The Raspberry Pi was primarily intended for educational purposes but the Single Board Computer (SBC) kicked off a new niche market of affordable computing boards and even computers you can assemble yourself. There are a few players in the later segment but one of the longest to stay in business is Kano. The computing kit maker has now partnered with Microsoft to launch a DIY tablet/laptop hybrid for kids that runs, of course, Windows 10.
To strike a balance between cost and power efficiency, most DIY computer kits use ARM-based boards if they don’t use an RPi directly. As such, almost all of them offer a Linux-based operating system that serves as an introduction to computing, electronics, programming, and the Web. Considering Windows on ARM is still practically useless, Kano and Microsoft had to resort to an almost ancient Intel processor for the new kit.
The Kano PC’s brain is an Intel Atom x5-Z8350, from a line of processors that Intel has already discontinued. It has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage and the kit comes with an 11.6-inch screen whose resolution is still unknown. For Kano’s purposes, that combination is enough but don’t expect this educational tool to perform better than even cheap Android tablets today.
Then again, the Kano PC is really just that: an educational tool. Right from when kids assemble the computer to the pre-loaded software, the experience is entirely geared towards helping them learn the intricacies of modern computing technology. And learn to use Windows 10 and Microsoft software as well.
When fully assembled with the keyboard cover, the Kano PC looks almost like a kids’ version of a Surface Pro, which isn’t accidental considering Microsoft had a hand in making the product. The Kano PC is now available for pre-order online for $299.99. Shipping is expected to start October 21 later this year.