The pi-top is a DIY laptop you build yourself that helps you start learning how to code, create awesome devices and take your knowledge to the next level. This Raspberry Pi powered laptop is an excellent resource to any budding hobbyist, student or intrigued user wanting to learn more about the capabilities of the credit card-sized development board. The only thing this kit doesn’t include is a speaker and its own Raspberry Pi; you’ll need to supply that on your own. We purposefully chose the pi-top without its own RPi due to the fact that most of you already own your own board and may not want to use a different or more expensive one.
The green pi-top comes with a 13.3" HD LCD screen (1366 x 768 resolution), a QWERTY layout keyboard with trackpad, a smart battery pack capable of running the pi-top for 10-12 hours, and a Hub PCB to take care of power management and a host of other functions. Don’t worry about cables or your OS either; everything to hook up each part in the box is included, along with the latest version of the pi-top OS on an 8GB microSD card. Assembly is easy – just plug or snap in all the parts with minimal use of the included tools.
All pi-tops come preloaded with CEEDuniverse, a multiplayer online game that teaches you how to code, build circuits and make hardware that interacts with the game in real time. For example, you’ll be mining for resources in CEEDuniverse. However, you must program your mining bot in order to activate your Mining Machine. Speaking of mining, Minecraft comes pre-installed on each laptop as well!
Note: Need a Raspberry Pi to use with your pi-top? Never fear; we have you covered with the new Raspberry Pi 3!
Note: This item is non-returnable and may take longer to process due to battery installed in the equipment and therefore does not qualify for same-day shipping. Additionally, these batteries can not be shipped via Ground or Economy methods to Alaska or Hawaii. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Weight: 3.183 Pounds
Using the Raspberry Pi 3B+? You need pi-topOS version 2018-04-03 or newer or your Pi will get stuck on the “rainbow screen of death.” You can download the newest version of the OS at the link below. https://pi-top.com/products/os#download
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Competent - You might need to break out the power tools. Nothing beyond a power drill or rotary tool should be required, but you might have a hard time with just a screwdriver and hammer. Cutting holes into plastic or metal might be required.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Noob - Programming will be limited to basic drag and drop interfaces like ModKit or Scratch. You won't be writing code, but you will still need to understand some basics of interfacing with hardware. If you?re just using a sensor, it's output is analog.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 11 ratings:
3 of 3 found this helpful:
The hardware, while well designed, represents some compromises. Not perfect but good. It was easy and fun to assemble. The software is a work in progress. The good news, the latest version can be downloaded and installed. I would purchase it again since there is nothing else even close to it.
5 of 5 found this helpful:
I bought a pi-top as a fun project to put together with my son. It was fun and relatively easy to assemble. Unfortunately, once assembled, typing is a miserable experience. Mechanically it’s fine, but accuracy is only possible when typing precisely at a snail’s pace. Otherwise a large portion of the keys being pressed are lost, ad yu nd up typg lk ths.
Sorry to hear you’re having keyboard issues. It might be the processor speed, especially if you’re using an older Pi, like a Pi2, or it might be a bad keyboard. I would suggest contacting PiTop support (firstname.lastname@example.org) - they understand that, being a new product, it may have some issues, and they’re being great working to resolve them!
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I’m told I have to wait a month for a replacement.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I am completely redoing this review. I had some problems with my Pi-Top, but Pi-Top Support (email@example.com) came through for me. They were a bit slow in responding at first (overworked? maybe some people on vacation?) but they solved all my problems and have been helpful, courteous, friendly, and pleasant to deal with (which is likely more than can be said for me). I am happy with my Pi-Top and am looking forward to the learning and exploring (both hardware and software) ahead of me.
4 of 4 found this helpful:
Let me first state that I am super impressed by the idea of the pi-top. I figured that I would purchase one as an evaluation unit. If good then buy more for my kids.
I was disappointed with the fit and finish of the unit. The keyboard assembly was not entirely snapped together and is missing several screws. The monitor assembly was not fully snapped together. I have pics if anyone is interested.
Assembly from there went as outlined in the video. I had to steal a screw from elsewhere on the keyboard assembly to get it closed so it would go together.
