Published on December 3rd, 2015 | by Greg0
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!