A Kangaroo In Your Pocket?
Oregon-based InFocus has launched a $99 Windows 10 PC that fits in your pocket. The company says its new Kangaroo mobile desktop PC “goes anywhere and works with any screen.” Let's take a look at this claim, and what's included in the Kangaroo's pouch...
Kangaroo: A Pocket-Sized Windows 10 PC
At first glance, the Kangaroo looks like a smartphone without a screen. Think instead of this gadget as a tiny desktop PC, which needs a screen and some other pieces to become a fully functional computer. It's true that Kangaroo works with "any screen," but only if the screen happens to be Bluetooth compatible and touch-sensitive; otherwise, you’ll need the detachable dock which is included in the low $99 price tag.
The dock contains an HDMI port and two USB ports you will probably need to connect monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the Kangaroo. It also houses the AC power supply input port. You’ll need that external power supply because the Kangaroo’s battery is rated for only four hours of “casual use.”
So why is the Kangaroo designed in two pieces, neither of which is very useful without the other? InFocus says it plans future, swappable docks with more features. That might be code for "we hope to compensate for the low price tag by making money on upgrades."
Together, the Kangaroo’s computing module and dock make a package 171 mm (6.73 inches) long, 80 mm (3.15 inches) wide, and only 13 mm (0.51 inches) thick. Granted, you CAN use the device without the dock, but a single chassis would be a bit shorter and there would be one less thing to lose, and one less connector to break.
The computing module contains an Intel Atom™ x5-Z8500 Processor (2M cache, up to 2.24 GHz); Intel® Graphics Gen8; 2 GB of RAM; a 32 GB hard drive (of which 18 GB is available with Windows 10 and nothing else installed); a microSD card slot for additional storage space; Bluetooth 4.0; a dual-band 802.11ac WiFi adapter; a fingerprint reader; and a microUSB port that can only be used to charge external devices.
Portability, Not Lugability
The idea here is portability, so perish the thought of lugging around a 24-inch monitor, plugged into your Kangaroo's dock. You can use an iPad as a monitor for your Kangaroo, thanks to the free OSLinx Windows Monitor app. The app also supports multitouch gestures and a mouse.
The Kangaroo starter kit (computing module, dock, microUSB charger, and power supply) is available now from Newegg. Also available are extra docks at $39 each; I suppose the idea is that you’ll want to have docks at all of the locations where you expect to use the Kangaroo, rather than just plugging the included dock into the computing module and slipping the whole thing into your pocket.
Hands-on reviews of the Kangaroo report that its performance is surprisingly zippy for such a low-power platform. Windows 10 takes less than 30 seconds to boot, according to Emil Protalinski of Venture Beats.
The fingerprint scanner works with Windows Hello, the optional biometric authentication module built into Windows 10. Once Hello is trained to recognize your fingerprint, a simple tap on the scanner button on Kangaroo’s side unlocks your system.
One interesting note is that the Kangaroo can also function as a battery pack (to charge other devices via USB), or as an external hard drive (for file storage or as a backup drive).
The Kangaroo is a novel form factor that may appeal to people who want to take their desktop PC wherever they go. The $99 price is reasonable for what is essentially an entry-level PC with no input/output devices included. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Nov 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- A Kangaroo In Your Pocket? (Posted: 3 Nov 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved