Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A quick review of the HP t310 zero client

For over two years now, I've exclusively purchased Teradici based zero clients for use in my employer's VMware Horizon View environment because of their ease of management and excellent performance, particularly with full screen video.  I've evaluated a lot of demo units, and usually buy by price (since all Tera 2 chipset zeros essentially perform the same) unless one has a specific feature that I'm looking for in an application.

The following are some of my thoughts on the HP t310 zero client:

Significant Pros: 

- Audio out jack on the back, headphone jack on the front.  Makes for a clean desktop install if you use a monitor with speakers or external amplified speakers.

Potential Cons:

- VESA mount if needed is a pricey extra cost option ($25+).
- Somewhat more expensive than a lot of newer competitors ($359.00 list price....usually around $325 street pricing)

Some other thoughts:

- Could maybe use more rear USB ports.  A lot of competitor's products now have 6 USB ports.
- Includes a USB keyboard and mouse, which take up the rear 2 USB ports.
- Has a security cable slot on back of housing.
- Two DVI ports for monitors, so no need for a DisplayPort adapter if you are hooking up two monitors with DVI connectors.

Not killer features, but still nice touches:

- LED on power switch is green when unit is powered on, amber when it's off but still connected to a power source (might be handy to quickly see if the unit's power cord is unplugged).
- Has a separate LED near the power switch that shows if the zero is currently connected to an active session.
- The headphone and mic jacks are color coded.

In a nutshell, the t310 is my preferred zero client for staff use (when I can get them competitively priced) primarily for the "Pro" I listed above.  Being able to hook up external speakers via the rear audio jack without taking up the headphone jack on the front just makes for a clean desktop install without anyone having to unplug/plug any wires for headphone use and vice versa.  The less my users have to mess with any wires causing potential issues the better in my opinion.  A lot of my staff users also prefer dual monitor setups and I personally prefer using 2 DVI jacks (like the t310 has) over finding a second monitor with a DisplayPort input or using an adapter dongle that adds another potential issue area.

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