InFocus has just debuted the Kangaroo, a $99 Windows 10 portable PC that “goes anywhere and works with any screen”. It may not be the smallest PC in the market, but it could be the most versatile among miniature computers.
The idea of a “mobile desktop computer” might seem to be weird to many people, but that really is the best description: your typical desktop PC tower shrinks down to the size of a mobile phone and all you need to connect a mouse, keyboard, and monitor to use. Kangaroo is available on Newegg now, and will go on sale at the Microsoft Store by mid-November.
Of course, you cannot expect much computing power for $99. The Kangaroo uses an Intel “Cherry Trail” Atom x5-Z8500 processor, which typically appears in tablets, and there is just 2GB of RAM on board. The module also includes 32GB of storage, a microSD expansion slot, and a fingerprint reader. The built-in battery can run for about four hours with casual use, with Micro USB charging. In addition, InFocus takes a clever approach to expansion: there is an included dock with HDMI and two USB ports, and there are promises of more add-ons in the future.
Kangaroo really is a completely functioning PC. It is not running Starter or some other basic edition of Windows but comes with Windows 10 Home.
The built-in Wi-Fi works quite decent, but you may encounter Wi-Fi problems if you are very far away from the source. The Kangaroo also has a neat trick for iOS devices: with a Lightning-to-USB cable, users can dock the PC to an iPhone or iPad, using it as a touchscreen monitor through a free companion app.
According to Lawrence Yen, director of Kangaroo product marketing, this portable PC is the first product that allows you to use the same PC for all applications, in any environment. “Unlike stick PCs and other pocket PCs, Kangaroo works with all of your existing devices and can be docked at home or tossed in your bag to use anywhere, powering and providing Windows 10 access on the go. You can access any file, any time without worrying about access to a network, upload and download times or file corruption. With its power, capacity and features, Kangaroo will change the definition of mobile computing”, the director said.
InFocus is not a famous electronics brand, but the company has been around for 30 years, and specializes in projectors and extra-large touchscreen PCs for office uses. The Kangaroo looks to be InFocus’ first big consumer play.
Miniature PCs seem to be popular these days since Microsoft has cut down the power, storage, and memory requirements of Windows. What sets the Kangaroo apart, aside from its low price, is the docking system that encourages shuttling the PC around between monitors. If you are going to buy a tiny desktop computer, you might as well put that pocket-friendly form to good use.