The newest Raspberry Pi 400 almost-all-in-one computer is very, very slick. Fitting in the size of a small portable keyboard, it’s got a Pi 4 processor of the 20% speedier 1.8 GHz variety, 4 GB of RAM, wireless, Ethernet, dual HDMI outputs, and even a 40-pin Raspberry Standard IDE-cable style header on the back. For $70 retail, it’s basically a steal, if it’s the kind of thing you’re looking for because it has $55 dollars worth of Raspberry Pi 4 inside.
In some sense, it’s getting dangerously close to fulfilling the Raspberry Pi Dream. (And it’s got one more trick up it’s sleeve in the form of a huge chunk of aluminum heat-sinked to the CPU that makes us think “overclocking”.)
We remember the founding dream of the Raspberry Pi as if it were just about a decade ago: to build a computer cheap enough that it would be within everyone’s reach, so that every school kid could have one, bringing us into a world of global computer literacy. That’s a damn big goal, and while they succeeded on the first count early on, putting together a $35 single-board computer, the gigantic second part of that master plan is still a work in progress. As ubiquitous as the Raspberry Pi is in our circles, it’s still got a ways to go with the general population.
The Raspberry Pi Model B wasn’t, and isn’t, exactly something that you’d show to my father-in-law without him asking incredulously “That’s a computer?!”. It was a green PCB, and you had to rig up your own beefy 5 V power supply, figure out some kind of enclosure, scrounge up a keyboard and mouse, add in a monitor, and only then did you have a computer. We’ve asked the question a couple of times, can the newest Raspberry Pi 4B be used as a daily-driver desktop, and answered that in the affirmative, certainly in terms of it having adequate performance.
But powerful doesn’t necessarily mean accessible. If you want to build your own cyberdeck, put together an arcade box, screw a computer into the underside of your workbench, or stack together Pi Hats and mount the whole thing on your autonomous vehicle testbed, the Raspberry Pi is just the ticket. But that’s the computer for the Hackaday crowd, not the computer for everybody. It’s just a little bit too involved.
The Raspberry Pi 400, in contrast, is a sleek piece of design. Sure, you still need a power supply, monitor, and mouse, but it’s a lot more of a stand-alone computer than the Pi Model B. It’s made of high-quality plastic, with a decent keyboard. It’s small, it’s light, and frankly, it’s sexy. It’s the kind of thing that would pass the father-in-law test, and we’d suggest that might go a long way toward actually realizing the dream of cheaply available universal (open source) computing. In some sense, it’s the least Hackaday Raspberry Pi. But that’s not saying that you might not want one to slip into your toolbag.
You can’t send Hackaday a piece of gear without us taking it apart. Foolishly, I started by pulling up the sticker, thinking I felt a hidden screw head. Nope, injection molding mark. Then, I pulled off the rubber feet. More molding marks. (Kudos for hiding them so nicely!) Save yourself the trouble; all you have to do to get the Pi 400 open is to pry gently around the edge, releasing each little plastic clip one after the next. It only takes five minutes, and as it says in the motorcycle repair manuals, installation is the reverse of removal.
Inside, there’s a flat-flex that connects the keyboard, and you see that big aluminum heat sink. It’s almost the full size of the keyboard, and it’s thick and heat-taped to the CPU. You know it means business. It’s also right up against the aluminum bottom of the keyboard, suggesting it could get radiative help that way, and maybe keep your fingers warm in the winter. (I didn’t feel any actual heat, but it’s gotta go somewhere, right? There are also vents in the underside of the case.)
Four PZ1 screws and a little bit of courage to unstick the pad get you underneath the heat spreader to find, surprise!, a Raspberry Pi 4. This was a little anticlimactic, as I’ve just spent a couple weeks looking over the schematics for my review of the new Compute Module 4, and it’s just exactly what you’d expect. It’s a Raspberry Pi 4, with all the ports broken out, inside a nice keyboard, with a beefy heat spreader. Ethernet magnetics sit on one side, and the wireless module sits on the other. That’s it!
How hackable is the Pi 400? Not very. There’s not much room for any kind of foolery in here, because the heat spreader takes up most of the interior volume. Folks who want to replace the USB 3.0 with a PCIe could probably do that, of course, but they’d be better served with a compute module and some DIY. You could try to cram other stuff in here, but with the convenient 40-pin port on the back, you’ll want to connect anything of any size with a cable anyway. It’s not so much that it’s not hackable as I don’t know why you would. (As always, we’re happy to be proven wrong!)
The Whole Enchilada
There are two packages for the Raspberry Pi 400: the basic and the full kit, for $70 and $100 respectively. The extra $30 gets you a nice USB C power supply, a Raspberry mouse, a micro-HDMI to regular HDMI cable, a name-brand SD card preloaded with Raspberry Pi OS, and the Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide. In short, everything you need to get started except a monitor. All of these things are already available, but you can get them bundled in for convenience.
The book is a nice intro that’s basically a guided tour of the great learning content already available on the Raspberry Pi website. The cable, power supply, and mouse are all good to have, and it’s certainly nice not to have to download and burn another SD card, but these are more comfort than necessity. Aside from the micro-HDMI cable, I had everything on hand anyway, though if this were a permanent installation, I would probably need to source another USB C wall wart.
I don’t know if it was just for the review model, but it was a nice touch that the SD card was already in the slot. That saved me maybe 10 seconds, but it might have confused someone who is not used to thinking of an SD card as a hard drive.
Convenience, simplicity, and ease of getting set up is exactly the name of the game here, and I think the full kit makes good on that promise. It was about as plug-and-play as possible.
Is It For You?
The Pi 400 is the least Hackaday Raspberry Pi. It’s a very slick piece of inexpensive, consumer computing for the masses. The full package is absolutely what I would give to my father-in-law. And that makes it also the first Raspberry Pi computer to really make good on the accessibility aspect of the founding dream, where they had already hammered the price. Congratulations to the Raspberry Pi folks are in order. This computer, combined with their decade-long investment in producing educational material to guide a newbie along the path, embody that dream.
This may not be the computer you want for a hacker project. That’s what the Model B is for. It’s probably not full of modification possibilities, though we’ll see what you all think. And it’s not, as far as we know, available with the full range of memory options either. If you don’t need the frills of the full package, the $70 price is a small upsell from the $55 of the equivalent Model B, but when you don’t need a keyboard or the nice case, you could put the $15 to use elsewhere.
Still, combine this with a small touch screen, and run it all off of a 5 V power pack, and you’ve got a ton of portable computing in a very small package. If you’re not mousing around all the time anyway, there’s a certain streamlined simplicity here that’s mighty tempting. The 40-pin port on the back makes it easy to add your own gear too, say if you want to use it as a portable logic analyzer, microcontroller programmer, or JTAG platform. I actually prefer the horizontal orientation of this Pi port over the vertical of the Model B — my projects always end up looking like hedgehogs, and gravity wants cables to lie flat. These are small details, but that’s usability.
Finally, I have a Compute Module, a Pi 4 Model B, and now the Pi 400 all sitting on the desk. The Pi 4 is known to throttle when it overheats, which conversely means that it runs faster with a heatsink, even without overclocking. There was mention in the Compute Module datasheet about more efficient processing using less power, and presumably producing less heat. And this big hunk of aluminum inside the Pi 400’s case calls out “overclocking” to me. There’s only one way to figure out what all this means, and that’s empirical testing. Stay tuned.
