Raspberry Pi laptop? Here’s a super-simple kit you can build yourself – TechRepublic

A $250 Raspberry Pi-powered ‘laptop’ that you build yourself will be available from November.

The ‘laptop’ is made using the Kano Computer Kit Complete, which lets users slot the computer together from only a handful of parts, just like putting together blocks of Lego.

Despite being described as a laptop by Kano, the completed computer is made up of two detached parts, a 10.1-inch HD (1920×1080) screen and computer unit, and a laptop-sized wireless keyboard.

Nevertheless the lightweight system is designed to be portable, with a case to protect the screen and rechargeable 3,000mAh Lithium battery for use on the move.

The computer is designed to be as simple enough for children aged under 10 to use thanks to its Kano OS.

The OS provides the Chromium web browser and apps that offer access to YouTube, WhatsApp, Google Maps and Wikipedia, with the ability for parents to put strict parental controls in place.

However, the computer’s real purpose is to teach kids how computers work and get them interested in programming. There is a storybook that explains each step of how to build the laptop and how each component works. The Kano OS has a Story mode—effectively a game that teaches children about how computers work—a drag and drop coding app, step-by-step coding challenges and software for modding Minecraft using simple code. These coding challenges extend to teaching children JavaScript, Python and Unix commands.

The machine can also be used to tinker with computer hardware. It comes with a sound sensor and a USB hub that can be used to add additional sensors, such as the Kano Motion Sensor Kit.

The Kano is powered by the Raspberry Pi 3, whose quad-core ARM-based board is suited to light everyday use, although it will likely be noticeably slower than a PC once you try to open a few tabs. The Pi 3 includes 1GB RAM, four USB 2.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet and a HDMI port.

The kit is the latest education-focused machine released by Kano. ZDNet’s review of Kano’s previous kit, which didn’t include a display, said it had “definitely fulfilled the goals it set out to”. Alongside this Kano latest offering, there is also the rival Pi-Top, another build-it-yourself laptop kit.

The Kano Computer Kit Complete is available for preorder for $250 and will ship from November 20.

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