Kano Computer Kit Review: Build your Own Computer

Editor's rating:
10.0
Nela Cvetanovska
Reviewed by Nela Cvetanovska
User's rating:
5.0
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We like

Intelligently crafted design that allows children to build their own computer

Simplified and entertaining approach to coding and developing programing skills

An unconventional educational and learning tool for children

Very eye pleasing and charming design

High quality and durable electronic components

More than a 200 coding adventures and apps included

Creative and artistic development opportunities with more than 700 000 creations stored within the Kano online community

A Lifetime care and a yearlong warranty

We don’t like

A monitor is not included

How it works

We are living in the era of technology where it’s almost impossible to be part of the contemporary society if you don’t own a computer or a smartphone. We communicate through the virtual world, receive our mail, meet our friends, pay our bills, shop, play, work, entertain ourselves… the possibilities are limitless. It is no wonder that more people are focusing their education and career development in the IT field. It has become the most prosperous profession of the 21st century.

Computers have grown from being a luxury to becoming a necessity and almost every child learns how to function on them from an early age. You might have considered about granting your child his/her first computer since they keep borrowing yours to play their favorite games and explore all the educational and entertaining apps in the vast universe of the internet.

It is hard to trust children around technology especially if it’s expensive or you need to continue using it for work the next day and you have important documents stored on it. The process of supervising their virtual playtime can be dreadful and time-consuming. However, what if there’s a way to teach your child basic IT developing skills while providing them their own device which they can actually build at home.

We’ve seen it before! Make your own robot kit, build your own car kit, the DIY electronic sets are countless and now we’ve been granted a make your own computer kit by Kano. It might seem like a joke, yet this set could be the key to unlocking your child’s inner genius. It will teach him how to code while turning the whole educational experience into a mind-bending playtime activity.

Design

Design

The Kano products are pretty amazing since even the design looks very futuristic and eye-pleasing. When you unpack the orange box with its promising look, you are being delivered what seems to be a system of various components required to embark on a futuristic journey. It’s pretty clear that this product is meant for a younger audience that had no technical background since the assembly itself has an easy to follow step-by-step book with elementary language and simple illustrations.

Even in terms of building the PC, you don’t really get down to the complicated component manufacturing at all since the Raspberry Pi 3 which is included is pretty much largely self-contained. This approach is great for young children who want to learn how a computer works since the book that it comes with walks you through each component separately, explains what they do and generally helps you understand how a computer itself functions. It is not a particularly challenging exercise since it is literally just solving a puzzle piece by piece.

The package also comes with a slim orange wireless keyboard with a track-pad, as well as a transparent DIY case, programmable LED lights which provide a light up look, a power button, memory as well as HDMI and power cables. Complimentary stickers are included as a charming contribution to the well put together assembly. The most fascinating component however is Kano’s unique operating system as well as more than a 100 coding challenges and more than a 100 apps as well.

The true value of this kit is not in the building process as instead in what comes afterwards. Once you plug your finished project into a monitor or a TV, your new PC will immediately greet you with a written note saying: “I am your computer. Together we can make almost anything with code. Press ENTER to continue.” Once the computer kit is assembled you will have a tiny raspberry Pi PC with its own operating system. Thus the enchanting virtual adventures may begin.
Education

Education

This product has gotten a worldwide recognition and has been awarded multiple times for its educational purpose since it lets its owners get a firsthand view of how a computer works and how to connect it by themselves. By providing a step by step story, they get to unpack a box, connect the bits, press a few buttons and give life to a whole new device. It is undeniably a remarkable object since it allows children who are complete rookies in the technological field, feel welcomed and inspired by its vast opportunities.

Whether they choose to surf on the internet, explore their favorite apps such as YouTube, WhatsApp or even get familiar with Google Docs, they will most likely get carried always in its learning process since it is always more fascinating to get to know your own creation. It is no wonder this project has received the family choice award as well as the reputable red dot award, the webby award, the Cannes gold lions and continuous praise from the Silicon Valley community. It has been used and recommended by code clubs and included in over 2000 schools. The educational facilities have put their trust in the potential this computer kit holds and have implemented it as a part of their curriculum. Learning how to code has truly never been easier.
Logic Skills

Logic Skills

There are multiple challenges that are carefully crafted so the younger demographic can easily comprehend the learning material instead of feeling frustrated by the coding material. After all this tech toy is meant to captivate the children with its IT content and motivate them to further develop their own inventions. It is based on using your logic skills and encourage problem solving thinking rather than leave kids frustrated at the first try. There are simple steps which would introduce the targeted audience with Python, JavaScript and Terminal commands.

