When we were kids, we were working with toys. I still remember my childhood days when I was playing in the mud and driving a brick car in my sand city. Those days will never come back, but their memories will be cherished forever. Beg your pardon for going off the topic. Today’s generation, especially kids not only spends their time by playing CS on PS4 consoles, but they do spend much time on tinkering with electrical circuits and designs. Today I will discuss and review about one of the most popular computer kits to tinker with Raspberry Pi, the Kano Computer Kit.
Kano Computer Kit Review
In this era of smartphone and microcomputers, the tech-savvy generation enjoys and tests the DIY skills on coding and building electrical designs. The Kano & Raspberry Pi kit gives the best learning resource for the kids having the age range of seven to fourteen. If your children are interested in working with computers, then this computer kit will turn into the best present for them. This age range of 10-14 is the best learning phase for kids as their grasping powers are at the pick at this stage.
Let’s check the features of Kano Kit
- It comes with a storybook which explains the simple steps to make the computer Your kid does not require to have any technical skills to build his first DIY computer with the help of Raspberry Pi
- Different projects related to music, games, apps, art, etc. will help to take the challenges and to enjoy the coding
- The Kano computer kit is a winner of Awards in various categories like Red Dot, Family Choice, Webby, Cannes Gold Lines, and much more
- You can connect it with any of your HDMI screens or can buy an additional Kano screen kit if you want to make it work like your desktop screen
I too have used the Kano kit and made a simply awesome computer using my Raspberry Pi 3. I found it as an affordable, fun going, simple yet useful computer kit to tinker with. It provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to the student and new learners in the programming and electronics field. Today, over 700 schools worldwide are taking help of Kano computer kit for teaching hardware and coding to the students.
What will you get in the Kano Computer Kit?
The Kano computer kit comes with full of possibilities, especially when you are attaching it with your Raspberry Pi. Let’s review what the accessories inside the Kano kit;
- A Wireless keyboard powered by Pi
- The fastest SBC, Raspberry Pi 3
- An SD card to install your Raspberry Pi OS and to store your data
- A User manual with easy-to-follow steps
- HDMI and power cables to attach the kit to different devices
- A WiFi dongle to easily connect to the internet
- Protective case to prevent any damage to the kit
- Speaker to listen to the audio
- And some Raspberry Pi applications for your computer
The Pi keyboard which comes with the Kano kit is small in shape but easy to use. It comes with left-right click buttons and a mouse trackpad. Though I felt the trackpad a little bit sluggish, the keyboard looks convenient. You may take help of wireless mouse if you eventually get it boring to use this mouse.
The hard plastic material of the protective case makes it tougher for protecting the Kano kit and the Raspberry Pi board which is pretty much required, especially with kids. The included WiFi dongle provides flexibility to use the kit at different places without relying on cable connection for accessing the web. The HDMI cables allow to connect it with various devices for the needed output.
Kano Operating System
The Kano computer kit comes with an SD card which has a preloaded Operating System called as Kano OS. The regular user will want to install the Raspbian OS which is the official and best Operating System for Raspberry Pi, but as you are not only working with RPi but making the Kano computer. So I recommend you to use the Kano Operating System which provides easy tools of learning for kids and newcomers.
The Kano kit review is incomplete if I don’t mention about its OS. The official Kano OS is very useful if you are working with the electronics kit for the first time. Yes, you can install and use other Raspberry Pi Operating Systems too on the kit. If you want to get the full official version of the Kano OS, then get it here.
Opening and setup
When I unboxed the kit, I saw the Raspberry Pi 3, all the cables, dongle, protective case, bits, and all the other stuff to make a full blown computer. The instruction manual really helped to make my Pi-powered Kano computer.
- The complete bundle of accessories for the project
- The clean, bright, and easy interface of the kit
- Application icons which are easy to identify and also give attractive looks
- Official Kano OS which really providing a good learning resource
- Step-by-step programming guide to creating apps, music, games, and videos
- Online resources and also the Kano website to have the coding examples for tinkering with the kit
- And last but not the least, my favorite and the brain of the kit, Raspberry Pi 3
I didn’t like
It is a fact that every coin has two sides and every product has its pros and cons. When I was reviewing and testing the Kano kit, I found some things that can be changed or improved for a better user experience.
- There are some bugs with the pre-installed Kano OS which sometimes create problems
- There are no YouTube videos about this. Means, seriously, come on. Get at least some official videos for such a great marketed and popular product
- The audio speaker sometimes creates weird sounds
Is Kano worth it?
By going through the Kano computer kit reviews posted by the users online and by testing the kit by self, I can say that the Kano kit coming with Raspberry Pi is a real value for money kit to learn the STEM and is a clearly a worth it kit to buy. The price of the package may be seeming to be a little bit higher, but when we look at the colorful manual which guides for step-by-step assembly and designing and the tasks the final product can do, it is a worthy education kit.