Kids are often interested in the newest and most exciting things, and these days that is advanced electronics. In past years, electronic learning kits were available from places like RadioShack, and they offered all of the parts, pieces, and instructions to build something, such as a radio. These days, those kits are old news, with more advanced and more universal kits being available. One upcoming kit that is truly unique is the CrowPi2, a Raspberry Pi-based laptop.
This computer is different from standard kids' laptops for a couple of reasons. First, it runs on a Raspberry Pi, meaning it is designed for building things. That is emphasized by the laptop's design. The keyboard is easily removable, revealing a whole host of integrated sensors and displays. These are all obviously Raspberry Pi components, which range from an ultrasonic range finder and RFID reader to a 7 segment display and RGB LED screen. All of these are physically integrated together, allowing for projects that use one or more of these components.
Because it is an integrated system, it means that the laptop has its own software which allows for courses and projects in one place. These projects are presented in both Scratch and Python, meaning that the system teaches real-world skills. Other kits use their own languages and proprietary systems, but with the CrowPi2, kids can learn both concepts and transferrable language skills. This means that once they outgrow the integrated system and want to build custom electronics, they have enough experience to get started on their own.
There are several configurations that will be available when the product launches soon. Tom's Hardware reviewed the top model and gave it an Editor's Choice rating. You can pre-order the device now on the company's website with delivery scheduled as soon as this month (October 2020).
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.