ZaReason Invenire 1220 Reviewed

A couple of weeks ago, ZaReason sent us a shiny new Invenire 1220 running Qimo 2.0 for a review. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Qimo running on a machine I hadn’t put it on, and the fact that it was like that out of the box was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. Having Qimo available as a pre-install option is not only a great opportunity for Qimo, but an easy way for parents to get a working computer that’s safe and inviting for their kids.

And even if that weren’t enough reason to recommend ZaReason, this Invenire itself is a great machine. It may not look like it was designed for kids, but trust me on this one, it will get their attention and their interest.  The transparent, illuminated window invites questions about what the different pieces are and how they work, sparking a desire to learn and explore that is so very fitting for a Qimo desktop.

Enough talk, let’s see some pictures!

It arrives!

I’m glad that the box was marked “Fragile” in multiple places, our UPS delivery guy has a tendency to launch packages from halfway down the driveway to our doorstep.

Securely packaged inside the outer box appears to be the original case manufacturer’s box.  Given how widely known and talked about ZaReason is, it’s sometimes easy to forget that they’re a small business who painstakingly assemble these machines by hand here in the USA.

ZaReason sent instructions as well as the initial username and password for signing in to Qimo.  I particularly liked the first trouble-shooting step: “Try to figure it out.  The more you play with your system, the more you know about it”.  That pretty much sums up how we want kids to approach Qimo too.

This was my first “wow” moment.  I somehow forgot that the Invenire 1220 has a transparent window on the side.  And not a little one either.

Did I mention it has a big transparent window?  I think I did, but I just can’t stop looking at it.  The irregular shape seems to add to it’s intrigue.

Oh, and it lights up too.  There is a blue LED bar hiding just below the bottom edge of the window.  A switch on the back turns it on and off, and there a button that cycles it through various blinking patterns.  It’s certainly an attention grabber, especially for those under 10.

And it’s not just a gimmick.  My kids were immediately drawn to the window and started asking me what all the components were.  I spent about 10 minutes explaining what everything did and how they worked together, before we even got around to playing with Qimo.

Ready… Set… Go!

This machine has more than just good looks, it’s blazing fast too.  Qimo booted up to the login screen in 20 seconds flat.  And that’s good, because if there’s one thing kids aren’t, it’s patient.

All of the games started fast, ran flawlessly and sounded great.  Everything just worked, out of the box, the way it should be.  I won’t go into all of Qimo’s games or post a bunch of screenshots, because this review is about the machine itself.  Suffice it to say, though, that this is pretty much the Qimo experience I want other people to have.

There isn’t much more to say, except: Thanks ZaReason!  Thanks not only for lending us this terrific machine to play with for a few days, but thanks also for taking the time to evaluate Qimo, for making sure that it runs perfectly on this hardware, for building a quality, affordable machine, and for just being an awesome company.