248 thoughts on “New Raspberry Pi 400 Is A Computer In A Keyboard For $70”
Nice! I hope they will do it in the dark grey colour variant like the official Pi case. And I really want to see what’s inside.
Too excited to scroll down! Well, that’s one question answered. :)
Is it also available in classical IBM style keyboards ?
Jeff Geerling has another teardown.
It’s not $70… not even in America it’s already gone up to $100USD minimum. £90. And $209AUD…. that’s kinda a bit steep. I have no doubt that it’s amazing kit. But really hard to justify. Especially in Australia where I am. Cost of living here is surprisingly high, so paying American and UK prices for things PLUS additional markup really hurts. The conversion rate from USD to AUD should have made it $140, and we have to pay Goods and services tax here which is another 10%. And that should have made it $154… so why are we being charged a further $55 on top of that.
You’re confusion the price of the full kit with the individual price. $100 or roughly £94 is the price including a PSU, mouse, HDMI cable and SD card.
Hmmmm. Not confusion. The only ordering options available on any of the reseller websites are the $100USD SKU wether that be a kit or a bare unit. There is no $70USD SKU on any reseller I can find. If it exists, it’s unlisted due to being out of stock or unavailability.
Then that doesn’t answer why Australians are being charged a further $39USD/$55AUD ON TOP of currency conversion and taxation.
And don’t get me wrong, the design is beautiful. A huge return to 8bit and 16bit nostalgia as well as a boost to usability and convenience for prototyping on the Pi. Otherwise I wouldn’t have checked pricing on 8 different resellers across the UK, US and Australia to source one. Multiple websites are touting this $70 price tag. Which no reseller has. And the Australian resellers are gouging by over 25% markup beyond conversion and tax. It would be cheaper to buy international and have it redirected.
Raspberry Pi makes things people want but absolutely sucks at supply chain. They artificially restrict the number of resellers who receive a wholesale discount. So most places have to buy from element14 or whoever at pretty much full price and then put a sensible margin on top to make it worthwhile. And as an Australian you’d know how expensive it is to operate a business here.
If Pi Foundation really wanted to get these in the hands of everyone, they’d manufacture it in Taiwan in real bulk, and wholesale them to any business.
Yes it is, I just got one at $70 online.
Could you help by specifying which seller? As I saidvive tried 8 with no success.
I purchased a keyboard-only SKU from Cana Kits for the publicized $70 US price right at announcement date, and later picked up the $100 complete kit from my local Microcenter about a week later (just walked in and picked it up).
The inability to find a stocking retailer in your area is not proof the item doesn’t exist, it simply isn’t yet offered in your area.
AUD 107 – not too bad.
Wow, unexpected. This would make the ultimate computer lab machine, combined with PXE boot. I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but I want one. :P
That 40-pin connector in that location is just begging for a game cartridge to be made for it. Need something clever that makes use of all those GPIOs, too.
already got that thought going. my Gameboy cartridge reader will fit perfectly there with the cart sticking up
I would *not* trust 0.1″ connectors to have game cartridge grade durability without some kind of adapter in between.
The pins should be okay. The matching socket usually is not – number of mating cycles is pretty low for the socket part.
It really looks cool. I hope it has some form of shielding, though. Which is important especially in lab environments, I think.
Having seen a tear down I’d say its sufficiently well shielded for most environments by its heat sink and ground plane..
Being a real product its got to pass the regs, so can be fairly sure it shouldn’t cause trouble, function properly in really nasty environments is another matter all-together.
The form factor reminds me of the ZX Spectrum but I suspect the keyboard is somewhat better though.
Better than the ZX Spectrum? Well, that’s an acquired taste.
The keyboard on the Pi 400 is surprisingly OK. (Red Alert: keyboard nerd.)
~1.5 mm travel with light tactile feel. I like it better than the keyboard on my wife’s IdeaPad L340, for instance, which is a tiny bit mushier. If you’ve used a modern slim laptop, you’ll be just fine here.
1.5 mm is not enough. My T60p has ~2.5 mm. My cheap Logitech K120 has ~3 mm.
Apart from aesthetics and saving material there is absolutely no reason to have that little key travel.
Usability is more important.
While I agree that level of travel isn’t nice, it is what most people (morons) seem to want. Being conditioned by those awful tablet/netbook/slimline laptop keyboards and only marginally better rubber dome keyboards at schools/offices…
For ‘slimline’ keyboards I suspect the T20-T60 era Thinkpad keyboard will forever be top dog… As nobody seems to care to make really decent feeling keyboards on the portable devices (mass produced) anymore…
If we’re going to play the laptop keyboard game. I’ve been an IBM X-series kind of guy since 1998. I’ve seen them all come and go, and they’ve gotten thinner and less tactile every decade.
My old X41 was nowhere as good as the X600 before it. And the X220 is slightly worse than the X41.
But look. The whole darn Pi 400 keyboard is 4 mm thick. Thinner than the keycaps on the X600! And because of this, you could fit 6 Pi 400s in the space of the X600. (No fair, screen, etc. I know.)
It’s optimized for size, and given that, the keyboard is better than alright. And I say this from the vantage point of someone typing to you right now on a home-brew ortholinear, custom designed to match my wrist pronation angles, with a mix of Otemu blues on the main keys and scavenged vintage Cherry blacks on the modifiers. Because I like it that way.
The keyboard on the PI 400 is OK. Really.
Indeed Elliot, but just OK for something you want to work with seriously isn’t good enough!
Or you wouldn’t have found the desire to make your really fancy keyboard – grr how dare you have completed such a project when I’ve yet to start seriously thinking about doing one! And I wouldn’t be sitting on a small horde of IBM Model M’s (Dad worked there and brought a flight case full home when they were being thrown out – some have gone to good homes, but still got some spares left – and as I type this I am actually literally sat on that flight case – dining chair legs being glued back up and the proper office/sim chair I’m working on is still very much a WIP..).
I’ve not used it to know how it feels to use, perfectly willing to accept its not a bad keyboard of that style, so I’d not really hate using it. But it sounds like many of us would love (with how many custom KB’s are shown off here, all the fancy keyswitch varieties etc) if more of the mass produced products put the user interface a little higher up the prioritires than being as stupidly thin as possible (which usually leads to horrible overheat like the little macs on top of all that deck flex..). Give us an extra 3mm of device thickness and you should be able to go back the best of the IBM thinkpad portable keyboard experiences still (as extra thickness throughout should allow even more extra depth at the keyboard with stacking PCBs etc)..
After using slimline keyboards on my think pad laptops and replacing my normal desktop keyboard with the same style standalone think pad keyboard. I absolutely cannot stand when I have to use a computer with a standard keyboard.
It’s too much key travel and extra work to type on them than on a good slimline keyboard.
I am pretty sure the only people that claim these full size keyboards are somehow better are idiots that are delusional that since they spent 100-200 on a keyboard it is somehow better. or thy’re just ham fisted and lack fine motor control in their fingers, and try to ram a key that only needs a few MM of travel 1-2CM into the keyboard bed.There should be no reason to pound away at any computer keyboard like it is some old fashioned mechanical typewriter.
The other group of people that buy these noisy clacky mechanical keyboards are some of those that don’t actually get any real work done in the office, but want to sound like they are doing something.
Pi 400 keyboard is fine. But for those that feel the keyboard is a deal breaker, there is an option where you can use your own… ;-)
It’s got USB, after all.
