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Portables

InFocus's New Kangaroo: a Screenless $99 Windows 10 Portable PC (venturebeat.com) 224

An anonymous reader writes: InFocus today debuted the Kangaroo, a $99 Windows 10 portable PC that "goes anywhere and works with any screen." The term "mobile desktop" may seem like an oxymoron, but that really is the best description: Picture your typical desktop PC tower shrunk down to the size of a phablet sans screen; just like any desktop, you'll still need to connect a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.
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InFocus's New Kangaroo: a Screenless $99 Windows 10 Portable PC

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  • So you carry with you a small spray can of instant screen; spray on any flat surface and the nanomachines released by the spray assemble into an instant lcd, and connect to the unit by radio (would have to be better than bluetooth). When you're done the nanoparticles disassemble, dissolving the screen. Just need that part.
  • IBM's Metacard redux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @11:16AM (#50802995) Homepage

    People keep doing this sort of thing. IBM had Metacard, there was Oqo, and wasn't there a Palm device which was viewed as mostly a media storage device?

    Why not go ahead and add a touch screen (and a stylus) so that one can use it w/o needing to cable up?

    I use a Toshiba Encore 2 Write 10 as my main system in pretty much this way, connecting when I don't wish to use the touch screen / stylus to a full-size keyboard and monitor (fortunately, Toshiba provided an adapter for the single USB port which affords two connections, one for charging, one for devices).

    The functionality I'd really like to see is this sort of thing done as an iPhone / iPod Touch sized unit ---- Apple could take their laptop, make the trackpad a removable unit which was exactly the size of an iPhone/iPod Touch, and one could replace the trackpad w/ the portable device which would then function as a customizable trackpad and which would load the user directory and backup the portable device.

    • The functionality I'd really like to see is this sort of thing done as an iPhone / iPod Touch sized unit ---- Apple could take their laptop, make the trackpad a removable unit which was exactly the size of an iPhone/iPod Touch

      The iphone already has a large "trackpad". The only thing really needed is a vga/hdmi out on the iphone and when you connect the monitor, the entire phone becomes your trackpad. This solves the "mouse" issue. Now, all you need is a keyboard and monitor where ever you want to use it.
      I believe microsoft recently came out with such a device. Not sure what it was called. A cellphone with a video out would probably be adequate for many people. The main problem I see is that most desktop apps I want to use

    • Apple could take their laptop, make the trackpad a removable unit which was exactly the size of an iPhone/iPod Touch

      You do know Apple sells a Bluetooth-enabled wireless trackpad, right?

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      What I'd like is not to have to carry around an extra device at all -- my cell phone is already in my pocket just about all the time, and these days it's got enough power to work a basic desktop computer, the only drawback is that its small size makes its user interactions less efficient than what a full desktop can provide.

      So the ideal usage pattern would be: I walk over to a keyboard/mouse/monitor that is sitting somewhere, sit down in front of it, and my cell phone (still in my pocket) connects to the k

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 26, 2015 @11:18AM (#50803011)

    You should see my mobile basketball court. Well... it's just a ball really.

  • So... (Score:4, Informative)

    by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @11:27AM (#50803055)

    It's just like a NUC, or Compute Stick, or any of dozens of other micro PCs.

    Wait, this one has a battery, but I'm not sure how much of a feature that is when you need an external monitor anyway. I guess it gets you through power hiccoughs?

    • Wait, this one has a battery, but I'm not sure how much of a feature that is when you need an external monitor anyway.

      That depends on whether there are enough plugs for the external monitor but not for the computer. This might happen, say, if you're using an existing TV as a monitor and can bum an HDMI cable off a game console or cable box but don't want to fool around with finding an outlet. Or it might happen if you're connecting to a projector but don't want to run a power cord that someone can trip over.

      I guess it gets you through power hiccoughs?

      Having had a four-second power outage at home last night, I can attest to the convenience of always having a UPS with

    • The battery means you don't have to shut down and reboot. You can suspend and leave all of your applications open.

