There is no question that the smartphone has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and function on a daily basis. But as amazing as our mobile drives are, they don’t often offer the same level of productivity and flexibility as a laptop for instance. On the other hand, a laptop tends to be larger, heavier, and more inconvenient to carry around. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow find a middle ground that gave us both the convenience of a smartphone and the power and versatility of a laptop, all in one package? That’s exactly what the designers behind Peakago, a new device that just launched its crowdfunding campaign, hope to accomplish, delivering a unique gadget that could be an adventure travelers new best friend.
So what exactly is Peakago? It’s difficult to pigeonhole the device into a single category, as it actually occupies a number of spaces. On the surface however, it is a mini laptop that runs a full version of Windows 10, comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, 4G networking integration, expandable storage, and a number of ports. It features a small keyboard, complete with a touchpad as well, giving it the appearance of a Lenovo ThinkPad that just so happens to have been shrunk down in size. Oh yeah, it will also sell for just $450 when it begins shipping in March of 2020, although early-bird backers of the Kickstarter can get one for as low as $269 if they buy in now.
It’s pretty easy to see the appeal for this gadget. It actually runs windows, but isn’t all that larger than a modern smartphone. That opens it up to a wide variety of software, including full desktop versions of Microsoft Office and other productivity software. The fact that it comes with a built-in, physical keyboard, the ability to plug it into external displays via HDMI, and increase its storage using micro-SD cards are also big advantages. While a lot of smartphones also offer those features, they tend to be clumsily implemented, unreliable, or just downright clunky to use. The Peakago’s affordable price also means that it is more approachable than a new flagship phone or even many high-end tablets as well.
Essentially, what you’re getting here, is a Windows laptop that has been shrunk down to be more transportable. The Peakago weighs in at just 19 ounces (539 grams) and is about twice as thick as a smartphone with a case. That said, it also feels very durable in hand and has a rugged feel to it that should help keep it safe and well protected while using it on the go. While smartphones and tablets tend to feel a bit more fragile, this device actually seems like something that you won’t mind tossing in a bag without worrying about whether or not it will be in pristine condition when you reach your destination.
As with most laptops, the Peakago comes with several configurations. For instance, it is available with either 4GB or 8GB of storage, and either a 64GB or 128GB SSD drive. It is powered by an Intel Cherry 8350 processor and the display is a highly respectable IPS 1920×1200 resolution. It also features a built-in microphone and a relatively low-resolution camera which can be used for video conferencing on the go. A 4500 mAh battery offers about 4-5 hours of typical use between recharges. Speaking of which, the device is powered up via a USB-C port, although a standard USB-A port is built-in too. As you would expect, it uses both WiFi and Bluetooth to communicate, and has 4G wireless networking as well.
As if all of this didn’t make the Peakago a versatile enough little device, it has been manufactured in such a way that its screen can flip 180º to convert it into a tablet. This makes it super handy for reading long-form content, such as ebooks, large PDF files, or even news articles on the web. This gives it the capacities of a Windows convertible device, but in a much smaller package.
The team behind the Peakago have sent me a test model, which I’ll do a full review of at a later date. My initial impressions are that it is a fun, convenient device that has a lot of potential, but I’m not sure how useful the keyboard is for getting actual work done. Still, it is intriguing to see a mobile gadget that is offering something unique and different. In theory, since it runs Windows 10, it should offer a lot more flexibility, but how that plays out in the real world remains to be seen.
When Peakago Computers, the company behind the device, launched its Indiegogo campaign the plan was to raise $10,220 to get the gadget into production. That modes goal was smashed within the first few hours however, and at the moment they have raked in more than $110,000 from crowdfunders. That means that the Peakago should go into production on schedule and start shipping early next year, although as with any crowdfunding campaign those dates can slip and there are risks to pledging support for a product that is not yet real. Still, having held one of these devices in my hands, I feel pretty confident that it will begin shipping to customers on time.
If you’re in the need for a small, powerful, and portable Windows laptop, the Peakago might just be what you’re looking for. It should serve as a good complementary device to a smartphone while traveling, which alone gives it a nice level of appeal. It’s size, weight, and price are attractive too, as this thing costs less than half of what my iPad Pro runs. The two devices aren’t exactly analogous to one another, but depending on your needs, this may be a good alternative.
Find out more and check out the Indiegogo campaign here.