Consumer Android sticks have been around for a few years, but Dell has brought the concept to business customers with the $129 Wyse Cloud Connect. This little dongle, which can plug into any HDMI port, not only offers users a full Android experience, but also a secure virtual desktop. First introduced in March, Dell has now added an Android app which lets you use your smartphone to control an on-screen cursor and keyboard. We went hands-on with the Wyse Cloud Connect
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The Wyse Cloud Connect is pretty much the same size and shape as most other Android USB sticks. A male HDMI/MHL port protrudes from one side, with microUSB and mini USB ports on other sides for connecting peripherals. The Wyse has 8GB of flash memory, which can be expanded up to 80GB via a microSD card slot. Inside is a dual-core Cortex A9 ARM SoC with 1GB of RAM, which unfortunately is a step behind most consumer Android sticks which use quad-core chips. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and has 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless connectivity.
New to the platform is the Wyse Android app, which effectively turns your smartphone or tablet into a virtual keyboard and mouse. In our hands-on time, we found there to be virtually no lag between moving our finger on a smartphone, and the cursor moving on the display.
The Wyse Cloud Connect behaves much like any consumer Android stick. Users can have full access to the Google Play store, but IT managers can lock down the device to allow only certain apps. It comes preloaded with Dell's PocketCloud software for remote desktop access, and also works with Microsoft, Citrix and VMWare.
We're generally fans of Android sticks, and turning it into a cloud-computing device makes a lot of sense. The addition of the Android app will enable users to leave their Bluetooth keyboard and mouse at home, making this an even more portable device.