Why do you think having more key travel is better? The further you have to press the buttons, the slower you type and the more you stress yourself. Work = force x distance. Basic physics.
The only reason I see why it would feel better is if you’re used to old keyboards with terrible ergonomics.
There’s a lot of myths involving keyboards, like the idea that you can actually “pull your punches” when typing with long travel tactile switches, because the clicking noise tells you to pull out before you hit the bottom.
You can’t – your muscles and tendons are like stiff rubber bands, they need to wind up before the fingertip can reverse its motion – so you cannot reverse out of the key within the two or three millimeters you have. Secondly, it takes your brain (stem) less time to react to feeling the key tap with your fingertip than hearing the click.
You tend to always hit the backstop regardless, which means the soft short travel keys are actually ergonomically the best, because they require less movement (less work) and they bottom out gently, which also makes them quieter and faster. You just think they’re worse because there’s less effort involved.
It’s a common psychological effect where people who work harder at something, make more fuss, race around the workshop and bang their tools etc. feel they’re accomplishing more even if they’re not really doing anything. It feels like effort and it looks like work, so it must be working, but they’re just being more theatrical. The same effect works with keyboards, where you feel you’re being more effective by using a keyboard like you’re playing a church organ.
There is a feel to longer throw switchs, that nice tactile bump that tells you the key has registered – so you are not actively mashing your fingers into the deck, typing rapidly on the tiny throw keyboards very quickly wears you down as you are actually putting more force into the fingertips – the effort expended on the longer throw is probably greater, but its at lower intensity impacts. (You are typing with similar force/speed but the fingers are being mashed to a hard stop as the key triggers and bottoms out simultaneously on crap thin keyboards so the impulse is massively high)
Good laptop keyboards with short throws do exist – its alot less about travel and more about feel. Your fingers are sensitive and can pick up on the bump of the key registering so you automatically back off – you probably will (on laptops at least) still hit the endstop, but you are already decelerating the fingertips rather than actively mashing them into the stop.
Well by that logic, the best keyboard is a capacitive touch screen with zero travel, right?
Absolutely not. A capacitive touch screen is probably the worst of the bunch. You can’t feel if your fingers are landing on a key, edge, or in between to self correct as you type. Pretty much the only way a capacitive keyboard can work is with spell check, or relying on constantly keeping your eyes on it.
> so you are not actively mashing your fingers into the deck
The faster you type, the more you tend to do that anyways – when you’re typing on a keyboard that requires you to really press the keys in a long way, because you cannot produce the sudden acceleration to stop, and the attempt is more stressful on your tendons and muscles because of the higher forces involved. A good scissor switch keyboard lets you just barely touch the cap and you don’t have to stop and reverse to get out of the key.
>by that logic, the best keyboard is a capacitive touch screen with zero travel, right?
No, because it has zero travel. You don’t feel the key at all, and there’s no cushion – just hard glass.
The biomechanics of it is pretty simple. If you’re typing at a constant speed, your fingertips are making up and down motions and the difference is the key travel. To double the distance is to double the acceleration require, therefore the force required of your muscles.
Of course to be precise, it’s much more since your tendons and ligaments have a damping effect you have to overcome, so to double the distance you have to more than double the force you generate in order to keep typing at the same speed. Conversely, reducing the key travel from 4 mm to 1 mm reduces the effort you need to type by a factor of 4 and more.
Better still, if the key doesn’t move down very much, you can slide your finger to the next key without colliding with the adjacent keys, which creates a different style of typing where you’re not banging the keys in the first place because you’re not lifting your fingertips off the caps very much.
It’s also the same reason why compact keyboards are better – lower lateral accelerations – and why modern “island” keyboards are the work of an idiot: if you’re going to remove the skirts from the keycaps then you should move the keys closer together OR make the keys bigger and easier to hit.
There’s no use for the huge gutters between the keys and it just looks stupid. People have tested e.g. T420 and T430 keyboards with typists and found no difference in speed or error rate.
Dude “typing on a keyboard that requires you to really press the keys in a long way, because you cannot produce the sudden acceleration to stop”
The good mechanical type keyboards all register the keypress with very little travel – it varies but its usually in the 25% of total travel range ballpark. So you don’t need to press them in a long way at all – the extra travel after the bump just lets you decelerate for that lower impulse on bottoming out (I’ve used model M’s so much i don’t actually bottom the keys out on them unless I am really really trying to type fast any more)
And the force required to overcome the return spring like object on a model M vs most other keyboards I’ve used is not much higher – sure you can burn much more energy as the work done over a greater distance travelled is higher, but in stress on the fingers its so much nicer – being the same sustained force needed to move the keys (well close enough at least) but much softer impulse when the travel stops.
> So you don’t need to press them in a long way at all – the extra travel after the bump just lets you decelerate
You already put in the force to actuate the key, and when the key gives in you cannot stop yourself soon enough. You can’t react fast enough when you’re typing fast because you’re running on muscle memory automation, and even if you could you can’t produce the sudden reverse acceleration to actually stop or even slow down significantly, and you still have to pull up from the key anyways. All that is just more muscle effort on your part, which means you get tired faster and develop RSI sooner. Sure feels like work though, so it must be working – right?
The whole idea is that you’re not supposed to fight your keyboard by trying to “pull your punches” with every keystroke. Press lightly and let the key stop your finger – let your tools do the work for you.
You can imagine turning a robot arm joint by pulling with two rubber bands around an axle: that’s how your fingers work. You have to pre-stress the rubber bands before they will carry any force. I have hypermobile joints in my right arm, which also means my tendons are a bit more stretchy, and to make fast fine finger movements the opposing muscles in my lower arm have to pull more to take up the slack. Stretching my muscles does little because it’s the tendons that stretch instead. When typing on a normal keyboard, my right hand soon gets tired, but on a slim keyboard both hands work OK for a long time. It’s also the reason why I have moved my mouse to the left although I’m right handed.
There is a huge difference between fatigue/energy use and decent keyboards – none of the stupidly thin keyboards are ever good for RSI type stuff because the key doesn’t register until after you smash the endstop – to type fast and accurate you have to hammer the damn thing to be sure its going to register.
The better keyboards even with low travel have that tactile bump as the key registers and bottom out softly – so you can know the damn thing registered and you don’t take all the force you put in over a tiny fraction of a second when the key bottoms out.
Some great laptop keyboards out there, the Thinkpad line standing out as consistent good keyboards. How much travel you want is always a personal thing. But nobody wants the typing on a touch screen or not far removed from it (which most laptop and slim keyboards are building towards in this quest for thin and ‘sexy’ at all costs).
> to type fast and accurate you have to hammer the damn thing
Funny I’ve never owned such a keyboard. On all that I have had, I’ve had trouble pressing the key lightly enough that it still goes in but doesn’t register. Once I even built a rig that had a screw and a lever to press the key, to find out where the buckling and switching points are, because I couldn’t tell the difference with my fingers.
A good scissor switch keyboard feels like it pulls the key in when you press it and actuates itself – but of course that’s an illusion because it work by the fact that you can’t stop and reverse within a millimeter. All you need to do is overcome the buckling force and then let the key return you back to start.
If anything, the only trouble I’ve had is the fact that they won’t make a wired desktop slimline keyboard. They’re all wireless, which means they’re slightly laggy or occasionally drop letters. One keyboard had a steel bottom tray that blocked the transmission so effectively that I had to hang the dongle up above on an USB extension cord before it would work properly. That keyboard had the habit of sometimes reversing two subsequent keystrokes and/or repeating them, so you’d tyepep silylyl.
