HP t410 AIO Smart Zero Client does single-wire Power over Ethernet, no power cord required
HP has demoded their very first Power over Ethernet system, the HP t410 AIO Smart Zero Client. First of all, this isn’t an AIO desktop PC, nor is it an LCD monitor — well, if you’re unfamiliar with thin clients, just think of this as an 18.5-inch, 1,366 x 768 LED-backlit monitor (featuring a 3M technology for the 200 nit brightness — our money’s on the Uniformity Tape) that uses just one Ethernet cable to get both its 13W power from a PoE (Power over Ethernet) switch, as well as data connection over Citrix, Microsoft or VMWare protocol. The t410 can automatically detect the virtualization environment and then reprogram its digital signal processor when needed, meaning less manual work for the admin (in theory, anyway). More after the break.
By nature of PoE, the connection between the t410 and the switch will be limited to 10/100, but even that was sufficient to stream a smooth video next to a spinning CAD model — obviously some of the credit goes to the 1GHz Texas Instruments Cortex-A8 SoC and the DSP inside as well. In fact, by request of a student he met at TechEd Berlin 2010, Walt even managed to let him run Crysis through Microsoft’s RemoteFX in an early tech demo — see the video below.
Should you wish to pump it up to Gigabit connection when available, there’s also a socket for external power on the back of the t410. This is handy if any of the four USB ports are pushing the client’s consumption beyond the 13W power envelope; but if there’s no external power available to fix this, the device will attempt to draw more power from the switch (Type 1 PoE does 15.4W, tops), or else it’ll flash a warning message and offer to dim the screen to accommodate. How thoughtful.
There’s also a logistical advantage here: imagine a deployment where instead of dealing with a big and heavy stack of PCs and monitors, you can have, say, just one server and several t410s. Additionally, since each t410 only sips up to 13W of power (whereas a typical desktop PC requires about 250W), this solution is ideal for power constrained scenarios like temporary emergency response centers or schools in emerging markets. For those interested, keep an eye out for the $429 t410 in the summer.