Ultra-cheap Windows Home 10 hybrid PC gets faster with new CPU

(Image credit: Kano PC)

Kano has unveiled its second-generation Windows 10-based hybrid PC designed with education in mind. 

The new system is powered by Intel’s Celeron N4000 SoC, promising better performance than the previously used SoC, and continues to be shipped with custom educational tools. 

Ever since the inception of the OLPC project more than a decade ago, the vast majority of inexpensive PCs for education have run Linux and its derivatives, which to a large degree limited their popularity in developed countries. Kano, a maker of PCs for education, understood such limitations at some point and teamed up with Microsoft to offer a Windows-based machine designed primarily for children and learning. 

Windows 10 education

Unlike traditional laptops and tablets, Kano PC — which can be used as a tablet and as a laptop once attached to a special keyboard — does not work out-of-box and has to be assembled by the owner. 

Attaching a battery and a speaker is of course not really a hard task, but for a young child this is a big deal; the process somewhat attaches the owner to his/her PC and therefore makes it a tad more personal. Furthermore, Kano offers ‘modular and customizable’ accessories — webcam, headphones, and mouse. 

To add a ‘high-tech’ element to the design, Kano PC also has a transparent backside that reveals some of its internals. While the design of the system is modular, the developer says that it is sturdy and will survive bumps of life as well as its young owners. 

(Image credit: Kano PC)

The 2nd Generation Kano PC features an 11.6-inch touchscreen display that withstands a steel ball dropped from six feet. The system is based on Intel’s Celeron N4000 ‘Gemini Lake’ SoC with a 6 W TDP that looks to be a decent upgrade from the previously used Intel Atom x5-z8350 SoC with a 2 W TDP which was released in early 2016. Other internals include 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB eMMC storage, and a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0 module. Following the latest trends, the PC uses a USB-C connector for charging. According to Kano, the system lasts for up to 10 hours on one charge. 

(Image credit: Kano PC)

The key element of the Kano PC is its software. The device runs Windows 10 Home with custom educational tools and comes with pre-installed Kano’s Software Studio that connects computing to practical projects, history, and the arts. 

(Image credit: Kano PC)

"The Education sector is undergoing massive change enabled by technology, and our collaboration with Kano is truly advancing the vision of "technology for all,” said Jordan Chrysafidis, General Manager, Worldwide Education Device Sales, Microsoft. 

“Together we are delivering high quality, accessible and affordable Windows-based devices, combined with customized curriculum that teaches design, coding, 3D modeling and more, that enables Kano users to become digital creators." 

(Image credit: Kano PC)

The 2nd Generation Kano PC is now available in the USA for $299 directly from the company as well as from Microsoft and Best Buy.

Via The Verge

Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.