If you can adjust to short key travel, you can adjust to the amount of travel required to hit the tipping point of a buckling spring switch.
The benefit of physical keys over a membrane is their tactile quality, right? Well, that advantage is lost if so much as brushing the key with a fingertip triggers a spurious keypress. Longer travel lets you orient (or re-orient) your fingertips without issuing bogus keystrokes.
Anyone who suffered with Apple’s disgraceful “butterfly” keyboard should know this.
If you want shorter travel, the best compromise was represented by the aluminum Apple keyboards circa 2010.
I don’t recommend this keyboard at all. It has no insert key. You have to press function to do page up/dn, and home/end. I always use it when my genius keyboard stops working, but I get so frustrated that I end up cleaning/fixing my genius again.
“I don’t recommend this keyboard at all. It has no insert key. You have to press function to do page up/dn, and home/end.”
Maybe there’d be a market for an external USB keypad to remedy those problems, with a USB hub built in.
Various solutions exist:
At least it has a Delete key, something that Apple’s $4000 laptops STILL don’t have.
Neat – Can it run Ubuntu or a flavour of? Would be nice to use it as a desktop
The answer to your question is “yes”! (As of the last week.)
The answer to Jenny’s rhetorical question is naturally “no”.
I tried the latest supported Ubuntu desktop on a Pi 4 8Gb with the fastest Sandisk uSD available, with a single 1,920 x 1,080 screen.
Can it run Ubuntu? Yes!
Is it usable? Bill Clinton would answer this with “What’s you definition of usable?”
As for me, I put Noobs back on that card less than 30 minutes later.
A modern take on the C-64! Including the user port and the TV-out. Maybe they offer a retro edition in a beige housing? A little power brick under the table to keep your feet warm in the winter and many, many stiff cables coming out of your keyboard unit, constantly working on disconnecting themself if you can’t type quiet enough.
It does sound like a great lab computer. But I will stick with my slightly old laptop that I picked up used for not much more than that price. Including a docking station, which comes in extremely handy.
Exactly my thought.. the 80s is calling ;)
But the C64 has a real keyboard.
More of a ZX Spectrum than a C-64, but we already have one of those already.
Seriously though, I’d make a new bottom enclosure to house a drive/drives, a little paint and I’d be set. Thought I would give the Pi4 a miss and go with an x86 sch, but this may change my mind.
It would be neat if someone took this and made a portable computer in a form factor like an ELLO 2M. Toss the shell and use the keyboard and pcb from this. Maybe put a touchpad where that has a proto area. Then it’d be like a TRS-80 Model 100.
Got to have an external storage device with a whole Raspberry Pi in it.
the most interesting is form factor of the RaspberryPi board itself. Finally board that is usable, by having all connectors at one side.
I hope they would sell those without keyboard too.
Ooooh! You’re not wrong there. The module itself is about 21 cm x 5 cm (8.25 in x 2 in) FWIW.
Hah! I caught that and was editing it while you were pointing it out. Definitely cm.
You can edit your comments!?
Boooo! Edit power to the people!
@CityZen: it’s good to be king!
@Anton: working on that. New plugin still in security screening.
But even editors can’t break the iron-clad 3-replies deep rule. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Woo this means oneday edits will be a thing. And my awful spelling and wonky grammar won’t haunt me so badly (I do try and correct ’em all but its just not one of my skills, and those wonky red lines don’t speak my language…)
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking while watching the picture…
That form factor will permit more retrofiting into old laptops (same kind of form factor of the motherboard, and connectors at the same side).
Since they were redesigning the board and changing some initial decisioins , it would have been nice if they would bring up some more gpios and leave them internal in the board. So that a keyboard with touchpad could be connected to it, for example.
Dying to get a 19″ rack version of the Pi. Just 1 unit height all ports accessable and an internal powersupply.
Don’t feel up to design one from a compuite module together with a case.
erm a 19″ rack version of the pi.. Surely you mean a 19″ rack pi cluster.. at that size even in 1U could fit a great many Pi’s – using the Pi compute modules would be a good way to go, though how many ports accessible at back you really need in that case?
Seems like at 19″ rack if you want just one/two pi’s you also probably want audio/video/network gear or something else as well to use up more of that volume usefully….
If you want to build something like that with just the one pi for whatever reason there are some carrier/expansion boards that will take a normal Pi and move all the IO to one side. Power isn’t hard in a 19″ 1U space either – lots of stock PSU’s supply 5v.
Look for the DIN rail version that was posted here awhile ago. It gives you a secure mount point, all the connections are on the front. You can find DIN rails that mount in a 19 rack, but I think you’ll need a 2U space.
Wonderij what else one could connect to that ribbon cable wince it is taking up one of this USB slots, may as well put it to work.
Gut an old WebTV and put this inside.l
The ribbon cable seems to have far to many traces for it to be a USB signal from that keyboard – so there is probably a chip in the path somewhere that does the scancode generation and USB output..
Could be wrong though – and if that’s true I expect that keyboard will end up in lots of other projects as well – you buy the system for the convenient pi4+heatsink shape for your other project.. and have a leftover USB keyboard that needs nothing but wiring up to a normal USB end and Elliot says is OK..
“Finally… all connectors at one side” … My thought too. All connectors on one side. If I bought one, the keyboard would not be used… If you use the board for an internal project, the cabling should be a lot cleaner. Use a flat cable to bring the GPIO out to a breakout board. Should make for a more compact project.
Nice. Now make it into a psion 5 replacement
Takes me back. The white case makes this kinda-like a Jupiter Ace I guess, or original ZX80 – although they’ll want this to be the BBC Model B of the 2020s.
Shame they retained the micro-HDMI ports, when they had space for full-size in this form factor, but at least it’s consistent.
I’d like the board on its own.
Agreed about the micro-HDMI ports, but they are still up against a real space constraint. If it meant trading two micro-HDMIs for one normal HDMI, I think their choice is the right one for a desktop machine.
How many of us work from day to day on just one screen?
Would’ve been pretty nice to have USB C for the video. They are becoming far more common. I know it is different tech but hey. I’ve never had much fun with those mini HDMI cables.
Requires “control” IC’s (BoM increase) , and will clutter with dongles if people want to use both the display signal and USB signal of the port.
Also, I don’t think that HDMI is (yet) a USB-C alt-mode; so they’d need either a converter of some sort to provide displayport; or a respin of the SoC that provides displayport rather than HDMI.
That’s starting to get to be a much more expensive commitment.
That said, using the fact that they’ve got the entire rear of the keyboard to work with to upgrade at least one HDMI port to normal size would have been most considerate of them. Even if they absolutely couldn’t squeeze two full size in there, there’s considerable difference between “zero ports usable with cables from the junk drawer” and “cable required for dual-headed operation”.
Agreed, though I think its a little more than just that – by making all the Pi4 family use the same cable it keeps it easy and cheaper for newcomers to tech to understand..
I don’t mind the micro-HDMI that much – not the most durable thing going – but then all the smaller USB ends are exactly durable either. If you are going to use it plugged in long term a tiny bit of hotglue to the case will pretty much prevent any load on the cable being applied to the port, while still easy to remove…
I wish they’d made the function keys red…
Yes. Those darn Micro-HDMI are a real hassle. Why ??
Having to buy a 9€ dongle to use the latest PI just slashes it’s value.
