Kano, the Kickstarter-backed company that sells build-your-own-computer kits, is taking things up a notch with its latest educational DIY.
Unveiled Thursday, the $ 279.99 kid-focused Computer Kit Touch includes everything you need to build not just any computer, but one with a touchscreen. Designed for kids ages 6 and up, the kit includes a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, wireless keyboard with a trackpad, motherboard, battery, speaker, microphone, and all the other components you need — all brightly colored — plus a detailed instruction book.
“Your first experience with computing and code should be simple, playful, and powerful,” Kano Co-Founder and CEO Alex Klein said in a statement. “The Computer Kit Touch takes the experience of building your own computer to a new level by revealing the secrets of touch interaction. Combining block-based and text-based coding, it shows you how modern computing systems work. It gets you inside the screen, rather than in front of it, and provides a set of art, music, and programming tools – not just toys.”
In terms of power, the DIY computer features a Raspberry Pi 3 with a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 16GB MicroSD card. Its has three USB ports and a 3,000 mAh Lithium battery that will give you around two hours and thirty minutes around of juice on a charge.
It runs Kano OS, a Linux-based operating system designed to teach coding concepts. Kano OS ships with the full office suite LibreOffice (it’s just like Microsoft Office), which offers word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, math formula, and database applications. It comes with a bunch of other fun, educational apps such as Hack Minecraft, Make Art, Make Pong, and Make Light, and you can download more for free via Kano’s Software Library.
“Following the step-by-step storybook, you’ll learn how batteries, sensors, circuit boards, and touchscreens work. And how they fit together to bring your computer to life!” Kano Communications Manager Chris Mann wrote in a blog post. “Then you’ll start working through hundreds of creative coding challenges. Getting your hands all over the screen (and the code!), and making your own art, games, music and apps — levelling up as you go!”
The Kano Computer Kit Touch is available online and via select retailers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.