Monday, June 15, 2015

A quick review of the LG CBV42-B zero client

As I mentioned in a previous post, all Tera2 equipped zero clients are essentially the same since they are based around the same Teradici chipset, but there are some slight differences in every OEM manufacturer's units, whether it be in the case design, or availability of ports.  The following are some of my thoughts on the LG CBV42-B zero client:

Significant Pros:
  • VESA mount is included.
  • Has 6 USB ports (2 on the front, 4 on the back) where the norm for zero clients tends to be 4.
  • Somewhat cheaper pricing than most equivalent zero clients (usually less than $250/ea street pricing)

Potential Cons:
  • The only audio out jack is the headphone jack on the front. Makes for slightly messy cable management if you use a monitor with speakers or external amplified speakers and the zero client is on the desk.  However, this isn't really a factor if when I use these in student computer labs where they have to use headphones for audio anyways.
  • The build quality seems to be on the cheaper/lower end.  In the roughly 100 I've purchased, I've had one dud out of the box that wouldn't power up (but replaced quickly by LG under warranty), and I've had to resnap the plastic housing (usually just a corner) on a few where they seem to have not been completely snapped together in production or they might have been jostled too much in shipping.  I haven't had any failures once they were placed into service out in the field though.

Some other thoughts:
  • Doesn't include a USB keyboard and mouse, I buy inexpensive Logitech MK120 kits to go with them.
  • Has a security cable slot towards one edge near the back of the 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 red, not really a functional benefit, but does give it a cool HAL 9000 like glow in a dimly lit or dark room.  :)
  • The headphone and mic jacks are color coded.

Because of it's inexpensive pricing, the CBV42-B is my current preferred zero client for use in classroom computer labs.  When buying in larger quantities, the $20-$75 saved over other manufacturer's Teradici equipped zeros can quickly add up.