Plus this form factor is not used by any consumer product, so you can’t find this much needed adapter
Why didn’t they put one micro and one standard HDMI ??
Amen. I would have bought one of these things, but the micro-HDMI is stupid. A deal-breaker.
Love how very anti Micro-HDMI you are, with no particular reasoning…
A good cable isn’t exactly expensive and it is a perfectly valid connector – so far in my experience its not all that uncommon or fragile, and it makes sense from the Pi folks point of view to make everything in the same pi family as consistent as possible so when its called a Pi 4(00) I’d expect it to use all the same cables as a Pi 4 to help avoid confusion for those folks that are not tech wizards and buying the educational toy/tool for their grandkids for instance…
Oh boy I didn’t want to be the only negative comment. This looks cool but I think it’s a huge wasted opportunity… imagine this form factor ( or slightly bigger) , full size hdmi, and a slot for the compute module so you can choose your poison… that would be AMAZING. Oh well…. it’s still cool…
You’d have to figure out heat-sinking with the compute-module route, though, and that kills the whole “newbie friendly” vibe.
Raspberry Pi is going all-in on the micro-HDMI. And as much as I hate having so darn many cables, it would be confusing if you needed one cable for a Pi 4B, and another for the Pi 4 desktoppy-thing.
So I understand both design choices. Who knows, maybe they’ll introduce different levels of the Pi 400 in the future if there’s enough demand? (Wild groundless speculation!) The Pi 4000!
I would have agreed with you about two years ago before I got a Pi 4. I didn’t realize how much less bulky the cables and connectors are for micro HDMI than full size. On my Pi 4 the USB-C power cable takes up about as much space as the micro HDMI, versus on my Pi 3 where it stuck out twice as much. The advantage is even better if bending the cables 90 degrees to exit the same side as the USB-A and Ethernet jacks as the bend radius can be tighter.
That said, it’s a little annoying that I have a surplus of HDMI-HDMI cables from years of AV gear come and gone, while I have to buy micro HDMI to HDMI cables specifically for the Pi.
I just bought some stubby male micro hdmi to female hdmi adapters
Micro-HDMI is flimsy junk, which is doubly bad on a small, often-moved device. At the very least there should have been one of each.
The complete US version kit is $100.
Those HDMI sockets are way too fragile for the ubiquitous heavy weight HDMI cables we use. Maybe someone should provide light-weight cables? (#never seen one myself) . Heat-sink is good though.
I recently ordered some real thin HDMI cables for a RasPi project from Amazon so they definitely exist. Not sure why they’re not common, maybe people don’t feel like they get value for money with a slim cable.
I wonder if thinner shielding and insulation may be pennies more expensive and thus the stiffer materials are more preferred? I’m not familiar with the specification, but I can also imagine that stiffer bulkier cables might alleviate problems with bend radius like the stiffener core in Cat6.
I have personally waited so long for this. I immediately ordered the board in advance. I don’t need the case, but the board is the best base for my Cyberdeck project. Now that all connections are installed at the back, it is much easier to work on your own case. I am very excited about how well you can work with the hardware. The kit is nice for kids, but for me a little too expensive.
I was literally just thinking that. I would love to know more about the keyboard interface too. If it’s probably just directly exposing the key matrix, but if the controller is programmable that would be more than good enough.
Its Thinkpad X220/X230 price point while delivering 1/2-1/3 performance and IO, but even I have to admit this is pretty cool and will find uses in all kinds of places.
The going rate for an X220 that didn’t need any repair was about $130 when I was shopping for one a couple weeks ago.
And a Pi 4 performs better than my T430 (which is itself faster than the X220 I was shopping for) while driving a 1920×1024 screen. While I’m sure I could put together a synthetic benchmark that would make that i5 look faster, for just using it, XFCE feels snappier on the pi than on the 430. Also, the pi can play 1080p video streams without a hiccup. My 430 can’t. (Source: tried the pi running a default Pi Debian install next to my 430 with Manjaro just now, because your comment made me wonder if the pi was really 1/2-1/3 the performance.)
The Thinkpads also don’t have 40 pins of GPIO exposed in an easily accessible header.
So another way of putting this apples-to-oranges comparison would be “60% the cost of a Thinkpad X220/X230 with better performance and video plus IO no thinkpad has ever had”.
But my spin is as unfair as yours. Mostly because the two machines are so unlike that I’d never have thought to compare them. I wouldn’t consider hooking the thinkpad to my tv and I wouldn’t consider carrying this pi as a laptop. What inspired you to make this specific comparison?
cost: x220/x230 with cracked screen = free-$50. Example bare x220 motherboard $13.5 https://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-Lenovo-Thinkpad-X220-Tablet-Fru-04W2127-motherboard-Intel-Intgr-CPU-2-5GHz/114095764762
performance: I have no problem watching 1080@60 YT clips/twitch streams on X220, the trick is using mplayer and not the default browser. I wonder if rpi can software decode h.264 1080@60 with 1.6GHz ARM cores, could you try mplayer on yours? Yes, hardware encoders/decoders are really nice, but I rather have faster cpu, more ram and more connection options (3x sata, 2xPCIE).
I run everything on thinkpads in my house. x220 NAS, x230 hardwired to TV.
That’s awesome! I use still use an X220 as my daily driver. I buy them with good screens, b/c IPS is nice, and it’s my second monitor. I’m also a snob for the i7s with 2.8 GHz or better. Those cost maybe $200 on the used market. This _is_ my battlestation, and I’m worth it! :)
The idea of picking them up with bad screens to use as servers is a good one. I actually have two that have had their power supplies zapped, so if I could figure out how to fix them, I’d be swimming in the things!
Anyway, I agree in principle, but the Pi 400 is just so small and cute and… It’s the better consumer choice, and that’s the point here. It’s so small, you could fit it in your purse. Plus 40-pin GPIO.
Its a fake laptop i7 with same 2 cores 4 treads :(. x220 i5-2520M overclock to 3.2GHz single tread/3GHz full load, x230 to 3.3GHz.
Yah IMO there’s something wrong if you can’t play 1080p on an i5 machine. Managed it fine on numerous core2s and Athlon X2s. Lowest spec personally I’ve used was a pentium mobile dothan single core at 2.0 Ghz. It was reckoned in the day to become possible on 2.6Ghz Pentium 4 and above…. think I did some test clips in the mid noughties on a 2.2ghz Athlon XP that were okay, didn’t have the bandwidth and storage to seriously get into 1080p content then though.
I am suspicious of hardware assisted decoders though, since minor variations in the format or a new better format will make them useless, I’d rather have the stones in the CPU to do it.
It depends on the clip. Ironically, highly compressed “1080p” like a youtube video is easier to decode because there’s literally less data in it. Less stuff to process – but when you start to decode a high bandwidth bluray rip, then it starts to choke up. I had a dual core Athlon back in the day and I had to overclock it to 3.2 GHz before it would play without stuttering.
The “hardware assist” these days isn’t just a dumb decoder chip, but some programmable DSP unit, or using the GPU as a decoder, or extra instructions in the CPU. It’s a matter of the software matching the available resources to the codec, whereas without the proper drivers and the software to use them, you’d be using the ARM core as a simple ARM core without any special features. Of course then it’s going to be dog slow, because the CPU just doesn’t have the muscle to it.
1.) Will there be an 8GB version?
