A build-it-yourself computer with Harry Potter magic

This wireless, touchscreen laptop kit is perfect for young techsters and offers coding at the wave of a wand

Kano Computer Kit Touch, £280
Kano Computer Kit Touch, £280 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

When I was 12, I would see in US magazines kits to “build your own computer”. This was long before Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (both born, like me, in 1955) were, in their first business ventures, building their own early home computers, so I can only guess that they saw the same ads as I did and were equally, but perhaps more effectively with regards to the history of technology, intrigued.


London-based Kano has been very successful these past few years making modern build-your-own computers for future Gateses and Jobses. It brought out a terrific laptop kit last year and has now topped it with the Touch, a refined version with, as the names hints, a touchscreen. Kano has its own beautifully simple operating system for making games, music and other programs to take you from beginner to coder – a seductive proposition for young techsters. As well as a 25cm HD touchscreen, Touch has a wireless keyboard with trackpad, a Raspberry Pi 3 computer and supports mainstream apps like YouTube and WhatsApp. For extra fun, Kano also has a compatible licensed Harry Potter coding wand – trust me, it works and it is magic – for an extra £100.


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