  • There's no short supply of small form factor PCs. What about the Raspberry pi, that /. loves to talk about?

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @11:32AM (#50803093) Homepage

    My parents have a tiny little box like this. Why? Because they are getting old and won't be looking at a 10" screen and fiddle with microscopic virtual buttons or cramped keyboards 2mm deep. Huge monitor, full size keyboard and mouse but in terms of computing power their needs are practically non-existant. Sure it could be a laptop, but the lid would be closed 99.9% of the time so why bother.

  • Wait a minute... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @11:48AM (#50803235) Journal

    That sounds really familiar [wikimedia.org].

    • That sounds really familiar [wikimedia.org].

      Well, at least the Atari used to have a keyboard, so it could be used as a transportable desktop, you can move it around and need only to plug it into any TV.

      TFA's device doesn't have any input, so you need to supply your own keyboard and mouse.

      So it isn't as much like Atari/Amiga/Commodore compute of past history, as much as yet another variation of Raspberry Pi, Asus eee, Intel NUC, Intel HDMI compute stick, etc. only with much shittier specs.

      • I see. But if it doesn't have any input devices or display devices, how is it different from carrying around a micro ATX computer?

  • This is a useful form factor for some niche applications. The Quantum Byte is a bit more money, but has ethernet, and the I/O ports are all built in - no dock. No battery either. I've used two of these: one sitting in a closet running the client software of a cloud based backup service. The tiny PC backs up the NAS it is sitting next to. I put VNC on the little PC and run it without any attached peripherals at all. The other one is sitting in the server room of a larger business and is connected to the syst

    • I need a computer to run a small windows-only application of trivial size, hooked to a ham radio for remote control purposes. This computer fits the bill nicely, since the radio I hope to control only needs one USB port, and while wifi isn't my preferred connection type, it will work, or a USB Ethernet dongle should work just fine.

      I agree, those trying to cast this as the next big thing (and mocking it for falling short) are missing the point - for select use cases, this is an attractive platform, no one sa

  • There are lots of these small, portable computers around. People like them because they can take their compute environment with them between work and home, because they can tape one of these to the back of their TV, etc.

    At $99, this looks like a pretty good deal for an Intel-based computer. If you want to run Linux and are happy with an ARM, of course, a Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone is better and cheaper.

  • Trade the battery for 2GB more ram.

    2GB system is to low.

  • Reminds me of the Espresso PC [cappuccinopc.com]. A very niche design at the time, but let's see if 2015 will be the year of the slabputer (or whatever you want to call this thing).

  • This thing would be perfect if you want to gargoyle it up, you'd just need a handheld control device and a head-mounted display.

    This is getting closer to my ideal smartwatch concept: Where the smartwatch is your primary, maybe only computer, with a basic interface because you're not really meant to use the watch as an interface. You'd use something like a phone, tablet, or laptop sort of like a remote desktop terminal to interact with the computer on your wrist. Something like this might be practical in abo

  • by kamakazi ( 74641 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @04:09PM (#50805247)

    This isn't a computer company, this is a projector company. Did no one else immediately think "Oh, they are going to build the dock into projectors, you have a conference room system in one piece that just needs a wireless keyboard/mouse/presentation remote."

    The battery means the projector can be as small as a pico projector, with its own built in battery and you have a complete presentation system that fits easily in the briefcase with your sales literature and you are completely wireless.

    Add a smartphone with hotspotting, you have complete connectivity (unless you live in the boonies where I live) with no other pieces required for your sales presentation, whether it is in a hotel room or the corner of a MacDonalds.

    So yeah, all us geeks want to know how it would work in a beowulf cluster, but I think the real target is going to be non-geeks who really can benefit from not having to worry about whether the potential client has a projector with VGA or HDMI in the conference room.

    In the longer view of things, if InFocus standardizes on this dock connector you can upgrade the computer or the projector one at a time. At this price you could even have computers dedicated to a specific presentation, swap the computer, the IT guys back at $bigCo set it up to auto run, you just plug in the computer with your presentation on it. Even easier than swapping out those itty bitty micro SD cards.

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