One notable shortcoming is the lack of external audio or speakers. I understand all of the arguments but…
I have purchased two more. Hopefully the experience will be better.
While an interesting idea to turn a RPI into a full blown laptop there are a number of problems inherently wrong with this idea. It is expensive, a standard well build laptop can be gotten for $190 - $250 all said and done and it is a much more common device does interfacing peripherals is much more straight forward. It lacks a key component for todays use a Webcam, speaker and microphone.
At best the Pi-top is a device for the local hacker who has a spare RPI3 laying around, wants to fiddle around a bit, but will also soon be frustrated by the mouse pad and keyboard responsiveness. The case leaves a lot to be desired, as it is rather tricky and requires multiple re-adjsutments of the inner guts to get fully snapped together. Access to the free USB ports is rather cumbersome and at least in our build the power plug by the nature of it’s positioning was hard to ensure it had a solid connection.
If you want to give students access to the RPI environment and the power of development tools, using a basic HDMI screen ($90) and Keyboard/Mouse ($25) is a much better and cost effective solution.
Overall this is a nice hacker project with little practical use.
The quality of this kit was really impressive. My 4 year old nephew has been having a blast playing Minecraft Pi on it, and I’m looking forward to the day I can teach him basic programming ideas with it.
The quality of the plastic is great. It really looks and feels like a ‘real’ laptop. I’ve been very impressed with the unit.
I recently participated in a group buy of Pi 3s and had a few left over, so, in a moment of weakness, I bought one of these to check email when traveling.
From unboxing (the packaging is excellent) to completion took a couple of hours of careful assembly. The instructions were OK, although I had to closely examine a couple of the cables to be sure I was connecting things correctly. Aligning and securing the hinges was a worrisome process, but ended up working OK.
All of the components were high quality; especially the screen, which is incredibly legible. Extra fasteners were also supplied. If you are left handed, you won’t care for the location of the track pad, but it is great for the rest of us. Access to the USB connectors is poor. My case bottom also seems slightly warped and the laptop rocks slightly, but I hardly notice it anymore.
As good as the hardware is, the customized micro SD card image, which is Jessie with some useful additions, is not fully baked. The manufacturer has some kind of cloud based authentication and access control system that hung the first time I tried to use it, which rendered the micro SD card useless. However, I just booted up the latest Jessie image on another micro SD card I had lying around and everything works just like you would expect on a Pi 3.
With the Pi 3’s built in wireless, the relatively inexpensive laptop works well for it’s intended purpose. I hope Sparkfun decides to carry some of the accessories (speakers and expansion boards).
Overall, I would buy this again even with the dysfunctional software and uneven base which are the only reasons I didn’t give a five star review.
This device met all of my expectations. I set it up to run standard Raspian Jessie. Tracked down solutions to the simple extra funtion keys using Google. Works better than expected, actually.
Only one minor niggle. Needs one extra cable for sound and a hole in the case for mounting it. My cable is on order. Now just need to determine where I am going to drill the hole for it.
The Pi-Top Linux OS is well thought out and helps move up the Linux learning curve. The Pi-Top is not expensive, nor is it cheap, especially if you add speakers. The materials are of high quality and go together smoothly, the only exception being the keyboard USB cable, which interferes with the case when put in the preferred left upper port. (preferred, because that port is inaccessible from the case opening.)
All in all, I am happy and enjoying the Pi-Top.
Love the protection the Pi-Top case provides, the ease of use for my son. He is already playing minecraft at the current iteration on his desktop (the school is iMac system so we have an older iMac he uses for school work & playtime) so he isn’t impressed with the minecraft-pi….
I’ve been working with the pi-top to get the full minecraft installed but I’m not a skilled coder or linux problem solver, the open GL driver(s) aren’t working for me - yet. My son doesn’t care, besides I believe the modestly powered & low memory RPi3 wouldn’t give him a great gaming experience anyway.
He’s already learning to code and is intrigued with “CEED”, but that is the whole idea of the Pi-Top. Ten years from now a fully functional $300 computer may be a reality, but for an 8 year old to learn on this may just be the real deal!
Thanks for open-sourcing and cloud sharing this opportunity to teach my son about digital electronics!