PiKasa will turn your Raspberry Pi into a laptop for $99 – Geek

The Raspberry Pi has not only revolutionized what we have come to expect a cheap computer to be, it’s also sparked a surprising number of complimentary projects. The most recent and successful of these is the PiJuice battery, but there’s another potentially great project attempting to get funding in the form of the PiKasa.

PiKasa is a complete kit that turns your Raspberry Pi into a laptop, and it does this for just $99. The project is live on Indiegogo right now attempting to hit a fixed funding goal of $25,000. While the housing will end up costing $99, early backers can secure one for just $75 or $89 depending on how quick they are. However, there is a $25 shipping charge outside of South Africa where this project is based.

In return for your pledge of $75-$99 you will get a complete housing solution for your Raspberry Pi (both A and B models are supported). That includes a 7-inch 800 x 480 resolution LCD panel, ABS plastic housing, built-in keyboard, audio amplifier, speakers, power supply, 5 USB ports, Ethernet port, 12 volt DC power converter, and battery charger. A battery is not included, but a single cell 3.7v Li-ion battery can be used in the case.

Here’s a complete rundown of the spec:

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This is quite a basic package as you can tell from the images and video. The case won’t close and the keyboard is a silicon rubber keymat. It’s actually an existing product called Streetwise which is going to be modified for Raspberry Pi compatibility.

Streetwise was meant to offer children in South African schools cheap access to email and online content. However, the company behind it ceased trading just as the computer was finished, so Ian Harrison, the person running this Indiegogo, acquired the IP and is attempting to launch it in modified form. So the knock on effect of this project being successful is 20,000 schools in South Africa gaining access to the upgraded machine.

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I can see this being useful to anyone who wants to give their child a hard wearing first computer that protects the Raspberry Pi board inside a tough plastic case. It also means only a single wire is exposed for power as all the others are safely tucked away inside the case. It’s also a chance to support what looks to be a great project in South Africa aimed at getting tech into the hands of children.

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