joantracy
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PI top laptops- how usable?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:38 pm

We will be using our Pis mainly for physical computing. How usable would the laptop be? Can you open the laptop, put on wires and see the circuits in real life, for example?

W. H. Heydt
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:18 am

Could you post a link to the device you're talking about, please?

Easypizy
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:45 am

Depends on what you are using it for. Remember that the specs you are getting from it is from a raspberry pi (which is awesome for tinkerers but not so much for an average user). Also note that it does not come with a battery pack (well, looking on the bright side, it makes it lighter) in it so you probably have to keep it plugged into a power point or source your own power bank that can power the pi AND the peripherals. It is a 13 inch screen and depending on how bright the screen is and the load on the pi itself, your powerbank may drain out depending on the miliamp it has.

The pi tops are awesome coz they have a panel which you slide out to see the guts or slide down the keyboard (depends on the type you get) so you can change in tinker with the parts if you know what you are doing. The design is great in general and you might even be able to use other boards on it since the main connection to the screen is hdmi?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:31 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:18 am
Could you post a link to the device you're talking about, please?
It's in the thread title - Pi Top
https://www.pi-top.com
55:55:44:44:4C
52:4C:52:42:41

fruitoftheloom
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:33 am

joantracy wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:38 pm
We will be using our Pis mainly for physical computing. How usable would the laptop be? Can you open the laptop, put on wires and see the circuits in real life, for example?

This has a good description:

https://thepihut.com/products/pi-top-v2 ... 4475240465
adieu

Asus CS10 Chromebit / HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer / Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1 / RealVNC Software...

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B.Goode
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:47 am

The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers a 2-day training course for Educators under the name PiCademy. Exposure to Physical Computing with the RPi is a large component of the PiCademy curriculum.

PiCademy attendees are seated in front of PiTop laptops during the course. Just as an observer, not an official spokesperson, I'd suggest that is a pretty good endorsement of the usability of a PiTop in that environment.


Edit: to clarify that it is probably the PiTopCEED that is being used...
Last edited by B.Goode on Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mattmiller
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:07 am

The best VFM way to use a Pi is to plug in a keyboard,mouse and screen. - fraction of the price of a Pi Top setup

If your having to move your a class set around then an integrated solution is more convenient.

If your Pi are staying within one school, I'd personally run them headless and VNC into them from existing computers (or new cheap laptops than can be used a gen purpose machines)

LTolledo
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:55 am

I have a Pi-Top v1. The Pi-Top v1 gained notoriety for having its battery dead after several months, a google search about Pi-Top battery problem will surely give you lots of hits. Even replaced batteries suffer the same. As far as I know, there is (or will ever be) a fix.

Wanted to change to the v3 but its not available on my trusted online stores. Probably because of the problems brought in by the v1, the stores are not "risking" on stocking and selling the Pi-Top line anymore.

In my PiTop v1, there is a need to buy an optional breakout board, to where the RPi's GPIO pins can be accessed. As it's price was not attractive I forgo to having one.

Am I still using it? Yes I still am but always plugged to AC adaptor. It has an RPi3B with a 38x38x7 heatsink on the SoC and a sideways blowing fan, native USB thumbdrive boot running latest raspbian stretch with desktop, used mostly for viewing movies on Kodi at bedtime, and checking some online stuff while still in bed.

It will be reconfigured later on for use in CNC machining/3D printing.
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joantracy
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:14 pm

Thanks for this feedback. I will need to move from class to class, so need a portable solution. This is the PiTop laptop I am looking at https://accounts.pi-top.com/products/pi-top

joantracy
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:17 pm

mattmiller wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:07 am
The best VFM way to use a Pi is to plug in a keyboard,mouse and screen. - fraction of the price of a Pi Top setup

If your having to move your a class set around then an integrated solution is more convenient.

If your Pi are staying within one school, I'd personally run them headless and VNC into them from existing computers (or new cheap laptops than can be used a gen purpose machines)
Matt,
Do you find the students as intrigued when using a regular computer to control the PIs?

PhatFil
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:29 pm

i agree the cheapest low spec laptop with a reasonable battery life would be a lot cheaper and probably smaller/lighter to carry about. As well as providing a usb power supply for a Pi (perhaps?) with ssh and vnc access to the pi is probably a neater and more impressive use of tech solution.
The Pi-Tops look a bit plasticy and a bit more pre teen oriented design wise, toyish? Perhaps this is ment to equate to easy to use?

mattmiller
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:30 pm

I use all sorts of physical computing devices - Pi, Arduino, Microbit and Crumble - all the others need control from another computer so remoting into the Pi is intriguing enough :)

joantracy
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:22 pm

Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:48 pm

mattmiller wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:30 pm
I use all sorts of physical computing devices - Pi, Arduino, Microbit and Crumble - all the others need control from another computer so remoting into the Pi is intriguing enough :)
Thanks Matt. BTW, are you the famous Matt Miller of Ditch that Textbook fame? If so, your work inspires. If not, still thank you.

joantracy
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Re: PI top laptops- how usable?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:55 pm

PhatFil wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:29 pm
i agree the cheapest low spec laptop with a reasonable battery life would be a lot cheaper and probably smaller/lighter to carry about. As well as providing a usb power supply for a Pi (perhaps?) with ssh and vnc access to the pi is probably a neater and more impressive use of tech solution.
The Pi-Tops look a bit plasticy and a bit more pre teen oriented design wise, toyish? Perhaps this is ment to equate to easy to use?
This is a convincing argument.

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