The Piper Computer Kit Review

Bringing proper toys to children is necessary thing to do these days. I am a big supporter of STEM toys ( STEM means toys in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields ).

The biggest problem about STEM toys is that they seem boring to children, because they have educational note in them. So companies began to develop STEM toys that would be interesting for kids.

One of the best STEM toys are build your own computer sets and code them. I have written a post about that topic and it is a review of a Kano touch – build your own computer kit, and if you would like to read it just simply click on the link below and it will take you to an article.

Kano touch review. Build your own computer kit

In this article I will write the Piper computer kit review. It is an amazing kit where you build your own laptop from scratch using wood panels and raspberry pi and other components that are necessary for computer to work.

Piper Computer Kit

So Piper computer is made for children from ages 8 and more. The box is really well-organized – any mother would love it – when you open it. Every piece is nicely sorted in its drawer in storage tray. What is included in kit will talk about in the next paragraph.

The Piper computer kit comes with everything kids need to make their own computer with a software that teaches programming, circuitry and electronics through a story line of a Minecraft raspberry Pi edition game and PiperCode projects – a great STEM value.

First thing you do is you build a wooden box ( or a suitcase, ) from wooden panels. You just follow blueprint instructions ( it is actually a blueprint – it is a poster material colored in blue with white images).

Then you become an engineer – you put together all electronics parts so computer can work.

Motherboard is a well-known raspberry pi – very small but very useful and strong little computer.

What Is In The Box ?

Like mentioned before when you get hands on the box you can see that the company really put an effort in their product. When you open the kit you can immediately see that it is organized piece by piece, metal parts are bagged in plastic bags with a letter – every plastic bag has the same types of metal parts.

Everything in the box:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • 9” LCD screen
  • 7800 mah rechargeable battery
  • 16 GB Micro SD
  • Software updating capabillities
  • USB mouse
  • Micro USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Laminated blueprint with instructions
  • 25+ wooden and acrylic pieces
  • 50 hardware pieces
  • Screwdriver

Benefits Of The Piper Computer Kit

Storyline, once the Piper computer is assembled, is made in the way, that through game, if you want to proceed to next level, the game shows you how to assemble circuity challenges with physical building and coding.

To explain in the first steps you start playing a game – Piper robot wakes up because he needs to save the world from the disaster because a “cheessesteroid” is going to hit Planet earth. And then, taking missions, a game is showing you how to connect cables through Motherboard to the keyboard so you can control and play. It is a really great approach toward kids to start to learn about hardware, software and what is going on behind the screen.

When computer is assembled, it could easily be taken apart and put back together multiple times, so no fear if the kit is taken apart.

PROS:

  • Great STEM toy – learns how to put together a computer
  • Good for teaching how to follow instructions
  • Usin tools is necessary
  • Teaches kids to be patient
  • Great Minecraft story line
  • Parent help is not aquaired
  • Learning through hands-on experineces
  • Well done blueprint
  • End-to-end well-designed and well-integrated product
  • Price is very reasonable ( starts from $200 )
  • Staring age is 7 and above – great first computer kit
  • Computer wooden box is really beautiful and you can even smell wood – how cool is that

CONS:

  • Very limited software
  • If you want to use it as a regular PC you should get a real keyboard because the default kit one are just couple of buttons, that are necessary for game
  • Kids may get of it sooner than if they would have some regular PC
  • Wooden parts could get broken
  • Display can have bugging issues

Review

Price: $200

Place to buy: AMAZON

Age recommendation: 7+

My rating: 5 out of 10

Let me explain my rating. First of all it is a great kit. Kids assemble this kit into a real computer. No question about it – it is a great experience for kids trying to put together a computer. But that is all. Primary thing about this kit is that it is a computer – after computer is assembled all you do is learn about electric circuits and how to program Minecraft game. I mean there are Piper projects in but it is not the real experience about computers for kids.

My primary option, and the computer I will get my children, when their age will be 8, is definitely going to be a Hack computer. It is not a kit, but focus should be more about learning children to code and programming and Hack computer does it for all – and it is just about 100 $ more expensive than Piper computer kit.

And it is the real PC – it is a laptop made by ASUS and beside Hack software it is run by Linux based Endless OS – it is great operating system for kids when they enter into computers, because it is more similar to ANDROID instead to Windows ( windows are a bit complicated for children to start with computing).

And like said before, it is a real computer and beside HACK it is an all day computer, you can watch videos on YouTube, you browse on search engines, use office and everything you expect from computers – Piper computer on the other hand doesn’t do all that.

If you are interested to read the full review about HACK computer, you are welcome, just click on the link below and it will take you to an article:

HACK computer review

But if your kid loves Minecraft and loves to build a computer, than it is a great option. It is still a really cool computer kit.

If you have any question or a comment, please write me in the comment section below and I will be happy to reply.

Cheers,

Primoz P.

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