Making and coding are important skills for future engineers and technicians to master. Not long after the Raspberry Pi computer board was released, Kano started offering build-a-computer kits to makers young and old. With a focus on the former, Kano has now partnered with Microsoft to the release the Kano PC – a DIY Windows 10 computer for kids that gets them making, coding and creating.
Where the original Kano kit came without a screen, the Kano PC is an 11.6-inch tablet with a keyboard/stand – after being assembled by the student. Instead of Pi brains, the system runs on a board sporting a 1.4 GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad-core processor with 4 GB of DDR3L RAM and 64 GB of eMMC solid state storage that can be expanded by popping a microSD card into the slot.
Elsewhere, the chunky-looking tablet/laptop features one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, there's HDMI connectivity, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a 3.5 mm line-out jack, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless capabilities, and a built-in microphone.
It runs on Windows 10 in S mode – a version of the operating system that can only install apps from the Microsoft Store – and has been pre-loaded with a number of learning modules to get the edutainment party started, including How Computers Work that lets kids get under the hood – they can play with touch and sound, have fun messing with the processor and memory, create emojis using binary code, and more.
Coding fun continues with Make Art, where students can create images in Coffeescript. The Kano App walks learners through programming fundamentals and Kano Projects puts newly-learned skills to good use, while Paint 3D and Microsoft Teams cater for the creation of 3D models and project sharing.
The Kano and Microsoft collaboration intends to support classroom rollout of the Kano PC system with hundreds of hours of educator materials, and students will be able to interact with other makers in 150 countries through the Kano World online community.
"We should all have a guide, the opportunity to make a computer, to customize it, and take control of the technology that makes up our society," said Kano's Alex Klein. "We are thrilled to share this vision with Microsoft and co-create a learning, making, and playing experience with the power of Windows and the creativity of Kano."
The Kano PC is up for pre-order now for US$299.99, and is expected to go on sale around the globe from October 21. The video below has more.
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