2.) Will there be laptop version with integrated LCD and eventualy upgradable motherboard to raspi5, 6, etc… in the future? So i don’t have to throw keyboard and lcd away just to get better CPU or more RAM?
This would be an “easy” Compute Module design. And if they stick to the same connectors for a while, you’d hit all of your points.
There is nothing stopping them, or you, from doing this.
I am sorry to be the one spoiling the “gusto” of many here, but this otherwise excellently built machine is practically pointless.
It offers education, you say. But what kind of education exactly? Does it teach anything about building computing systems? Or understanding how they work? Or efficiency in programming? No, it does not. As always, it focuses on boasting with the most powerful hardware and Linux, neither of which is suitable for education. Linux is killer of all love in computers in any learner. The only thing this computer could potentially teach kids is how to use Google better for access to more games.
Any SBC with Z80 or 6502 from the 1970s/80s can be a better educational system when it comes to actually teaching the foundations of hardware and software. It doesn’t have to have a gigahertz processor with 4000 pages datasheet (if you get one at all!) or a 12-gigabyte operating system with a million commands in the console. It is like selling cheap Ferrari to learner drivers – simply does not achieve the initial goal.
I am willing to bet that after the initial excitement (to a large extent due to the intensive marketing it will see), many of these systems will end up permanently in long-term storage. I am also willing to bet that most kids will not get hooked up to them in any other sense than browsing the net and playing games.
So in my own summary: good hardware employed for the wrong reason. Typical for all Raspberry and the likes.
This actually gives me a good incentive to design something new – a new “proper” educational system… So there is some positive effect of it, after all. Stay tuned ;)
I don’t see how you can call a Z80 system a better education that this. They are vastly different things for vastly different times. I’m excited to see a low bar to get more kids working on a physical keyboard. This is a generation of mobile-first tech users.
Also, “Linux is killer of all love in computers”? Really?
No, I am not a troll (search me up on Hackaday for proof) and my opinion is mine only and non-binding :) However, try to understand the points I make. They are on the basis of years of observation on the matter
Z80? Luxury! Real computer education involves the kids building their own ‘pjuter out of TTL logic chips and bit banging the boot loader into re-writeable wire memory they stitched themselves! But seriously..
I grew up in the Z80 era of educational computing and precious few of us learned anything about the pure iron in those things. There also was precious little assembly being written in most classrooms so touting it as a superiour platform to get indited in the black arts of computer science of something seems detached from reality to me.
A Z80 machine would be a fun thing for a very niche school audience these days, but most kids would not recognize it as a computer interface to begin with. It makes little sense teaching kids now how to work a C64 or MSX after boot.
The RPi is a perfectly acceptable educational tool as it scales with the interests and needs of kids who need to become digitally proficient. From basic typing, learning how to safely use the intarwebs to beginner logic, programming or even hardware development and embedded tools.
And if you want, fire up that Spectrum emulator and Z80 ASM code your heart out if you want.
The point is, I think, to provide education of the principles of computing. You don’t need to be a master of assembly for this, but have to know the basics and how programs operate internally. Old technology of the 1980s/90s, such as BASIC, procedural programming, stacks, ITA-5, beebs of a datasette, DOS, batch files, hex editors, rs-232, etc. made use of these things or were related to it. On Linux, everything is hardware-independent – a castle in the sky. You only learn the high-level stuff. If the hardware breaks, you can’t fix, replace etc. You’re the prey. Computer kids or young adults of the 80s were forced to understand the basics of electronics, were able to find the bugs or knew how to ask for help for a specific matter. Today it’s about Python, Gambas or Java on a magic machine only. If this continues, we will all be consumers only and nolonger real users. In an emergency – hello Corona – , we can’t even fix the most basic stuff on our own anymore. That’s a dystrophic future I don’t want live in, personally. I want to be able to understand a machine and intervene if necessary. I don’t want to degenerate to a dancer of high technology that rules my home, office or country. I’d rather want to keep being on eye level with the technology I use. In this respect, the 1980s were much more advanced, I think. Low-tec computers, but high-tec people. Or let me use a metapher: Give someone a fish and he has for a meal a day, teach him to fish and he has something to eat for an entire life.
Sorry Joshua, but I think you are being overly dramatic.
There are more tools and there is more interest in low level electronics now then there was in the 80’s. The same goes for various levels and disciplines in software. The notion that current generations will be totally lost is completely nonsense.
I don’t think so. Joshua is on the money there. Linux “education” goes so high up the abstraction that what you’re essentially doing is just copy/pasting lines of commands from a tutorial without any understanding of what they do or why. They are just magic incantations that make things happen.
Kids aside, even adults find it hard to “learn” Linux because the whole thing is such a bodge of abstractions upon abstractions that the only way it ever works is if someone has already figured it out for you and then just gives you the script. There’s a huge gulf between “repeat after me” and “do it yourself” which cannot be crossed by ordinary people – you have to be an obsessed turbonerd and spend ten years just futzing away with the system itself to get to that level of intimacy and proficiency that you can troubleshoot something yourself and understand what’s going on under the hood.
There’s presently no “middle ground” system between some Arduino board and a PC where you could make fun stuff happen and still interact with the actual hardware. On a DOS PC you could write bytes to the framebuffer and marvel at the rainbow you made – doing that on a Raspberry Pi involves incanting some Python library function that already does everything and you don’t know why or how. It just teaches you to use Python, and what’s special about the Pi 400 then? Nothing. You’ll be more comfortable learning Python on your laptop.
“There’s presently no “middle ground” system between some Arduino board and a PC where you could make fun stuff happen and still interact with the actual hardware. ”
I’d say an Arduino, ESP32, or RP2040 and an I2C OLED screen are pretty close and arguably of equal value in learning today. Knowledge of such things lets you hack into all kinds of systems and do cool stuff.
You get this fancy Pi and still have no understanding of how it all works. It’s a magic box for all they know.
As opposed to the days when you needed to demonstrate an understanding of semiconductor physics, grow a Czochralski process boule on the benchtop; and sketch a block diagram of a 6502 before being handed the keys to a computer?
I started on a 486 DOS PC, with QuickBasic, and learned that you can poke things around in memory to make some wicked fast graphics happen. Even if I didn’t become a programmer as such, it made the cognitive leap to embedded programming a 15 minute issue. Like “Oh, an Arduino? Hey, you can poke these registers here to make it faster… actually, I don’t need this Arduino I can just use the chip.”.
Versus the same happening through first learning Python and… then what? You learn that everything is provided for you through someone else’s pre-made libraries and a particular OS that has to be there to provide any access to the hardware, and if you can’t copy/paste then you’re SOL.
In the end, it’s all about selling you the Pi, not teaching you anything useful.
“Linux is killer of all love in computers”
Yeah, the operating system that FORCES you to learn about the command line, makes it easy to see how low level stuff like schedulers work, and has source code on Github sure is terrible right?
Windows is way better, especially the part how it’s closed source, expensive, and buggy makes it the perfect thing for education
All it does is forces you to copy/paste commands from tutorials that go way over your head to be useful. Then it works, somehow, and you don’t know why.
The same argument can be made for the type it in yourself basic era games..
Its often going to be over your head while a novice, but the act of doing a heap of them gets you spotting patterns, develops your programming logic etc, etc.
The copy/paste commands really should be.. Hmm I searched for it and got this instruction, then looked at what the commands do! (Assuming you have any interest in learning) In the windoze world it would be just double click our exe or bin… Or here is a reg entry – change it to this, with no way to find out why or what…
Not quite. At least you saw the code, and being BASIC it made some semantic sense that you could follow.
