Gadgets kangaroo_small

Published on December 3rd, 2015 | by Greg


A Computer In Your Pocket: The Kangaroo Mobile Desktop PC

One of the long-promised parts of the computer revolution that never quite materialized: the idea of being able to plug in your phone to a monitor and keyboard and enjoy a powerful PC with all of your customizations and data already handy. Personal digital assistants shifted into tablets, laptops became ever lighter and easier to carry, but cloud-based services supplanted many of those original needs, allowing you to simply login and get immediate access to everything, anywhere in the world.

But between security concerns and the occasional lack of internet access in some places, not to mention the variety of environments where a lightweight computer can come in handy, there is ample room in the marketplace for an inexpensive computer with plenty of power in a small form factor. The Kangaroo Mobile Desktop PC isn’t just a little computer- it’s fully-featured, capable of running 64-bit Windows 10, powered by a 2.24-GHz Intel Atom “Cherry Trail” x5-Z8500 processor. Running atop 2GB of RAM, the system is fanless, so it won’t make any noise and can be an ideal media center PC. And it’s both more powerful and more flexible than a “computer on a stick”.

The Kangaroo comes with a microSD card offering 32GB of storage, but you can always swap the card out for something larger if you want. Provide your own mouse, keyboard and monitor and you have a computer that can fit in the palm of your hand or pocket- or you can just connect to an iPad via an interesting app called OSLinx. There’s even a built-in battery capable of powering the Kangaroo for few hours of use. The unit actually comes in two pieces- the Desktop which holds the primary components and a Dock utilizing a proprietary connector that snaps into the Desktop and provides USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and HDMI ports.

For the price, you might expect sluggish performance- and you’d be wrong, as long as you aren’t expecting to play Fallout 4. Bootup times are pretty snappy, and most general applications run smoothly. You might also worry about build quality, but we were impressed by the metal body, solid in the hand at a mere 14mm thick. Using an iPad as a Windows tablet was interesting, but ultimately felt a little laggy compared to native devices, and the built-in speakers don’t work. We also should note that the maximum suggested resolution is 1920 x 1080, so no 4K streaming, and we missed having a 3.5mm audio jack. But one nice surprise is the excellent fingerprint scanner which sits flush on a corner of the unit and was accurate and easy to use. The Kangaroo itself is simple, effective, and you really can’t beat the price: $99 is a great value for this fully-functional, multi-purpose pico-PC, available now!

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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