In a move that could be viewed as a warning shot across the bows of thin client providers like Wyse and Pano Logic, manufacturing ├╝ber-conglomerate LG Electronics and desktop virtualization provider NComputing have announced a new category of network-enabled LCD monitors that can serve as terminals for nComputing's thin client solution.

According to the joint news release, this new class of monitors -- dubbed the LG SmartVine N-series -- will be available in 19- and 17-inch sizes in North America, with a 15-inch model available outside the U.S.

In addition to being fully functional LCD monitors in the traditional sense, SmartVine N-series monitors also includes embedded firmware that ships with nComputing's desktop virtualization technology. Each monitor includes standard USB keyboard and mouse connectors, as well as an Ethernet cable for connection to a host PC. An expansion kit (the NComputing X550 PCI Card Kit with vSpace software) allows up to 5 additional monitors to connect to the host PC, with two x550 PCI Card Kits allowing up to 11 users to share one PC. The monitors are compatible with host computers running Linux or Windows OSes. Exact pricing wasn't announced at press time, but the news release indicates that both the 15" and 17" monitors would be in the "sub-$200" range.

NComputing LG Electronics

In a statement included in the joint news release, Stephen Dukker, Chairman and CEO of NComputing, touted the low-cost benefits of the NComputing/LG Electronics solution for shrinking IT budgets. "The NComputing-LG partnership will significantly cut the high cost of computing for businesses, schools and government," said Dukker. "We are delighted to work with one of the largest and most respected electronics companies in the world to bring our computing solutions to everyone."

According to LG Electronics and NComputing, "customers can lower their computer hardware costs by 60 percent, maintenance costs by 70 percent, and electricity costs by 90 percent" by using the LG SmartVine N-series monitors with NComputing desktop virtualization technology.

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