Linux command line jockeying means you’re just typing in a cryptic one line expression that pulls a long script off of some server you don’t even know exists, and then it does stuff you don’t understand while meaningless lines of text and file names appear on-screen. When it stops – *bing* everything just works – or not.
And “schedulers” are not low level stuff. It’s already a very complex program that interacts with many parts of the OS.
> In the windoze world …
You’re saving yourself the trouble of typing the commands that you don’t understand by having the person who made the program add an installer that does all that for you, because they can and you don’t want to.
But we weren’t comparing to windows in the first place.
I’m reminded of my college days where we spent a single class working on an antique educational board learning the essentials of micro assembly, but then moved on to PLC and FPGA work. A recent coworker with a similar degree spent a whole semester learning the ins-and-outs of the same assembly board – but nothing about programmable logic. It’s often important to get an idea of how things are/were done at the lowest level, but to delve deeply is a waste of time for all but the most dedicated. Not even our engineering department use assembly.
You should probably take a step back and think about how children are being introduced to ‘coding’ these days. They’re not doing
10 print “hello world”
20 goto 10
and they’re not just blinking an LED
They’re making games, they’re making GUIs. It may be ‘simple’ stuff, but it has results that they can see and do things with. Obviously if they’re interested they can still go down the route of Z80s on breadboard or whatever you want, but they’re starting off with today’s computing.
That is actually part of the problem. They do indeed make things that happen on the screen but they don’t understand how. For them it all comes down to simply using stuff (in the worst cases by simply clicking objects with the mouse) that someone else has written before. I wouldn’t call that “education”, would you?
Konstantin You sound like wright brothers flyer pilot who is b!tchn about kids learning to fly in Cessna instead of building their own flyer. Modern problems require modern solutions, modern teaching needs modern tools. Schools don’t need to teach you how to solder most of components are tiny SMDs, only very few in electronics will ever have to solder. Assembly noone apart from guys deep in dungeons of IT uses it anymore, and kids who in future will probably be just dostors, garbage truck drivers, mechanics, civil engineers, sociology PhDs and so on do not need to know as much as electronic engineers. They need to have general knowledge how modern computers work, being able to do simple things and get few hooked up into programming thats it. Remember thos kids apart from your beloved field have to learn a lot more, biology, chemistry, physics, history, native language, foreign language1, foreign language 2, maths and more you can’t fill up their schedule with only IT because apart from few working in it in future rest will loose their precious time learning things they don’t need.
Peter, I already said the hardware is well built. Too complex for start but that’s as much as I have against it. My main objection as always is against the use of Linux. By a personal opinion, this is something very niche (mostly for people who *do have* time to waste) being pushed out to everyone for hobby and education. Probably the worst possible choice to start with computers. It does not suit either of these two niches
>You sound like wright brothers flyer pilot who is b!tchn about kids learning to fly in Cessna
Imagine an aerospace engineer who has never folded a paper airplane.
Peter, very well said.
Not seldomly, they were also making games and GUIs in the 1980s, simply because they had to. Moreover, they had to “port” games, because the computer game (remember “listings”) they liked was made with a different machine in mind. So they had to adapt code parts so they could run on the flavor of BASIC they were using.
You ain’t gonna get the attention of the common kid without a fully functional gui with a web browser and either keyboard/mouse or touch screen.
Keep in mind that the nanny for the current and possibly also future generation of children is a iPad (or a cheap android tablet if on a budget), so you optimism is just camouflaged naiveté.
Interestingly, judging by the many YT videos, many millenials are apparently into certain classic games also, though. Not ZX Spectrum, maybe, but, say, DOS (VGA), NES, Gameboy and Atari 2600 games. Or cassettes.That’s why the Wii Virtual Console was such a hit, I suppose. Anyway, my point is: Let’s don’t underestimate them. They are generally curious what their (grand) parents or older siblings used to use in their youth, even though they would never openly confess that they also like that stuff. ;)
You’re totally right. Kids these days are spoiled by their windows machines with clock speeds in the gigahertz.
If they really want education, they better refine the silicon themselves. Back in my day we didn’t download “Fortnight”, we had to solder several thousand diodes to make ROMs. Raspberry Pi? No, we assembled our computers from hundreds of logic gates.
No seriously though, this would be great for learning computing science. It’s powerful enough to write regular code, but you there’s nothing stopping you from writing AARCH64 assembler code and running that. It has GPIO exposed, what better way is there to learn how computers work? Plus, this looks like a normal computer and is powerful enough to run programs you’d see on a PC.
There is pretty much zero chance a kid would look at a bare PCB with a Z80/6502 and be interested at all. WAY more kids would be interested in the Pi400 than a SBC. Plus, how would you write code for those chips? You’d need a whole extra computer with a compiler, which defeats the whole point.
You said “It is like selling cheap Ferrari to learner drivers – simply does not achieve the initial goal.”
But your comment is saying learner drivers should practice with go karts
I highly doubt many if any of these will end up in long-term storage.. the Pi4 is usuable as your only computer the performance is so good – so use it they will.
As for learning – its cheap, should be basically impossible to harm, can have its use changed with a simple SD card switch. That lets Kids (and everyone else) learn and try things, if you corrupt your sd card/break your install big deal just reflash it and go again..
What you learn with a Pi isn’t low level Arm Assembly (most likley at least), but its GNU/LINUX so you do get to play with and learn how hardware and software stacks work (and infact will probably have to at somepoint – when you try to get DOS/WIN32 games running for example – a nice journey though architectures, KVM/QEMU functionality – virtualisation in some fashion or other.)
It also has the GPIO to interface with something like the arduino/PIC/FPGA of choice, on which you will be able to learn more about memory limits and management, and interfacing with the real world.
IN short why wouldn’t you give Aston Martins to learners? They have so much more potential than the pedal car you would rather give them, so they can go whatever direction in learning they like (not everyone wants to learn about the nitty gritty of HAL’s, mem management, directly using the processor clock speed as a timer etc) – while still being able to go stupidly fast backwards into the tyre barrier, relatively risk free.
No way I’d let a child loose on my workstation , its just too expensive to fix/replace if they do break something (not as easy now as it would have been a few years ago, but its still very possible to bork an install or dramatically shorten hardware life). But I’d happily give a child a Pi – its going to be more useful and long lasting for them than a similarly priced old laptop (probably at least), and not being old isn’t about to let out the magic smoke, have a drive failure or need all the caps replacing as soon as you give it to ’em…
>the Pi4 is usuable as your only computer the performance is so good
Except you’re only running Linux, so that kills most of the games/professional/fun apps right away. It’s not the kind of system that you can give it to a kid, with the expectation that they would prefer hacking it over an iPad that actually has everything and you don’t have to do anything to make it work.
I remember the main reason I started programming with a PC was because there was no internet back then, there was nothing on TV, and I was bored of playing solitaire. If it was today, there would be infinitely many better things to do than configure Linux to do something my phone already does perfectly fine.
The point of a Pi is to learn and do – the fact Apples walled garden provides more pollished instant gratification doesn’t dissuade use of the Pi – heck I’m running some of the games from my childhood in emulators on it. Half the fun is figuring it out how to make it work – sure you can take the easy way out, but learning about KVM and the like is fun too.
Also linux has heaps upon heaps of games, and can run with all the windows apps you like now Steams proton and wine are so well developed, the tweaking to make it all work is part of the fun and learning for the right kind of child.
