Hands-on: The $300 Kano PC, a “build-it-yourself” Chromebook competitor: Author – Jim Salter

Ars Technica

This almost fully-assembled shot of the Kano PC lacks only the back cover and the magnetically-connected folio case with keyboard and touchpad.

Enlarge / This almost fully-assembled shot of the Kano PC lacks only the back cover and the magnetically-connected folio case with keyboard and touchpad. (credit: Jim Salter)

Specs at a glance: Kano PC
OSWindows 10 Home
CPUIntel Celeron N4000
RAM4GiB DDR3L (not upgradeable)
GPUIntegrated Intel UHD600
HDDForesee 64GB eMMC (not upgradeable)
Display11.6″ touchscreen at 1366×768
Ports1 USB-C (charging)
2 USB3 type A
1 microSD card slot
1 2.5mm headphone jack
1 HDMI
CoolingPassive heat sink
ChargingUSB-C (charger included)
ConnectivityDual-band Wi-Fi 5 + Bluetooth 5.0 (Intel Wireless-AC 9650)
Price as tested$300

Last week, we covered the launch of Kano’s new Windows-powered build-it-yourself PC. The Kano PC is an extremely chunky 11.6″ tablet/laptop form factor PC with both specs and a $300 price similar to low-end Chromebooks—but instead of running ChromeOS, it offers a full Windows 10 experience.

This isn’t our first rodeo with extremely low-cost PCs, which sometimes disappoint us beyond the level their meager specs imply. With a dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron CPU, 4GiB of RAM, and eMMC storage, it’s clear enough on paper that the Kano PC won’t be anybody’s first choice for a “serious laptop”—but the real question is whether it credibly competes with similarly specified Chromebooks. The answer is “absolutely.”

Our only real issue with the Kano PC has nothing to do with performance but with the extremely funky form factor, which both raises and answers the question: “What if tablet, but 2.5 times thicker and heavier?”

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