When we took a look at the $ 99 InFocus Kangaroo mobile desktop PC, which is part of this new wave of tiny, pocket-sized, modular Windows 10 computers, we found a machine full of portability and promise. Now InFocus is back with a new model called Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro which sells for $ 199.

So how is it? I had the chance to play with one for the last week and here are my thoughts. Moreover, I will explain to you what is different with the Pro version.

Comparison of hardware and features

On paper, the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop and the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro are identical except for the addition of the new Pro Dock. It’s this last part where the extra $ 99 goes, and it will be important for many people looking for a laptop.

Here is a comparison table of the features.

Category Mobile office Mobile office Pro
CPU Intel Atom x5-Z8500 1.44 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 2.24 GHz
Intel Atom x5-Z8500 1.44 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 2.24 GHz
RAM 2 GB LPDDR3 2 GB LPDDR3
Storage room 32 GB eMMC 32 GB eMMC
Graphic Intel HD Graphics Gen8 (up to 600Mhz) Intel HD Graphics Gen8 (up to 600Mhz)
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi (dual band)
Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac Wi-Fi (dual band)
Bluetooth 4.0
Hello Windows Fingerprint reader Fingerprint reader
Battery life 4 hours (occasional use)
2200 mAh lithium-ion
4 hours (occasional use)
2200 mAh lithium-ion
ethernet port No Yes
HDMI output Yes Yes
VGA output No Yes
USB 3.0 x1 x1
USB 2.0 x1 x2
Audio port No Yes
Hard drive bay No Yes
Expansion microSD TF slot
Supports SDSC, SDHC and SDXC formats
microSD TF slot
Supports SDSC, SDHC and SDXC formats
Weight PC only: 164.42 g (5.80 oz)
PC + docking station: 7.40 ounces (209.78)
PC only: 5.70 oz (164.42 g)
PC + docking station: 14.80 oz (209.78

Mobile Desktop Pro (left) vs. Mobile Desktop (right)

So, the new Kangaroo Pro deserves its name Pro not so much because of the improved hardware, but because it contains more hardware. With the Pro, your extra $ 100 gets you the following add-ons, all of which are part of the Dock Pro:

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  • VGA port
  • Additional USB 2.0 port
  • One 2.5-inch hard drive bay
  • ethernet port
  • An audio jack

Of course, what’s interesting about the concept of Kangaroo is that InFocus could release even more mods for you to leverage into something more powerful.

Quick review

You can watch Mark’s take on the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop from February in his full article or watch the video in action below, as I’ll add some commentary to it here.

Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Review: Palm-sized PC for just $ 99

For the most part, the Pro version works just like the non-Pro, but these extra features – especially the Ethernet port – go a long way in making this a “real” PC.

Out of the box, the Pro comes with Windows 10 build 10586.00, which is a very old version from last year. Fortunately, I was able to connect it to Ethernet and download the cumulative updates, which brought the version to 10586.218. While the download went quickly, the installation process took almost 45 minutes due to the sluggishness of the Intel Atom processor.

Professional mobile office

After updating the operating system, I was able to configure and use the fingerprint reader to sign in to Windows 10 with Windows Hello. I have to admit, this is a nice addition to have, although you won’t be using it all the time.

While the Kangaroo can power a 4K monitor, it can only do so at 30 FPS, which is not ideal at all. However, connecting it to a 1080P screen or TV gives a quite satisfactory 60 FPS. However, you cannot power two monitors from the device.

Performance with the Atom processor and 2GB of RAM will be limited, but we’re talking about a desktop PC that can fit in a purse or large pocket – and costs less than most phones. If you use universal Windows apps from the store, Office, and play casual games (e.g. Minecraft), you won’t have any problems. Without a dedicated GPU from Nvidia, however, you won’t be able to do anything graphics-hungry.

Why I like the Kangaroo Pro

The Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro is a one-off creation, but like Continuum for Windows Phone, it may be slightly ahead for many people today. Nonetheless, my mind was racing with ideas on what I could use for this device, including:

  • Living Room Bedroom – The Kangaroo works wonderfully as a PC for the TV. Grab a Microsoft wireless desktop keyboard and mouse, and you can use Windows 10 on your 55-inch TV right from your couch. Not only did it work well, but for the occasional computer, it was also a lot of fun.
  • To travel – With the new hard drive bay, you can put a lot of music, videos, media, documents or whatever you want on the Kangaroo and take it with you. With the inclusion of a VGA output in addition to HDMI, you should be able to easily connect to most displays.
  • DIY projects – I’m not the creative type, but there are a lot of people who are, and they could use Kangaroo to build a PC in various items or use it in unique situations. Remember, the Kangaroo even has a built-in battery for 2-4 hours of use.

You can even connect the Kangaroo to an iOS device like an iPad, which turns your less-than-productive Apple device into a display for a full-fledged, hard-working Windows PC.

Overall the Kangaroo was just fun to use as you can just take it with you. The idea of ​​a small computer that you could hide in your entertainment system like a Roku was unknown years ago. Now it can be done, and no one would even know it was there.

What I do not like

While the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro is fun to use and has a lot of creative potential, the Intel Atom processor can be painful at times. While Atom performs well when running these UWP apps from Windows 10 Store, it struggles with OS updates or even app updates.

In fact, I’ll bluntly say I’m not a fan of Atom processors at all, and I’m pretty happy Intel is pulling out of chips. That’s not to say that I don’t think there is a need for a cheap Intel processor, just that current Atom processors don’t meet what many consumers may want and need. Intel has their new Skylake Core M line, which I think is fantastic, but now you’re talking about a slightly larger footprint, increased power requirements, and higher costs.

Professional mobile office Mobile Desktop Pro (left) vs. Mobile Desktop (right)

There is also the problem of carrying input devices which still plague this setup and that of Continuum. While a kangaroo fits in my bag, even a pocket in cargo pants, you still need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor for that. The screen issue is fixed if you have a TV with exposed HDMI or VGA inputs, but the keyboard and mouse are something you will need to take with you. Also, you need the micro-USB charger to power it, but it is not compatible with the micro-USB cable that you could use to charge your phone (Kangaroo has a longer plug).

Then again, if you plan to use Kangaroo in a desktop setup with these things already set up, that’s okay. You can even “grab your PC” to bring it home, and that would be a very simple task.

Conclusion

I think InFocus is on to something with Kangaroo and the Kangaroo Pro. There is a market for a full PC the size of two smartphones that can fit anywhere, or be used for very minimalist desktop settings (you can stick it on the back of a screen or under the desk! ).

My concern right now is the same one we had in February: low-end specs. Now, in fairness to InFocus, they’re working with what’s available to them while trying to hit certain prices. If InFocus added an Intel Core M processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, that $ 199 would suddenly drop to $ 400 or even more. The value game then starts to go down as you might start to find traditional laptops or desktops (also screenless) starting to appear.

Regarding the quality, I think InFocus has done a great job. Everything from the box to the setup and construction of the Kangaroo Pro and its docks is top notch.

Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro

To take with: The InFocus Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro is an exciting and unique addition to the changing landscape of PCs. It’s a well-built device that fills a niche in computing and offers unique creative capabilities. While the Intel Atom processor is its only weak point, it will only bother people who expect more for $ 199. For casual use and light gaming, the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Pro could be a fun weekend project for the living room or bedroom.

Advantages:

  • A PC for anywhere in your home
  • Not super expensive
  • Well done and neat concept

The inconvenients:

  • May be ahead of its time for consumers
  • Intel Atom processor may be slow
  • Portability limited by the need for a screen and inputs

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