Friday, April 23, 2021

STEM start-up Kano’s new build-your-own laptop is its most beautiful and powerful yet

STEM start-up Kano’s new build-your-own laptop is its most beautiful and powerful yet

London start-up Kano has gained a reputation over the past few years for creating buildable products from cameras to radios, computers and Harry Potter wands.

Each product has to be built from scratch, encouraging children to learn how to code and understand the intricate workings of the tech they use every day in an accessible way. Kano shipped its millionth self-build kit just before Christmas last year.

The company’s latest product, a new Kano PC, is it’s most beautiful and powerful yet. It’s a 2-in-1 device, so it can act as a tablet or laptop, featuring an 11.6” touchscreen which can withstand a steel ball dropped from six feet, so you know it’s hardy.

The casing around the device is transparent too, featuring status lights shining throughout to showcase the wires and circuit boards inside so it demystifies what’s going on.

Once built, the PC acts just like a normal laptop — the company says it only takes a few minutes to build the PC out of the box and get it working. It also has a longer shelf-life than most computers as it can be upgraded over time rather than just thrown away. This increases the device’s lifetime by more than two years.

Like Kano’s previous products, the Kano PC’s software includes programmes for design, coding, and 3D modelling, whilst the integration of Windows 10 means the Start Menu is full of creative projects and tutorial videos. Windows privacy and family safety tools also come as standard.

There’s a minimum 10 hours of battery life and the CPU score, a series of tests to determine the performance of a device, is higher than more expensive laptops from the likes of Acer and HP. Accessories such as an add-on webcam and optical mouse will be available to purchase separately from the Kano website in August for £29.99 each.


The integration with Windows is all part of a new partnership with Microsoft that saw the tech giant make a $1 million equity investment in Kano.

“The new Kano PC is coming out at a crucial time,” said co-founder and CEO Alex Klein. “We believe in a better future. The team at Microsoft shares our optimism. Together we make technology that opens minds and sparks creation, not just consumption.”

Indeed, the Kano PC falls at the affordable end of the spectrum, costing only £299. As in-school education is still rather up in the air given coronavirus, this PC is an excellent way for parents to encourage their children to learn about tech whilst also providing them with a great laptop for school work and beyond.

“The current climate has generated high demand for affordable technology and devices, as governments rally to enable home learning scenarios for parents and students,” said Microsoft UK and Ireland’s channel lead for device partner solution sales, Adris Ahmed. “Kano is well-positioned to help with this demand. Their highly differentiated proposition combines a unique device that enables children to build elements themselves whilst reducing e-waste, all complemented with exclusive software, services and curriculum.”

The Kano PC is now available to order via the Kano website and Microsoft Stores online

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