The name of this little device, and I do mean little, is one clue into the many strengths of this portable PC [which actually looks like an Apple TV - ed]. Weighing in at 225g it really is small but the size belies the capabilities of this unit.
Plug in a USB mouse and keyboard and any HDMI-enabled screen and you're good to go with the Cloudgate.
Using the packaged CloudWare software, it will serve up a virtualised Windows environment across the cloud.
In addition it comes with Android 4.2 installed and the setup is as simple as setting up your smartphone. With that comes a host of available apps on the Play Store.
8GBs onboard storage may seem paltry, but this is flash memory we're speaking of at least, so there are no moving parts.
With three USB 2.0 ports as well as seamlessly traversing both Apple and Windows based networks – accessing your stored data on external or NAS is very easy.
The Cloudgate device has many upsides to it, with the setup and UI being one of them.
If you're already an Android device user, the interface is similar and a doddle to navigate.
Not only is the device portable and lightweight, but it's packed with a ton of features too, such as WiFi, LAN capabilities and three USB ports.
The low cost of ownership (coming in at R2000) also means affordability for families that may not have considered buying a computer.
In saying so, there are a few downsides to the Cloudgate.
For one, some users have complained that it is buggy, but our test unit worked flawlessly.
More concerning though were reports that HD streaming wasn't fantastic, and I found that HD streaming over ethernet (on a gigabit network) was definitely choppy.
That said, if you’re looking for a network streaming device, this may not be for you, but with the available USB slots, watching HD movies from an external drive was a walk in the park and we had no issues there. One addition I’d like to see added is a remote for those who would consider using it to add smart capabilities to their current ‘dumb’ tv’s
In closing, I believe they have a real winner here.
Edited by Hadlee Simons