updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon August 27, 2007
Pano Logic today revived the concept of the thin-client PC with its self-titled Pano device. The small computer is just inches wide and will be virtually free to use through a totally network-based environment that virtualizes a copy of Windows and all local programs on a server, stripping out most of the up-front costs of owning a system. Even the main CPU and local storage are absent, Pano Logic says. The system not only saves the cost of buying a full PC for each person but also improves security by hosting all data behind a secure area. Power consumption is also extremely modest at just five watts.
Each Pano device carries an Ethernet jack for the vital network connection plus three USB ports, a VGA port for the display, and audio I/O jacks for dedicated speakers and microphones; owners who need to read a CD or DVD can attach a USB device that will automatically be recognized as though it were part of the host system, according to the company. The service requires a Pano Management Server that hosts copies of Windows XP or Vista and demands a subscription of $20 per month for each Pano device attached to the network. Pano Logic ships the device and its server in September.