HP has announced a new mobile thin client that aims to combine PC-like performance with the security needed to protect data in enterprise, financial, healthcare and government settings.

The HP mt40 Mobile Thin Client is suited for enterprises that have deployed virtualisation solutions from the major independent software vendors - Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware - as well as those that are considering moving to virtual desktops for their more mobile employees.

Aimed at telecommuters and on-campus mobile workers, the mt40 features a 14-inch HD display, a 1.9GHz Intel Celeron processor and the choice of a either a lightweight or extended battery. It weighs in at 2.17kg (4.78lb) and has no moving parts, making it cheaper than a notebook PC.

The mt40 runs Windows Embedded 7 and HP's Velocity software, which boosts performance on networks that are struggling to work efficiently due to applications which occupy a lot of bandwidth.

"With the growth in telecommuting, as well as the rise in the number of workers who regularly travel between locations, a mobile thin client makes a lot of sense both from a mobility productivity and a security standpoint," said Kobi Elbaz, director of commercial and retail solutions at HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, EMEA.

"HP now enables global organisations to equip workers with high-performing mobile thin clients that connect them to the cloud, from any location, all while greatly minimising the risk of data loss."

With the HP mt40, employees and contractors can work on sensitive files and save their work to the server, whether they are in the office, roaming the campus or at home. Nothing resides on the device itself, meaning that sensitive data will not be compromised if the device is lost of stolen.

The HP mt40 also comes pre-installed with HP Device Manager 4.5, the latest version of HP's thin client management tool, which can be used by IT to remotely view, configure and manage HP thin clients.

HP Device Manager 4.5 includes a new graphical user interface and enables wireless imaging, allowing updates over the same wireless connection that the remote desktop infrastructure uses - so all HP mt40 devices can be can be accessed and imaged remotely.

The mt40 will go up against similar offerings from Dell, which is moving forward with plans to introduce Wyse thin clients designed for Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system.

Wyse thin clients are based on x86 and ARM processors, and run on the proprietary ThinOS, Linux and embedded Windows operating systems. Wyse also offers a software stack compatible with Microsoft, VMware and Citrix virtualised environments.

The HP mt40 Mobile Thin Client be available worldwide in mid-December. HP did not disclose pricing.