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Raspberry Pi laptop teaches code with modular innards

Raspberry Pi laptop teaches code with modular innards
From Engadget - October 13, 2017

Pi-Top has experimented with this concept before. In December 2014, the company raised $193,000 on Indiegogo for its first do-it-yourself laptop. It was a functional, but unattractive machine with a cramped keyboard and small, right-aligned trackpad. A large, horizontal panel sat between the keyboard and the hinge, taking up valuable space. (You could keep your lunch there, I suppose.) To access the Pi and modular tray underneath, you had to slide the panel out through a slot hidden on the right-hand side of the machine. It worked, but clearly the design had room for improvement. One year later, the company returned to Indiegogo and raised $220,000 for the pi-topCEED, a $99 desktop computer powered by the Raspberry Pi.

The new Pi-Top is a slicker machine. It's a drastically easier buildsix steps, rather than 23which might sound like a step backwards, but in return you are getting a design that feels more competitive with cheap Chromebooks and Windows laptops. It has a full-size keyboard and a centrally positioned trackpad. Above the hinge is a 14-inch, full HD screen that can tilt up to 180 degrees, besting the original's 13.3-inch display and 125-degree opening angle. Around the back, you will find one ethernet and three USB 2.0 ports, a regular 3.5mm audio jack and a place for power.

Slide the keyboard down and you will gain access to the tray. This is where the Raspberry Pi sits, alongside a custom cooling system that Pi-Top claims will improve your productivity. If a Raspberry Pi runs too hot, it will start closing applications automatically. The Pi-Top's extra cooling should, therefore, stop this from happening, allowing you to multitask with fewer restrictions and sudden app closures. Each laptop also comes with an "inventor's kit" which includes a Pi-Top Proto Plus add-on board, LED lights, a microphone and motion sensor. Unlike the previous laptop, which required a screwdriver, they all snap into place magnetically.

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