"Thin-client machines come in all shapes, sizes and
prices. Prices range from $49 up to $1,000 or more with the average
around $250. Some sport a minimal embedded operating system, while
others include a pared-down version of a standard desktop operating
system. Depending on the model selected, thin-client operating
system options range from very lightweight embedded Linux or
proprietary operating systems based on Linux to Windows CE or
Windows XP Embedded. Thin-client hardware manufacturers offer
three-year hardware warranties at little or no additional charge.
Some companies offer extended warranties beyond those first three
years. Ordinarily, I advise against purchasing extended warranties,
but thin clients are different: When a unit fails, it needs a full
replacement, which justifies the extended warranty price. In three
years, traditional desktop computers are at or near their end of
life, while thin clients are still in their prime."