", plug 'em in, and blissfully wander around in traffic, gaming your way to "Crysis Heaven"....:p Wait, let me get my car keys...I'll help.

Camikazi said:

Bitching alert!

this is a smartphone without battery, display and controller. the amount of nand will be important coz a tv does not have storage. I do not understand why it's a usb stick, it should have some hdmi/video output and maybe a usb port to plugin stuff like keyboard, usb stick, controller. the ideea is that it will not be a usb stick... usb stick size but not usb stick. maybe it's a error from the editor. 100 usd for no display/battery/controller... u get full tablets for this price... the concept sounds promising though.

[link] That might be what you are looking for, or at least closer to what you stated.

[link] Here is another one without USB but has Bluetooth.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

The company is expected to demonstrate the system-on-a-stick at the Citrix Synergy Conference in Los Angeles this week. It will be shown using a 19-inch display as well as a 55-inch television, we're told.

I'm interested. I will be watching for that demonstration.

JC713 JC713 said:

Meh Android. I will pass.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

Does anyone know if this thing can stream video from a DLNA server? If it can, this solves MANY problems for me. No more need to have a Bluray player, or console attached to stream videos from my media server.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I do not understand why it's a usb stick, it should have some hdmi/video output
From what I gather it's not a USB stick, it's a HDMI stick.

[link]

Dell this week unveiled a prototype of a pocket-sized HDMI stick

...<snip>..

The HDMI interface allows its use with big-screen displays such as HDTVs, making Project Ophelia a relatively inexpensive way to create a computer anywhere the stick can connect to a network via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

...<snip>..

Guest said:

What is a computer? Some have asked.

A computer is anything that is capable of calculating even simple mathematical equations.

So, by this standard, a pocket calculator is a computer. So is an abacus.

An electronic computer is one that uses electrons to compute mathematical equations.

Yes -- if this device plugs into a display and connects, even using wires (although apparently it will have wireless capabilities) then -- it is a computer.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

How will we control it? Mouse, Keyboard, POWERS OF THE MIND MUAHAHAHA. ROFL

Guest said:

Seriously.... Can it run Crysis 3... I love that game, amazing graphics and on a 65" LED tv.... it's quiet amusing.

I think they should have went with Ubuntu or *nix system over Android.

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