First Look

Kangaroo: An incredibly portable and low cost Windows 10 machine with iPad support

You're going to want Santa to bring you one of these.

kangaroo ipad2

Windows 10 has received mixed reviews and, to many, it’s still way to early to make the jump with their existing machines to this new version. But what if you want to get some experience with the system? I suppose you could run up a virtual machine with Windows 10 installed but if you’re not set up for that kind of testing then I’ve got a far easier and far more tempting solution: The Kangaroo.

kangaroo and dock

This is a tiny machine: Just over half an inch thick (“As thin as a package of post-it notes”) and 3.1 inches wide by 4.88 inches long and fractionally over 7 ounces this is a tiny device particularly in light of what it offers. Running Windows 10 Home on a 64-bit Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor (1.44GHz base clock with 2.24GHz burst) with 2GB  RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage along with a microSD expansion slot, 802.11 A/C, Bluetooth 4.0, a fingerprint reader so you login to Windows using biometric identification, and a rechargeable battery that’s good for about 4 hours of operation.

The Kangaroo’s port line-up includes the microSD slot, and a micro USB slot (for charging). More ports are provided by the included Kangaroo Dock which adds an extra 1.84 inches in length and provides one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port (which also includes audio-out), and a DC power-in socket. 

kangaroo outline
kangaroo lifestyle3

To run the Kangaroo you can plugin an HDMI monitor, connect a USB keyboard and mouse (I used a Rapoo E6700 Bluetooth keyboard which I highly recommend), and off you go or, to be far more cool, you can use the free OSLinx iOS app via the USB port (see the top photo) and you now have a Windows 10 desktop on your iPad! How cool is that?

The Kangaroo works flawlessly although I had some initial glitches with updating the OSLinx server on the Kangaroo over Wi-Fi because the download kept failing (I have no idea who to blame but given that everything else on my network appeared to have no problems I’m leaning towards blaming Kangaroo).

kangaroo screen1

The Kangaroo accessed via VNC over a Wi-Fi connection

Another aspect of the Kangaroo is that's incredibly useful if you’re on the road and need a Windows 10 machine but prefer to travel light. During testing I also installed a Real VNC server on the Kangaroo so I could access it from my Mac.

Now, for all of this technological goodness, how much would you expect to pay? How about $99? I think at that price this is an incredible bargain and actually places the Kangaroo into the gift category for the upcoming season of wanton giving that we used to call Christmas. I love this thing and I award the Kangaroo a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5. You might want to start dropping hints for whatever this season is.

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