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Tiny Touchscreen PC Doubles Crowdfunder Target

The Higole pocket PC, in a pocket
(Image credit: Gole)

Once upon a time, the notion of a pocket PC was just that - Windows XP’s touchscreen extensions packaged to fit in your Levi’s, ports and all. Then iPhones happened and everything became a black rectangle, so it’s good to see a proper pocket PC crowdfunding on Indiegogo: the Higole PC from rugged tablet company Gole out of Shenzhen, China.

Don’t go expecting a pants pocket powerhouse, however. The Higole uses the Celeron J4125 (Gemini Lake 14nm, four cores, four threads, 2.7GHz boost, 10W) from 2020, which is probably not going to trouble our hierarchy of the best CPUs for gaming (opens in new tab), but which should acquit itself well if running a web browser or note-taking app. Oddly, the Celeron N4000 (Gemini Lake, 14nm, two cores, two threads, 2.6GHz boost, 6W) from 2017 is also available as a slightly cheaper option, the discontinued chip doing its best in the face of the competition.

Whichever Celeron you choose, it’s backed by 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and integrated Intel UHD 600 graphics, allowing the PC to output 4K to a couple of extra screens. A variety of ports are scattered around the edge of the fanless case, including a pair of full-size HDMI 2.0s, mic and speaker, four USB 3 Type-As, one Type-C for power, Ethernet, audio jack, Micro SD, and a power button. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth depend on the CPU you choose, with the N4000 getting 5.0 for both, and the J4125 getting Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. There's a 128GB SSD fitted, an internal 5,000mAh battery good for about four hours, and it comes with Windows 11.

The whole thing is squeezed into a case about the size of two smartphones pressed back to back: 5.6in tall, 3.6in wide, and 0.7 of an inch thick. The touch-enabled IPS display is 5.5in 1280x800px, and while the creators claim it will be the lightest PC in the world ever, we can’t see a weight figure quoted.

Still, one to watch, perhaps, especially as early bird offers are going for around $200 for the N4000 and $230 for the J4125 version. The crowdfunding campaign is already over 200% funded, with 42 days left, and the aim of shipping products in September. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment; you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • The Wizzard
    The writing of this article really seems like this is some crazy sale, but the "goal" was not even 10K, and less than 30 of these units have even sold.

    Anybody proofing this author?
    Reply
  • husker
    Back in the day, there was a real battle between hand held digital assistants and cell phones for the dominant technology. For those crowdfunding this project: The 90's called to let you know that the cell phone won.
    Reply
  • LuxZg
    Several years back I could still buy a relatively satisfying Win 10 tablet, and those were under 150$ (shipped and taxed). Mine gad Android and Win 10 dual boot. Unfortunately wife broke the screen :-/

    Ever since, x86 hardware is being extinct. And rare models like this one are still pushing obsolete Atom (Celeron) 14nm parts.

    Best (but not cheapest) x86 alternative is probably AMD Ryzen Embedded R2000 Series, starting at 12W. But even that is based on 12nm Zen+ cores.

    I really wish for something like 8-10W R3000 with Zen 3/4 and RDNA, and sane price. Then devices like this one (and smaller 8-10" tablets) would probably flourish again. I know I'd buy one.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    So, the only thing this device has different from an x86 tablet are the many ports? Because, if you look at it, it really is a thick tablet.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    husker said:
    Back in the day, there was a real battle between hand held digital assistants and cell phones for the dominant technology. For those crowdfunding this project: The 90's called to let you know that the cell phone won.
    What are you talking about? In the 90's the only thing a phone could do besides calling someone was playin snake.
    The cell phone of the 90's didn't win, it just got capable enough to incorporate everything the PDAs had, the two technologies merged and became the smart phone, if you look at it the smart phone is much closer to the PDAs of the past than to the cell phones.

    At $2-300 it would be a nice alternative to the steamdeck for people that are ok with simpler games and external controllers.
    I can also imagine a whole slew of professionals that would like this thing, if you work in IT being able to connect anything to your portable PC and run any diagnostic you want would be very nice.
    Reply
  • CompuGuy71
    TerryLaze said:
    I can also imagine a whole slew of professionals that would like this thing, if you work in IT being able to connect anything to your portable PC and run any diagnostic you want would be very nice.

    Hadn't thought of an application like this. Wouldn't mind dumping my surface book for something pocket sized.
    Reply
  • husker
    TerryLaze said:
    What are you talking about? In the 90's the only thing a phone could do besides calling someone was playin snake.
    The cell phone of the 90's didn't win, it just got capable enough to incorporate everything the PDAs had, the two technologies merged and became the smart phone, if you look at it the smart phone is much closer to the PDAs of the past than to the cell phones.

    At $2-300 it would be a nice alternative to the steamdeck for people that are ok with simpler games and external controllers.
    I can also imagine a whole slew of professionals that would like this thing, if you work in IT being able to connect anything to your portable PC and run any diagnostic you want would be very nice.

    I didn't say the phone of the 90's won, but that is when the battle began. Nobody knew which piece of tech would evolve into the omnipresent pocket computer everyone would carry around. If you check the calendar on your digital assistant... oh, don't have one? That's because nobody does: We use our cell phones. This device is an attempt to resurrect that long ago battle. People who are okay with simpler games can already game on cell phones, they are always connected to a cellular network, they have better support because they are mainstream, they have every app you need or dream of (including software to remote control and shadow your home PC) they make phone calls and send texts, etc., etc. As far as an IT professional using this in any meaningful way, it is doubtful that it would run business worthy software or do any kind of useful "diagnostic" (that's what corporate help desks are for). I'm sorry, but it is going to just be a novelty that does nothing well and becomes a nuisance to carry around like an iPod touch, or something. Oh, and good luck finding a case or screen protector to fit; it will be broken in 6 months if it isn't relegated to live in the nightstand drawer by then.
    Reply
  • adamboy64
    I'm impressed with the amount of ports this thing has. Perhaps it's overkill for such a device.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    So why are there so many advertisements when I go to that site to read the articles? If you’re logged in as a user you shouldn’t be seeing advertisements. That’s why I hate reading your articles. I don’t think other website to do this to their users. This is abuse and the articles are poorly written
    If you guys want more readers then stop abusing them with advertisements because nobody’s going to put up with that.
    Reply