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NorhTec MicroClient range 


 


 

 



MicroClient

The NorhTec MicroClient exists in a number of guises and it's not immediately obvious what you've got hold of. The MicroClients I have seen carry no labelling. There are some differences in the appearance which may help you decide which of the various models it might be. Each model also had a number of factory-fit options - Serial ports, WLAN etc which may or may not be fitted to your example.

The MicroClient has also been sold under various other names such as Aleutia and ebox (from DMP Electronics inc).

NorhTec MicroClient Jr back view All the later MicroClient series are packaged in a case that's 11.5cm x 11.5cm x 3.5cm. There are occasional differences on the front panel such as the relative positioning of the Compact Flash slot and the USB ports, and the presence (or absence) of an on/off switch.

NorhTec MicroClient Jr back view The back view appears to be same across the range. Exactly what is fitted to it will depend on the options taken up when it was bought.

History

This my best guess based on the information I can find on the internet. Please feel free to email me with any corrections if you know better. The various data sheets I've found have been devoid of any dates and, unlike with many other products, there seems to be a dearth of press releases or catalogues to help sort out the timeline.

Wayback Machine Logo
My thanks to the Wayback Machine that let me track the evolution of the (now defunct) NorhTec website and see when new products appeared.

2005

The original MicroClient was launched in 2005. It featured the SiS550LV CPU, 20 GB Hard disk and 128 MB RAM and sold for under $200 with no hard disk. It ran off a 5V supply and consumed a maximum of 5W if fitted with a hard drive.

NorhTec MicroClient 2005 front view NorhTec MicroClient 2005 back view

2006

NorhTec MicroClient Jr front view This was followed up in 2006 by the MicroClient Jr. It was based on the same 200 MHz SiS 550 CPU (x586 CPU with MMX extensions). It had 128MB of RAM onboard and 3 x USB1.1 ports. It had a Compact Flash card slot and an internal IDE connector. It looks to me like it was a re-engineer of the original MicroClient and introduced the new style of case.

Looking at the front panel the Compact Flash slot is below the USB ports and there is an on/off switch.

2007

NorhTec New MicroClient In 2007 the "New MicroClient" was announced that was based on the 500MHz AMD Geode Lx800 cpu, 256MB, DDR SO-DIMM RAM, 2.5" 40GB HDD (internal), 4 x USB 2.0, 100BaseT LAN, VGA, microphone, headphone. Tiny footprint - 135 x 135 x 35 mm, Unit weight - 1.2 KG.

2007

NorhTec New MicroClient MicroClient Jr was followed up in 2007 by the MicroClient Jr SX. This was based on a "System on a Chip", the Vortex86SX, that integrates a complete computer on a single CPU. (NB No floating point support). The CPU clock rate was 366MHz and there was 128MB of onboard RAM.

Looking at the front panel the Compact Flash card slot is above the USB ports and there is no on/off switch.

The MicroClient JrSX boots directly off CF (Compact Flash), LAN or USB devices. Optional RS232 ports are also available. There are options to add 2.5 IDE drives, WiFi, etc. Due to space limitations if internal IDE drives are installed, you cannot install WiFi or serial ports.

2008

NorhTec MicroClient Sr front view

In January 2008 the MicroClient Sr appeared. This was based on the a VIA ULV CPU clocked at 500Mhz coupled to the VIA CX700M. (VIA UniChrome graphics engine). Originally this shipped with 521MB of memory but subsequently there was an option for 1GB of RAM.

It was fitted with 3 x USB 2.0 ports and a Type I/II CF Slot

2009

In 2009 the MicroClient JrDX appeared. Visually the unit is identical to the MicroClient Jr, Sr, and the JrSX.

NorhTec MicroClient JrDX front view

It incorporated an Xcore86 DX 1Ghz CPU, 256MB of RAM (optional 512MB of RAM from Q2 2009). The display was a "XGI Z9s with 32 MB DDR2".

2011

NorhTec MicroClient JrMX The MicroClient JrMX is based on a 1Ghz Xcore86 CPU (x586 CPU with MMX compatible extensions), 512MB or 1GB of RAM, 3 USB 2.0 ports, SATA Hard Disk option, SD solid state storage, and optional WIFI. It runs off 8 to 15V.

The prime visual clue is that the Compact Flash slot has been replaced by an SD card slot.

2011 onwards

The NorhTec website shows little change after 2011 and I think vanished sometime in 2016.

There is another current(?) website, xcore.co.th, that mentions the MicroClients: JrDX, JrMX, JrMX+ and JrMX Mini. However it is one of those frustrating sites that has no dated information and nothing to indicate how current it is. The closest I can get is to note that today (June 2018) Google hangs a May 2016 date on some of the pages. Obviously the site is up and available. A 'whois' request shows me the domain was created in June 2011, was last renewed in June 2017, and is set to expire in June 2018. I would have thought an active company would renew their company domain for more than 12 months at a time.

Did NorhTec migrate to Xcore? Have Xcore moved on to ???

The DMP Electronics inc website is active (last news item May 2018) with its range of Ebox computers. I have no idea whether there are now several different manufacturers of the MicroClient and where the IPR resides.

 


Any comments? email me. Added January 2015    Last update June 2018