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Kano Computer Touch Kit vs. Piper Computer Kit: Which should you buy?

Kano Computer Touch Kit

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The Kano Computer Touch Kit has nearly everything that the Piper Kit has, but with the added bonus of being able to program on the go. Not only is it slimmer, and thus much lighter, but it takes a lot less time to build. The only downside is that it costs $10 more, but for the added interactivity and movement, I reckon that makes it worth it.

Kano Computer Touch Kit

Smart on the go.

Slim-built
A variety of programs to try out
Program on the go!
Easy to build
Doesn't teach STEM on the same level as the Piper Kit.
Lack of touchscreen support for some apps

Piper Computer Kit

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If you or your kid are real avid fans of Minecraft and are fond of LCD screens, then you most definitely won't be ashamed to show that off with the Piper Computer Kit.

Piper Computer Kit

Minecraft Wonderland

An LCD screen
Handcrafted wooden case
Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft included
Instructions are far too difficult for certain age groups.
Battery drains quick
Takes more time to build than the Kano
Much larger
No full keyboard

Which should I get?

The Piper Computer Kit assumes that you know some things about STEM, and thus doesn't hold your hand all of the time. The price of it can be off-putting, but the components involved are valuable. The Kano Computer Touch Kit, however, is $10 more and possesses the ability to move around and the use of a touchscreen. So, not only are you able to access near enough the same things as the Piper Computer Kit, the Kano Computer Touch adds more interactivity. Plus, it's easier to build for those looking into their first computer kit.

Of course, the packaging of the Piper Computer Kit is a lot more appealing. For children, the Minecraft advertisement may win them over more than the actual kit. The Kano Computer Touch Kit is great to look at but is somewhat generic looking in comparison to the Piper Computer Kit.

Kano's story mode is hard not to like.

Depending on who you are, you may feel more frustrated that building the Piper Computer Kit takes a lot more time than putting together the Kano Computer Touch Kit. While the Piper adds much more to do, even giving you your very own screwdriver, the assembling time in comparison to the Kano is much, much longer. The Piper gives you screws, hinges, binders, and ledges to assemble, which is great, but the Kano gives you far less without losing even an ounce of quality.

Piper Computer KitKano Computer Touch Kit
Battery Life2 Hours3 Hours
MonitorYesYes
Screen Resolution800 x 4801280x800
MouseTwo Button MouseTouchpad
KeyboardButtons/not a full keyboardYes
On the goNoYes
SD Card32GB16GB

It may be complicated, but the Piper excels in giving an introduction to electronics and a huge amount of games, which is perfect for young children. However, the Kano Computer Touch Kit goes that step further by providing a level of interactivity that, to be frank, the Piper Computer Kit just can't match. The Kano cannot only help you hack Minecraft and make games, but you can create your own art, learn how to animate and even make music — all with the use of your finger.

The simplicity of the Kano is also one of its stronger points. While you can do most of everything with a mere touch, the addition of a full keyboard can be helpful. However, the Piper lacks even that and overcomplicates with not having a full keyboard at all, just buttons. While this can be seen as creative, it can also be very unwieldy and frustrating for those who only want to do simple tasks with the kit.

Overall, I'd have to say that the Kano Computer Touch Kit left this showdown as the victor. While the Piper Computer Kit offers more for advanced users, its poor battery life and chunky build make it a poor match to the Kano Computer Touch Kit's smooth, slim interface. The lack of portability for the Piper Computer Kit is also hard to ignore, especially as it comes in such a massive box. The Kano Computer Touch Kit is practically a tablet, and thus portability is not an issue. Even though the Piper kit has Minecraft, the Kano Computer Touch Kit truly stands out as a kit that is a must-have, no matter the age of the person using it. Its simple design doesn't complicate what it sets out to do: teach you something new.