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Tadpole M1500 SunRay Thin Client review
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TOPIC: Tadpole M1500 SunRay Thin Client review
Tadpole M1500 SunRay Thin Client review 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 2
Late last week I got a new Tadpole M1500 SunRay delivered to me at the office. At first I thought Okay, let's see how this might be different than any of the others I've looked at.

The reason this is important, to me anyway, is because I need a reliable mobile thin client that can be out in the field. The Laptop style SunRay clients have been shy of the features that
allow it to be adopted in a business environment.

First thing I noticed out of the box was that it was very straight forward, sleek and clean looking. The size of the display and the keyboard were much better than any of the Comet line I've used
for years. The keyboard is much more standard laptop style than the Comet line of clients. The [Cntrl] key is in the right place. The display screen is a nice XGA form factor, bright and clear.

So I put the battery into the unit and hit the power button, got the typical "Loading..." screen and then things changed dramatically. A very nicely designed OSD, On Screen Display. Being familiar
with units from several other manufacturers you get a feeling of what they need to be programmed for any actual use. I was not in the mood at the time to find all the sequence keys these things
typically require. Fortunately, it wasn't like that. I needed to find the [Menu] key, nothing was labeled as such, but the graphic on the key eluded to it being a menu. That was it on the bottom right
of the keyboard. "[Menu] + p" brings it up when it's in an active session and "[Menu] + m" to the lower level firmware settings.
I was able to configure multiple profiles pretty quickly and answered adjusted some of the OSD settings pretty easily. Was not a bad experience at all, none of it's fun though. Once set, you don't need
to mess with it any more unless you want to create a new profile.

The built in Mini-Browser is excellent, simple and clean. This allows you to authenticate when you're in a hotel room and have to enter Credit Card or other authentication info in order to use their Internet
services. Also works pretty nicely for simple browsing. You can't install any plug-ins or special features to this browser, but it works pretty nicely out of the box. Good job here, extremely nice feature.

Putting all of this aside, now I got into the networking aspect of this. Since things were going well at the time, I thought I would continue my quest on making it work with the last few minutes of the day.
Pulled out my usb 3G card that was on the HCL for the unit. Plugged it in, found the menu items supporting it, created a profile. Put in my information and quickly it had a remote IP address. Next,
I had to go back to set up a temporary EZ VPN connection at the office. The VPN on this appliance is IPSEC based, so your VPN would need to support that. Within about 10 minutes of adjusting
and creating an account on the VPN Server and using the lower level menu options, I got it to complete an XAUTH authentication. The screen started flipping around as it found my VPN Server
and started negotiating. Very quickly, I received a firmware login and password challenge.

Overall, I really feel this is a well designed and an excellent unit. Things I would change, or improve upon are: Keyboard has a strange tactile feeling. Not sure how to put it into words, but it is a very
minor, I'm used to it over a weekend of making this my primary unit to use.

I give this unit 9.5 of 10. General Dymanics has done an excellent job of listening to their customers. This unit really goes above and beyond to allow Thin Client computing to attack a mobile workforce
in the world of business.

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