HP announced the Slate 21 Pro at CES today. This is an All-in-One desktop device that runs Android with an NVIDA GPU and Tegra 4 processor. Why should businesses care ? Not because this device runs popular mobile consumer apps like Facebook and Flipboard ( which can work great if its OK with IT ), but because this device represents the next generation of Thin Clients with a much broadened appeal yet still manageable by IT.  The reality is until now most Thin Clients have been relegated to task worker tools accessing a Virtual Desktop and existing business applications. However this new class of SmartDisplay not only has the ability to access XenDesktop Virtual Desktops with preloaded Receiver, it can also run web apps and native Android mobile apps which are now growing at a much faster rate in business.

As a result the use cases and audience for a SmartDisplay like the Slate 21 Pro is dramatically broadened. Knowledge works will find it useful as an additional desktop device that does a better job with photos and mobile apps they prefer over desktop versions. For collaboration consider how many times you have turned around your laptop to share a screen, with a SmartDisplay you can not only share better, you can swipe though slides or pinch and zoom as your accustom to on a Tablet. As more business adopt shared workspaces SmartDisplays like the Slate 21 will also provide broadened access whether it to a Virtual Desktop or Web or Mobile app.

Beyond desktops, the Slate 21 Pro will be a great device for business uses like self serve kiosks and digital signage which are rapidly growing. The device has built-in WiFi and bluetooth as well as conventional RJ 45 with Integrated Ethernet providing lots of options for implementation.

To manage the Slate 21 Pro, the device come preloaded with Citrix XenMobile for device and app management plus Receiver for access to Windows apps via XenDeskop and XenApp. This means IT can treat the device just as if its a Mobile device that can be easily configured along with apps corporate pushed to the device and secured or wiped etc.

Let us know if you think these new devices could help your business or what else that came out at CES that could.