Interest in Raspberry Pi and its multi-functional capabilities continues to grow as more third-party manufacturers leverage the tiny computer into new projects. Recently Kano announced that it was launching a new version of its popular DIY kits, with the latest version including a display and other functionality.
Today, Pi-Top joins the Raspberry Pi community with its new modular laptop designed for kids. Like so many other STEM-focused products on the market, this release is made with programming at the forefront. Pi-Top stands out from the competition with a portable design that kids can take on-the-road, to school or just about anywhere.
Pi-Top first landed on the scene back in 2014 when it raised over $190,000 on Kickstarter with its first DIY laptop. And while it had some interesting functionality, the original model wasn’t nearly as refined as today’s release. Three years of development has resulted in a new portable model with familiar MacBook Air stylings and a more approachable design for kids.
Unlike the first generation model – which required 23 steps from start to finish – the new Pi-Top is full assembled in just six. The focus on building has been scaled back as the latest Rapsberry Pi models offer increased coding opportunities. A green shell includes a removable keyboard that houses the microcomputer itself. Just above the hinge is a 14-inch 1080p display, which seems like a pretty nice start for a Raspberry Pi portable computer. Rounding out the list of features are three USB 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm audio output.
Pi-Top has designed a custom cooling system that it claims will have improved battery life and productivity. Raspberry Pi is designed to self-manage when temperatures get too hot that means it will start shutting down apps if over-heating. The integrated cooling features will in theory allow for more multi-tasking opportunities as well as strenuous apps.
Every unit ships with an inventor’s kit that includes the Raspberry Pi unit itself, along with LED lights, a motion sensor and microphone. Another welcome kid-friendly improvement is that the newest Pi-Top doesn’t require extra tools for setup, unlike the first generation model.
Of course, kids will be able to run all of the classic Raspberry Pi applications, including Minceraft Pi, Google Chrominium and LibraOffice. For parents looking for an alternative to Chromebooks, Pi-Top offers a unique DIY approach to coding and learning technology.
The new Pi-Top costs $320 with a supplied Raspberry Pi unit, or $285 without. Look for the price to be a sticking-point for some, as this is an arguably under-powered solution in comparison to the market.
Pi-top launches new generation laptop to set kids up for future
London, UK, 13th October – Education technology company pi-top today launched a brand new modular laptop designed to make experimenting, coding and building electronics, simple and fun. The new pi-top laptop is a powerful platform that is ideal for both consumers and students and includes a “sliding” keyboard that allows users to access and engage with internal components and upgrade with kits for a host of inventions and experiments.
“pi-top’s mission is to provide powerful, inspiring products that bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to life,” said Jesse Lozano, CEO of pi-top. “Our newest-generation of modular laptops helps achieve that goal. Now, anyone from young musicians to scientists to software developers to inventors can explore and create wonderful new projects using the pi-top laptop. We’re offering learning beyond the screen and keyboard, enabling wider exploration of computer science and basic electronics, ensuring that young learners have the opportunity to be inspired by a world of STEAM-based learning.”
Following the global success of its first generation of products – which were sold in 80+ countries – the new modular laptop, pi-top, features several key enhancements, including:
- Beautiful display with a 14-inch 1080P Full High-Definition LCD screen
- A full-sized sliding keyboard to allow easy access to an in-built modular rail which enables custom-built invention projects
- The latest Raspberry Pi 3 micro-computer with custom Cooling Bridge
- 8 – 10 hours of battery life, providing lots of power for making
- Built-in cloud management to provide additional storage and remote access to user data
The new pi-top comes with an engaging, fun inventor’s kit, which includes all the components needed to create projects ranging from music to space themes. Step-by-step guides in the pi-topCODER app describe dozens of invention pathways that enable the user to explore three engaging journeys together – Music Master, Smart Robot and Space Race.
The pi-top laptop also offers educational entertainment applications, including Minecraft for Pi and CEEDuniverse, an exciting space exploration game designed by pi-top to help develop coding and computer science skills. End-users complete the final assembly of the pi-top laptop through a few simple steps, giving them a real-world, hands-on computing experience.
Beyond this, the pi-topOS Polaris software suite remains the only education technology platform endorsed by UK awarding board OCR (Oxford Cambridge RSA Review Board) and comes with dozens of powerful coding and office apps. Using the included software suite, users can browse the web, check emails, have access to a full Microsoft Office compatible work suite, and more, enabling a seamless experience between a pi-top laptop and other laptops.
As part of the development process, the pi-top R&D team incorporated feedback from over 1,000 teachers, students and schools to create an engaging platform which integrates all elements of STEAM learning, making them accessible to users at any stage of learning.
“As we look at the challenges facing this generation of children, our mission, to inspire and develop the makers of tomorrow, is more important than ever. This is why we have designed a creative platform that draws on multi-disciplinary STEAM strategies where new knowledge is constructed rather than transmitted,” said Mr. Lozano.
The new pi-top laptop is available on the 13th October 2017 from the pi-top website and resellers around the world. The system is priced at $319, and is also available without a Raspberry Pi for $284.99. To learn more about pi-top please visit: www.pi-top.com.
pi-top is one of the industry’s fastest growing education technology companies, with headquarters offices in London, UK, Austin, Texas, and Shenzhen, China. The pi-top hardware platform is an award-winning ecosystem used around the world in more than 1,500 schools, blending physical computing and project-based learning with Computer Science and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education. The company’s goal is to inspire its customers to develop the skills of tomorrow and create their future, today. For more information, the company can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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