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.