Product Review: The Rabbit Thin Client
By Joel Klebanoff
Deck: The Rabbit is smaller, faster and cooler than the other “Mini” or Turtle Shell type thin clients.
When the time comes to replace green-screens or even older PCs that have reached the end of their useful lives, an increasing number of organizations are turning to thin clients as a low-cost, versatile alternative. In January of this year, Arizona-based BOSaNOVA, a leader in thin clients and network appliances for the iSeries market, announced the addition of the Rabbit to its thin client line. The headline of an ad that BOSaNOVA is running for the Rabbit offers a hint as to the derivation of the product's name by suggesting that the tortoise wins only in fairytales.
"Our new thin client fills a niche for those businesses looking for the ever elusive combination of high-performance, small footprint, enterprise-class user interface, and, most importantly, low cost," said Martin Pladgeman, President of BOSaNOVA, Inc.
The Rabbit's operating specifications illustrate how BOSaNOVA is addressing that niche. The Rabbit performs 200% faster, is 30% smaller, runs 30% cooler, and consumes 50% less power than other "mini" or "turtle shell" thin clients. The lower power consumption helps to reduce the total cost of ownership, particularly as electricity rates increase. Furthermore, the cooler operating temperatures reduce air conditioning requirements. In addition, because its running temperature allows it to be constructed without a fan, the Rabbit does not add to office noise levels and can be used in harsh environments.
The Rabbit's small size (1.4" x 5.5" x 5.1") and light weight (less than one pound) reduce shipping costs and open up a variety of placement options, including the ability to mount it on a monitor, thereby allowing organizations to free up scarce desk and counter space.
The Rabbit, which has been optimized for green-screen replacement, also performs well in a terminal server environment. Designed for easy setup the configuration requires just three entries (no mouse required). An easy to read "Quick Start" guide provides the necessary setup instructions on a single page—a page that also includes a screen shot, a picture of the cable outlets, a table listing the hot keys associated with the terminal and thin client functions, and a keyboard picture illustrating those hot keys.
The Rabbit hides its underlying technology complexity in order to provide a simple, straightforward end-user experience. To this end, the engineers at BOSaNOVA have enhanced and customized the Linux 2.6 kernel to provide an easy to use user interface.
Three Operating Modes
- Text Based Terminal (TBT) mode offers a text-based setup feature that does not require the use of a mouse. This mode provides a green-screen terminal with auto-start and auto-reconnect functionality. It supports 122-key keyboards, function key macros, and split-screen operation.
- Windows Based Terminal (WBT) mode delivers a terminal that behaves like a CE.NET device. This mode supports full-screen applications, 5250/3270 GUIs, and Terminal Server access. WBT mode provides access to Citrix and ProPalms servers. As with TBT mode, WBT mode provides auto-start and auto-reconnect capabilities.
- Desktop Mode offers a Windows-style user interface that provides access to all applications in a windowed environment, including support for up to eight 5250/3270 GUI emulations.
- High-speed AMD Geode GX 533
- RAM: 128 MB; DOM: 64 MB
- 10/100 BaseT Ethernet
- External USB 1.1 Ports (4)
- SNMP-based BOSmanager provides management tools for updates, monitoring, and control
Thin Client/Server Computing
- RDP (5.2 equivalent) and ICA (Version 9)
- Terminal Emulation suite includes IBM 5250 and 3270, VT100, and Wyse
- Unit H x W x D: 1.4" (35 mm) x 5.5" (140 mm) x 5.1" (130 mm)
- Base weight: .88 lbs., excluding external AC/DC adaptor
Standard Package and Accessories
Available options include a USB wireless adapter, USB-to-Centronics Parallel, a Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) standard mounting bracket, and a 104-key or 122-key driverless PC keyboard.
The base price for the Rabbit, which is available from BOSaNOVA and its resellers, includes a three-year advance exchange warranty, technical support, and software updates.
2012 W. Lone Cactus Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85027-9919