The Raspberry Pi is loved by makers everywhere. Reason being, the Raspberry Pi is one of the most versatile single board computers ever invented. It has been used to power tablets, robots, solar panels, gaming systems, and even Google Glass-like headsets. One London startup recently began shipping its successfully funded Indiegogo project called Pi-Top. Pi-Top is a very popular $299 Raspberry Pi laptop kit for anyone who wants to easily build their own laptop. However, the main complaint of Pi-Top has been its price-point. Jesse Lozano, co-founder of the kit says, “People were saying they would like something that could make their Raspberry Pi work, but for like $100”. So, Lozano and his co-founding partner Ryan Dunwoody listened, and just came out with a new kit called Pi-TopCEED.
Pi-TopCEED is the same concept, but this time using the Raspberry Pi microcomputer to power a desktop. So, a desktop instead of a laptop, and it costs $99 instead of $299. Sounds nice right? Others sure think so, and Indiegogo is here to prove it. With the startup’s crowdfunding goal at $50,000, the Pi-TopCEED project has already met that amount three-fold.
The Pi-TopCEED kit contains a rectangular casing, and a 13.3-inch HD screen with multiple viewing and resting positions. This is what houses the Pi computer. It sits mounted on a rail inside the front-loading panel of the case for easy access. This compartment is also where other hardware will go, which may be include set of speakers, or a breadboard. However, all you really need is any Raspberry Pi model, a USB keyboard, and mouse (TechCrunch).
The Pi-TopCEED’s simplistic design caters to anyone ages 6 and up. It requires no assembly, and sets up the perfect platform for learning different software and hardware, how to code, and even how to make IoT devices. Lozano says the kit comes with a GCSE-driven, online multiplayer role-playing game (CEEDUniverse) that teaches coding and hardware building skills. Its operating system, Pi-TopOS, is based on Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian OS, and is completely user-friendly. Finally, Pi-TopCEED uses Chromium for web browsing, and 3D Slash software for click ’n’ create 3D printing (The Inquirer).
Since it started shipping in October of 2014, Pi-Top has been living proof that a startup can take a good concept and get it off the ground. The Pi-TopCEED is demonstrating something different- the importance of a company concerning itself with the needs and desires of its customers. By doing so, and delivering a $99 computer building kit, the creators of the Pi-TopCEED kit have a bright future ahead of them.
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