Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL), the struggling PC maker at the center of controversy between its founder and activist investor Carl Icahn, is now shipping its thumb-sized PCs out to beta testers. Code-named Project Ophelia, the PCs are about the size and shape of a USB drive. The devices can be plugged into any HDMI port of any display, turning that screen into a personal computer.
More details on Dell’s tiniest PC
The thumb-sized computer runs on the Android operating system and offers features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It enables users to watch streaming movies and television shows, as well as play games, run apps and browse the Web.
Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) is said to be working on adding some more features which would make it attractive to enterprise customers. For example, the company wants to make it possible to turn off the device remotely, track the activities done on it and even completely wipe data from it. We will see the final version of the device sometime in the October quarter, and it’s expected to be priced at about $100.
Ophelia could expand Dell’s cloud services presence
In a report issued to investors this week, Goldman Sachs analysts Bill Shope, Elizabeth Borbolla, Cristina Colon and Justin Price provided their take on this week’s report from ComputerWorld. They note that Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) developed the product through the technology it acquired by buying Wyse. Wyse specializes in thin client technology like what’s in the tiny, thumb-sized Project Ophelia device.
They note that although the existence of such a project could put even more pressure on the already struggling PC market, it could also boost Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL)’s ability to support the systems using its enterprise technology on the back end. They believe the device could also “broaden Dell’s footprint in cloud services.”
The Dell controversy
The success of the device will likely play a major role in whether activist investor Carl Icahn is right that founder Michael Dell is undervaluing the company and essentially trying to steal it from investors. Unfortunately we won’t know how this device does in the markets until sometime next year.