Igel Technology has launched a 'price driven, multi session' thin client for small and medium businesses where there is little need for centralised management.

Dubbed the Igel one, it is designed for organisations with up to 250 users and is described as the "perfect client device for server-based computing in simple environments."

"From a customer perspective, there are a lot of businesses out there that don't have a managed desktop and don't need one," said Simon Richards, UK general manager for Igel. "These businesses want to move to server-based computing, they want to centralise their applications, but they don't need a managed client."

Igel, which is based in Bremen, Germany, typically offers its Universal Management Suite (UMS), which allows customers to remotely manage Igel thin clients, so that support costs are kept to a minimum.

"When we showed some clients our Universal Management Suite, they felt that it was not relevant to their business," said Richards. The Igel one however does contain a VNC client, which offers remote shadowing.

"This (the VNC client) is a basic layer of management compared to the Universal Management Suite," said Richards, but he pointed out that it allows them to offer the Igel one from just £128, compared to £161 for its Universal Desktop range of thin clients.

The Igel one measures just 17cm, by 13.5cm, by 3.5cm (including the foot stand). A VESA mount (which allows the box to be mounted behind the monitor) will be released during the next three weeks or so.

The box runs Igel Linux as its operating system, and it comes with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of flash memory. It has a VGA port and supports resolutions of 1920 x 1440. "Resolution quality is excellent on a 40 inch widescreen," said Richards.

Richards was also keen to stress the fact that despite the cheaper price, the Igel one is a multi session machine. "It is price driven, it is multi session, it will enable the thin client to penetrate into small to medium businesses far more than ever before," said Richards.

He also stressed the ease of installation of the device. "You can configure basic pages in five minutes," he said. "When you boot the device up, you choose five server computing protocols (Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA, Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect, NoMachine NX, and Cendio ThinLinc)," said Richards. "When you choose the protocol, it is semi locked into that protocol. From an IT manager's perspective, there is a mechanism to choose a different protocol."

And it seems the device is green too. "It is our greenest thin client ever," said Richards. "It consumes just 9 watts on idle." Idle is defined as the device switched on, session open, but with no typing. There is a 30 percent increase on that when the client is active though. This compares to Igel's mid range device, the UD3, which idles at 12 watts.

Demo units are expected to arrive in the UK next week, and availability is slated for the first week of June.

Back in April, Igel shipped an updated card that converted ageing desktop PCs into thin clients, thereby extending the operating life of old equipment. According to Richards, there has been massive demand for that card.