Best device for easy mobile working over VMware Horizon?
January 6, 2019 4:34 PM   Subscribe

My work recently installed a "VDI" system using VMWare Horizon. I want to buy something (a laptop? A table?) that makes working remotely as painless as possible. What should I get?

So this VDI thing means that I can access my work "desktop" remotely from all kinds of different machines. I want to get something that has the following characteristics - primarily for working at home, but also using in a "remote" setting, like if I am in a conference room or something at work or traveling.

+ Instant on, no screwing around to quickly get the machine "on" and get the VDI app launched. I currently have a Lenovo laptop and it fails the test - it has trouble with "sleep" and very often, when I pull it out, it has a dead battery because it failed to sleep when I closed it. I wind up rebooting, having to charge it, etc. etc. Half the time there is some stupid Windows update or whatever that wants to run before I can actually work.

+ Lightweight, small, easy to carry around. Long battery life.

+ Decent keyboard - I could deal with one of those cover-keyboards on a tablet, I think.

+ Ability to drive an external monitor - maybe plug into a "dock" situation at home (this is not a dealbreaker if it does not work with the other points).

The apps I need to run are mainly Outlook and Word through the VDI connection -- i.e., I don't need much in the way of drawing/graphics/etc.

I've thought about various MacBooks or maybe iPad or Surface, but I keep jumping around as to whether a full "laptop" would be better than a tablet - the line between laptop and tablet is sort of confusingly blurred these days.

Any recommendations/tips? Thanks
posted by Mid to Technology (5 answers total)
I have a MacBook Pro and use the VMWare Horizon client for work. It’s perfect. It reconnects to the active desktop even when the connection is disrupted.
posted by domo at 5:45 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]

The Chromebook app works pretty well. And reasonably good one is light and long lasting and even from a remote they're almost instantly on. Asus makes some with quite nice keyboards. The ones with USB C work out of the box with USB C docking stations in my experience.

My high end Chromebook is a Samsung Chromebook Pro which has a lovely screen but the keyboard is not as nice as the Asuses.

I have not been able to figure out what setting it is, but I've seen implimentations of VDI where the web interface and mobile apps worked but the desktop client for Windows and OS X did not, so if you go that route, make sure it works properly before you buy.
posted by Candleman at 5:55 PM on January 6

My husband has an Asus ZenBook that I steal all the time because the VMWare update means VMWare no longer works on my iPad which is annoying. Anyway, the ZenBook is pretty great, super lightweight, and holds a charge for about 8 hours.
posted by notjustthefish at 8:03 PM on January 6

Don't get an ipad for your primary solution. Horizon on it works only in a pinch because iOS has no mechanism for a mouse. So your entire remote desktop gets shrunk to a tiny touchscreen for input.
posted by hwyengr at 8:12 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]

And reasonably good one is light and long lasting and even from a remote they're almost instantly on.

Err, make that "A reasonably good one is light and long lasting and even from a reboot they're almost instantly on."
posted by Candleman at 8:24 PM on January 6

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