Tablets have proliferated as useful computing tools due to their “large” size (in comparison to a phone anyway) and touch screen access. But for true multitasking and zip, you can not beat a computer. Specifically a PC running the latest version of Windows and souped up with a fast processor and enough memory and hard drive space to take care of business. Portable computers — called laptops — function well but they tend to be larger than tablets, heavier and bulkier. What’s needed is a “pocket” PC that doesn’t give up any of the strengths of a full fledged computer just because it’s small. As small as a paperback book, or even a bit smaller than that? We must be talking about InFocus’ Kangaroo Mobile Desktop PC with Windows 10 Home as part of the overall package.
The Kangaroo Mobile Desktop PC is pretty special and not just as a result of its aluminum body or the fact that its so small. It’s eminently portable, being about 1 1/3rd the size of a paperback book, although less wide and many times thinner. Furthering its being a “desktop” PC, just hugely more tiny is the fact that it doesn’t need a fan — clever application of the Atom CPU (1.44 GHz) being a power “sipper” does the trick (battery life is up to 4 hours which is quite good, although actual usage time will vary on what is being done of course). Yet there’s still 2GB of memory working in that small package, along with a 32GB hard drive as well. And as should be obvious, it runs all the expected programs (or “apps” as now called in general) under Windows, from word processing to entertainment to web browsing and videos, and all at a normal speed that doesn’t cause any frustration.
The Kangaroo might be small, but it still manages to pack in a lot of added features that aren’t necessarily found in larger desktops — for example, a 3-in-1 card reader using a microSD card and a fingerprint reader for security and other uses (realistically this can lock up the system for someone who has taken the Kangaroo or tries to use it without being the owner, but obviously its size makes concealment too easy for someone nefarious). Add to that its being able to toggle as a WiFi hotspot for a direct connection when there’s no WiFi and its ability to be used as a battery pack charger unit or as an external storage device (via the microSD card) and there’s not much more you could ask of it except for printing money
While also sold as an $49.99 accessory, the Kangaroo comes with a Dock — this fits directly into a socket on the PC’s side and is secured by friction and a locking tab. The Dock doesn’t require any external power and provides a HDMI output (smaller sized than normal), USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. Without the dock it isn’t possible to have a display, although Bluetooth can enable the use of a mouse and keyboard without needing a cable, and through use of a tablet you can mimic a display. The Dock being self-powered means there’s no AC cord to connect, and should you want, it can be left on a table or desk with the various connections in place so a fast connection with the Kangaroo being all that needs be done.
Using the Kangaroo is no different than working on any well constructed and efficient desktop PC: it’s just the intimacy of the size and the gathering in together of so many features that has it standing out (although it’s designed to be used, not admired day in and day out). The “everywhere” accessibility is something that can’t be denied — all the ballyhoo about “mobile” devices is in their being able to be taken about and used — but no one makes an issue about how you have to make compromises because they’re not “PCs.” With the Kangaroo, there’s no compromises necessary just because it’s not bound to a desk or work surface.
The Kangaroo Mobile Desktop PC retails for $99 which is in itself pretty amazing, especially since it includes the Dock for making it usable just about anywhere. Would it sell any better if it came in wild neon colors rather than black? Probably not. But anyone looking for an answer to taking their PC computing mobile now have a grade A solution. That’s especially true since it will soon add accessories like a portable monitor and others items to its repertoire.