U.Ok. edtech startup pi-top has a brand new learn-to-code-and-tinker machine. It’s one other modular Raspberry Pi-powered laptop computer however this time they’ve diminished the variety of steps wanted to place it collectively, in addition to including a slider keyboard design so the Qwerty panel might be pulled out to offer entry to a rail for mounting and tinkering with electronics.
It’s a neat mixture of the original pi-top laptop concept and the decrease price pi-topCeed desktop which has a rail beneath the display screen the place add-on electronics will also be hooked up. (The $150 price-tag on the latter system has made it a preferred choices for colleges and code golf equipment wanting package for STEM functions, in accordance with the startup.)
The brand new pi-top laptop computer is pi-top’s most costly edtech system but; priced at $319 with a Raspberry Pi 3 (or $284.99 with out).
Nevertheless it comes bundled with what the startup is asking an “inventor’s package” — primarily a pre-picked collection of electronics parts to allow a spread of DIY initiatives. Initiatives it says might be constructed utilizing this package embrace a music synth and the robotic (pictured above).
It additionally says its software program consists of step-by-step guides describing “dozens of invention pathways” for tinkering and constructing stuff utilizing the parts within the inventor’s package.
The laptop computer itself has a 14 inch 1080p LCD coloration show; comes with an 8GB SD card for storage (and built-in cloud administration for added storage and distant entry to knowledge); and battery life that’s slated nearly as good for eight hours+ use.
In addition to tinkerable electronics, the staff develops their very own OS (known as Pi-TopOS Polaris), working on the Raspberry Pi engine powering the , in addition to study to code software program and STEM-focused video games (similar to a Civilization-style MMORPG known as CEEDUniverse).
One other UK startup, Kano, performs in an identical area — and has simply introduced its personal learn to code ‘laptop’. Nonetheless pi-top’s system seems significantly extra refined, each by way of tinkering prospects and software program capabilities. (Although the Kano package is priced a bit of cheaper, at $250.)
The pi-top laptop computer’s bundled software program suite not solely helps net shopping however the startup says there’s entry to a full Microsoft Workplace appropriate work suite. And it touts its studying software program suite being the one one up to now to be endorsed by the Oxford Cambridge RSA Assessment Board, chalking up one other STEM credential.
Just below a 12 months in the past the London-based startup closed a $4.3M Series A funding round to push their STEM platform globally.
They now say their platform is utilized in greater than 1,500 colleges world wide — which is up from greater than 500 simply under a year ago. Whereas the staff now ships units to greater than 80 international locations.
“pi-top’s mission is to offer highly effective, inspiring merchandise that convey science, know-how, engineering, arts and arithmetic to life,” mentioned CEO Jesse Lozano, commenting in a press release. “Our newest-generation of modular laptops helps obtain that objective. Now, anybody from younger musicians to scientists to software program builders to inventors can discover and create great new initiatives utilizing the pi-top laptop computer.
“We’re providing studying past the display screen and keyboard, enabling wider exploration of pc science and primary electronics, making certain that younger learners have the chance to be impressed by a world of STEAM-based studying.”