The Raspberry Pi 400 puts DIY computing right under your fingertips

Humza

Posts: 839   +161
Staff member
In context: The low-cost Raspberry Pi computer is a revered piece of hardware among DIY enthusiasts who’ll find the new Raspberry Pi 400 a much more accessible, user-friendly way to get tinkering with projects. Based on the Raspberry Pi 4, this new variant features slightly higher clock speeds and is packed inside a compact keyboard with all I/O located on the front.

With the Raspberry Pi 400, the Raspberry Pi foundation wants to make computers more approachable for children and for those looking to start (or further) their coding career. Its chiclet keyboard houses the same Broadcom BCM2711 chip found in the Raspberry Pi 4 but has four ARM Cortex-A72 cores running at 1.8GHz, up from 1.5GHz.

This could also lead to higher temperatures, something which has already been a concern on the regular Raspberry Pi 4. However, according to the Raspberry Pi foundation, the Pi 400 should stay cool and silent as it comes with especially designed thermals.

It’s got plenty of connectivity, as expected, including dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. The entire back of the keyboard is occupied with ports consisting of Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x micro HDMI, microSD storage, and a 40-pin GPIO header. There’s also a USB-C port but that’s reserved for 5V DC power only.

Unlike the Raspberry Pi 4 which received an 8GB variant this year, the Raspberry Pi 400 only comes with 4GB of RAM. It is, however, $5 cheaper and has the added cost, space, and functional advantage of being a keyboard as well.

It’s also available as part of the $100 personal computer kit that bundles it with a mouse, power supply, micro HDMI to HDMI cable, an SD card preloaded with Raspberry Pi OS, and an official Beginner’s Guide.

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arrowflash

Posts: 349   +367
I'd like to see "keyboard PCs" like the Commodore 64 and Amiga 500 making a comeback. With current tech you could make some pretty nice machines.

The issue is the keyboard itself, though. Most keyboards I've owned in the last 15 years haven't lasted more than 4 or 5 years (with some as little as 2 or 3 years), even though I never spilled anything on them and was always careful to keep them clean. The embedded keyboards on such machines better be as durable and reliable as a Model M.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 94   +220
Like every damn Pi release, my brain is warring with itself between coming up with lots of theoretical reasons why I need this with the knowledge that I wouldn't actually use it if I bought it.

Still, cool product, though shame they didn't take the opportunity to replace the mini-hdmi with full-size hdmi to save an adaptor. Doesn't have the same size constraints that the normal Pi has to justify use of the mini port.
 

comnut

Posts: 35   +14
Of course you can plugin a proper keyboard...

The REAL thing is, getting it to run win10 or whatever.. a quick goggle says use intel emulation, but this make it awfully slow...
 

lazer

Posts: 385   +117
I bought a Raspberry about a year ago. Played with it and found it fun and interesting, but not something that would take over PC's, laptops or M$.

Let us hope that it continues to develop and bring computing prices back to affordable.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 531   +455
I'd like to see "keyboard PCs" like the Commodore 64 and Amiga 500 making a comeback. With current tech you could make some pretty nice machines.

The issue is the keyboard itself, though. Most keyboards I've owned in the last 15 years haven't lasted more than 4 or 5 years (with some as little as 2 or 3 years), even though I never spilled anything on them and was always careful to keep them clean. The embedded keyboards on such machines better be as durable and reliable as a Model M.

I watched a tear down of the Pi 400 and I was thinking about a DIY Mechanical Keyboard project