Over the past few years we’ve seen a bunch of tiny Windows laptops with 7 to 9 inch displays, QWERTY keyboards, touchscreen displays, and a variety of compromises that come with cramming a full-fledged computer into a PC that’s barely bigger than a phone.

The Peakago may be the most affordable to date. But as far as I can tell, you get what you pay for.

First unveiled in September, this 7 inch mini-laptop is set to go up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign starting November 13th. It’ll sell for $269 and up.

For that price you shouldn’t exactly expect top-tier specs or performance… and you won’t get them. But the Peakago is an inexpensive computer that could make a good travel companion for jotting notes on the go, watching videos, or some other light work — as long as you temper your expectations.

9/9/2020 Update: Peakago has yet to ship any products to backers of the crowdfunding campaign, and the company has been radio silent for much of 2020, with no updates to the Indiegogo page, no response to backers, and no responses to my emails. I would not recommend anyone spend money on the Peakago crowdfunding campaign. 

The folks at Peakago sent me a demo unit to test, and I’ve only just started poking around, so I’m not ready to pass final judgment.

But I will say that this is one of the slowest, least responsive computers I’ve used in a while. It’s definitely more of a one-thing-at-a-time computer than a multitasking beast.

It also has a pretty lousy mono speaker (it’s not very loud and doesn’t offer much bass at all). And I’m also not in love with the keyboard layout — particularly the small backspace key placed above a larger Del key, instead of vice versa.

That said, have I mentioned how cheap this thing is? Here’s how much the various configurations will cost, at least during crowdfunding:

  • 4GB RAM/64GB storage for $269
  • 8GB RAM/128GB storage for $339
  • Update: Pentium N4200/8GB/RAM/128GB storage for $339 (before Nov 22nd, or $399 after)
  • 8GB/128GB + 4G LTE for $399

Other specs include:

  • 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS touchscreen display
  • Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor
  • 4,500 mAh battery
  • 0.3MP wecbam
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi
  • Update: 802.11ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1 x USB Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • microSD card reader
  • micro HDMI port
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 7.1″ x 4.5″ x 0.78″
  • 1.2 pounds

The Peakago features a 360-degree hinge which lets you flip the screen all the way around and use the little computer as a tablet. And unlike most other 7 inch mini-laptops it has a webcam — not a very good one, but at least it has one.

But the little computer doesn’t have a backlit keyboard or fingerprint sensor. It doesn’t have any support for digital pen input. It has a plastic case rather than metal. And it ships with Windows 10 in S Mode (although you can switch to Windows 10 Home for free).

This is very much not a premium device. But at a time when other mini-laptops are selling for as much as $1,000, it’s nice to see some cheaper alternatives. I just wish the Peakago had a slightly faster processor.

When I first wrote about the Peakago in September, someone from the company reached out to let me know that they were going to update the specs. I was hoping that meant a move from an Atom x5-Z8350 processor to something newer, like an Intel Celeron N4100 chip.

Update 11/15/2019: Peakago is now offering an option for a WiFi-only Peakago Pro with a Pentium N4200 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $339 if you order by November 22nd or $399 after that date. That should bring a significant performance boost… but the 4G LTE model and entry-level model are still Intel Atom-only. 

No luck. Instead, it looks like Peakago decided to offer a cheaper configuration: originally the plan was to only offer the 8GB/128GB model. Now there will also be the lower-priced 4GB/64GB version.

Oh, and one other thing I noticed after I started using the Peakago demo unit — it looks really familiar. That’s not just because most of the 7 inch mini-laptops released to date have copied the design of the GPD Pocket. It’s because Notebook Italia spotted what seems to be this exact mini PC at the HKTDC fair a few weeks ago — where a manufacturer called Pretech was showing it off as the Pretech F700Mi Mini.

Update: It seems that the Peakago isn’t a rebranded Pretech F700Mi Mini. Rather, they’re both based on designs from the same tooling company, and we can likely expect to be a number of lookalike products in the coming months — although they may have slightly different specs.  

The good news is that this means crowdfunding is basically just a formality/publicity campaign. The designs are already complete and the Peakago is pretty much ready to ship. The bad news is that it’s not a particularly distinctive (or powerful) product. 

I’ll have more to say about the Peakago in the coming days after I’ve had more time to test it.

For now, here are a few more photos:

 

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  1. Brad, thank you for gathering details about this mini-lap-net thing. Are you willing to try bootable Peppermint Linux? I’ve heard good things from strangers about it doing reasonably well on pokey hardware. Thank you!

    1. https://liliputing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/peakago-peppermint.jpg

      After playing around for about 5 minutes, it seems like a bit of a mixed bag. It boots fine and seems reasonably responsive — but the optical touch sensor doesn’t work and the screen rotation is set to portrait by default.

      Fortunately I was able to switch to landscape by opening the Display settings and choosing to flip the orientation to “right,” but it’s basically unusable as a tablet since the digitizer doesn’t seem to rotate along with the display orientation — tapping a point on the screen causes something to happen somewhere *else* on the screen.

      I did plug in a mouse, which helped… but I can’t get a YouTube video to stream. I don’t know if there’s a problem with WiFi, video acceleration, or something else.

      Maybe I’ll tinker some more if I have time later — but right now it seems like a job for someone with the time and energy to investigate installing to local storage and making config changes. I typically just boot from a flash drive when running this sort of test so as not to risk messing up the software that came with the device.

      1. Brad,
        Wow! Thank you again for trying that so quickly. This follows on with a lot of the low-cost small-screen systems expecting tabled-portrait use, with less than straightforward configuration on (essential yet) peripherals such as WiFi. It’s good to hear it’s responsive, and understandable that you’re refocusing onto the pieces of the experience you center on. Have a great weekend,