It is basically the stepping stone to creating your own websites, apps, games and many more endeavors. It has various levels of development which provide simple challenges for beginners as well as more expensive ones for expert level tech enthusiasts. Even though it seems pretty simple to connect all the bits, the process of creating new and original content on the computer requires using the science of reasoning and making sure you find the most convenient and efficient path to implement the code.
Creativity

Creativity

The whole playtime activity isn’t just numbers and math as many consumers who are unfamiliar with this product like to assume. As instead, it offers many creative adventures for art lovers who like to envision landscapes and geometric rainbows. They are given countless opportunities in coding sonic masterpieces and producing their own music as well as creating animated visual projects. Not only they are given the chance to play games and entertain themselves, they can also make up their own rules by taking control over Minecraft, Pong and Snake.

We live in a world that slowly but surely starts to appreciate the art of machine made music and graphic design so this would be a lovely start for children who are not challenged with painting on white canvases or taking piano lessons. In fact, this way, they will get the opportunity to find many instruments online and be self-thought in music production. It is very inspiring to see them hacking Minecraft and creating their own adventures rather than just playing the same scenarios for hours. It gives them artistic freedom to envision a whole new virtual world where they are the master as well as the protagonist. It is highly unlikely they will get bored if they choose to think outside the box and embark on different creative challenges. Altering the code and modifying the game will keep them interested for hours as they figure out a way to share unique landscapes with the world.

There are more than 700 000 creation shared and treasured by the Kano Community and every owner gets an access to them through the specifically designed Kano social network. The fellow Kano coders are eager to meet like minded individuals in order to improve their capacities and seek advice on different programming obstacles. This way children can share ideas and be inspired by other users in a child friendly protected environment.
Age Range

Age Range

This might come as a surprise however this product is recommended for children who are 6 years old or above that age range. Adults even find it intimidating since the thought of building a computer sounds very complex and complicated, however, this kit is specially designed to be easily comprehended by anyone without any electro-technical knowledge whatsoever. It basically requires following a simple plan in order to connect the components and then just have fun taking one coding challenge at a time. It will definitely spark interest in anyone who wanted to look for a gateway to coding and will pave the way for many potential IT developers. Even if your children are not interested in pursuing this field in the future, they will have a lot of fun learning and discovering new ways to entertain themselves by creating something genuine.
Price Range

Price Range

The price is fairly affordable since you don’t just get a whole new computer for the price of a tablet, as instead you are also paying for programming classes and you learn how to hack apps as well. After all this PC is actually made of high quality components and the lessons are specifically designed by the Kano genius team in order to give you a short and simple introduction to coding. When buying this device, you invest in a product that can be used by the whole family for many years to come.

Many parents have noticed their children migrating from regular laptops to the Kano computer simply because if offers them a different and more mind expanding journey. They notice the interest it sparks since they feel in control of the machine and feel as if they hold an important role in the geek community. It would be a great and quite unconventional gift that owners will treasure forever and develop an emotional bond with this device because of the fact that they’ve helped build and improve it. It is also very reassuring that the company offers 1-year warranty and Lifetime care in case something unexpected and inconvenient happens.

Conclusion

This product will not only teach your children to build a machine and learn how to code and hack games. It will also teach them to value technology and take care of their personal belongings. Once a child is involved in the process of creating a product, it looks at it differently. Kids will definitely pay more attention to the way it works and the way it can be manipulated and upgraded. They will begin to develop critical thinking and feel as if they have an important role in the uprising IT society. They will undoubtedly become more conscious of the power and possibilities that come along with it.

Since it is inevitable to shelter children from the technological world, why not introduce them in the proper educational way. They might discover a passion towards STEM activities and continue to explore the vast universe of programming. After all, wouldn’t you rather have your little ones create a game or an app by themselves rather than procrastinate playing combat or share memes on social media applications.

Keep in mind that even you are a grown up and you’ve always dreamed about learning how to code yet you never seem to find time to enroll in programming classes, this might be a very convenient way to get a head start. It will definitely enrich your mind with mind sharpening challenges from which you might discover a new hobby or a part-time activity. Who knows, maybe by the end of this futuristic journey, you will discover a new career goal and gather the courage to try out a professional role in another field. You already spend most of your time on the computer so why not bond in a deeper and meaningful way.
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