Friday, June 22, 2012

HP Launches New Web Kiosk

Hewlett-Packard is now selling the Passport 1912nm, an all-in-one kiosk-style device for web browsing that they call an "Internet Monitor".

Running a locked-down version of Linux, the Passport offers web-browsing (through an old version of Firefox) plus the ability to view photos or listen to music loaded via the unit's USB ports.  Office-type tasks could be done through web-based applications such as Google Docs.   The Passport is available today and lists for $259. 

Following the launch of the Google/Samsung Chromebox last month (which lists for $329 and requires a monitor), the Passport shows there is life in the thin client space after all, and provides another compelling alternative to libraries tiring of providing Internet access to patrons using costly personal computers running Windows, then having staff lock them down to handle the hand-to-hand combat of public computing.

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