Oh and the professional apps are often on linux, or even these days opensource linux programs ported to windon’t and Mac…
Unless you company requires a specific application there is always an alternative, or way to run the one you like most of the time.
This is 90% of being a replacement for a light use desktop. The missing 10% is:
– upgrade the RAM to 8GByte. Honestly I don’t know why they haven’t done so already. It took *ages* for SBCs to have an amount of RAM comparable to low end PCs, but finally the Raspberry Pi 4 did this introducing an 8GByte model. Why step back to 4GByte?
– have a built-in slot form an SSD. It’s not just speed, but also reliability. Maybe it’s just my opinion but I don’t see an SD card as reliable in write-intensive use cases, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable using a desktop which uses an SD as its storage media.
The 8GB Pi 4 is still hard to get, and all of the 8GB CM4 configurations are minimum order quantity 200, so there’s something about the cost of their 8GB RAM component or the actual market demand that is keeping them from making that the default.
I had the same thoughts but figured they were trying to hit a price point and appeal to the average user. 8GB of RAM would bump every price point up by £15 which might put some people off, plus depending on your application you may be CPU bottlenecked before memory bottlenecked. As for storage most of the solutions I’ve seen use USB to SATA adapters, is it worth bringing the external USB port count down to 2 for everyone in exchange for SATA storage that only some people will use?
It’s got me thinking about making my own raspberry pi in a keyboard to add the missing features!
I’d like to see a replacement “motherboard” for this thing with a slot for the Compute module. If you make one, I’ll buy it :-)
It has slots for an SSD, assuming your SSD plugs into USB3.
While robust but fast micro-sd’s are stupid expensive, usb 3.0 drives ain’t.
The problem there is mostly bullshit marketing.
Being Linux based, and usually running lighter weight distros 4GB is plenty for almost everyone. I do have an 8GB Pi4, and so far I’ve only managed to use up enough more than the 4GB to matter when running virtual machines on it (so annexing 1GB+ of ram for the VM). Can get above 4GB of course, but that’s what swap space is for, and odds are you won’t really notice its doing it…
The cost on the other hand of doubling the RAM is significant, its just not worth it when almost nobody using it will need more than 4GB (though if you like me tend to have tab overload do use a HDD so you can have that read-write endurance for your swap space).
Right, I have machines with only 2GB running Lubuntu 18 and they don’t get bogged down that easily. I didn’t like 20 though, and trying Xubuntu now.
Come on, no headphone output? What a waste. :(
I’d have bought one on a whim, but without a headphone output, you’ll need to attach it to some monitor that actually has a headphone output, which a surprising amount of desktop monitors don’t. So it’s time for another mess of cables and adapters and what-have-you, which is just completely stupid. It’s such a shame, such great potential, but I don’t know why the execution is so lacking. For a cheap computer, you’d want it to work with otherwise inexpensive hardware, and the raspi will work just fine with some older used 21″ screens with DVI input that are now being replaced by something more modern and fashionable. However, without a convenient audio output port, that’ll be really annoying. I’m really disappointed.
USB headphone DACs are super cheap, and if that’s too easy then route the 2 PWM channels to GPIOs via config file and make a simple board with the integrating filter and jack that’s on the Pi 4. Even the cheapest USB DAC will sound better though.
It’s not about hi-fi quality, it’s about having something that makes sound. You can’t even watch instructional videos without hooking the thing up to a TV or a modern monitor with headphone output. This isn’t a compute module, it’s meant as a sort of desktop replacement. Not having audio output is pretty bizarre. One could more easily do without the ethernet jack to be honest.
USB DACs or GPIO shenanigans cost money, they take up a valuable USB port or the GPIO, and they enlarge the footprint of this device. I honestly find it completely bizarre that a low-tech audio output was left out; what’s the point behind all this? Do you really save that much money?
It’s a real shame. I hope they’ll reconsider this rather poor design decision in the next revision.
That being saidm, do you have any resources for the GPIO audio output you described?
As usual, a company is targeting their project to the typical use case and inevitably making someone upset.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=268329 plus the circuit here: https://learn.adafruit.com/adding-basic-audio-ouput-to-raspberry-pi-zero/pi-zero-pwm-audio
Another option is bluetooth audio if you’re so equipped.
I agree. The regular Pi has a headphone jack, so why REMOVE it from a larger device? That and the micro-HDMI ports are disappointing mistakes.
I didn’t eve notice that….
I wonder why they didn’t include the audio/composite port as that is still a bog-cheap way to connect this to a TV. (most all TV’s would have hdmi by now, but still, it is not a large connector especially when you are redoing a PCB and spacing it out as much as that.
Bog-cheap 1080 HDMI televisions mostly have a headphone port and integrated speakers. I’d prefer a higher resolution monitor, but I’m cheap so I use a television for my desktop.
Exactly my thoughts! Cool projects like MT32-Pi run directly on Raspberry Pis, without Raspbian being loaded
and do only support stock hardware, like that PWM audio output (or a dedicated DAC on a breadboard via GPIO).
Also, you can’t use an analogue TV set or an old green/amber screen monitor anymore.
Both which were really neat looking on a Raspberry Pi and allowed for awesome retro projects.
And no, I’m not whining for no reason. These were real use cases that I tried out.
Ouch! You got that totally right! Why didn’t I see that?
I mean, I guess there’s audio in the HDMI stream? But still. I want to just plug in my headphones and listen to tunes sometimes.
There are $5 DACs out there that just might fit inside the case. It’ll be a squeaker, but if you don’t need that Kensington lock port…
That’s the first, most obvious, hack. Congrats.
That’s not a hack, but fixing a glaring mistake.
There’s also HDMI audio extractors/splitters that you can plug in between the cable. The cheapest ones on aliexpress come between $6-8
Though ironically they tend to be USB powered, so you lose one port anyways.
Yeah, this is definitely a colossal blunder on their part.
A TRRS socket so it also supported the most common wired mini-jack smartphone “headsets” and a official adapter for separate mic&line-out.
Or just separate jacks, but board real estate and BoM is still relevant issues.
Yes it would be nice, but I don’t think most folks using it will ever notice – plug into TV.. there’s the sound, connect bluetooth…
If it was supposed to be battery powered and portable then it really should have the jack – can’t get sound off the HDMI if you are roving so there is no monitor etc… But its a tethered computer in a keyboard, that will connect to a monitor/tv (90% or more of which these days will have onboard sound and a headphone jack it seems). Its just not worth the cost.
It already exists on the regular Pi. I’d argue it would be way more likely to be used on this thing than a regular Pi.
There I have to disagree entirely, heaps of headless Pi’s out there that still need sound output better than a piezo buzzer but don’t need the real high quality DAC ‘hat’ thing.
Where this is entirely hopeless for embedded, stupidly expensive to run headless – just get the CM or Pi that best suits that need, and doesn’t work as a stand alone typewriter or anything else easily as the only IO its got build in is a keyboard, without a screen its pointless – so it is almost always going to be connected via HDMI to something it can play sounds out of!
Meaning there really isn’t going to be a need for the headphone jack to be on the Pi – why put in a jack for relatively poor pi quality analog audio when the HDMI display very very likely has one, and it almost certainly will sound better than the Pi4’s headphone jack…
Search amazon for “usb audio adapter” please. I’d rather you pay an extra $8 than see a higher base price for a feature most of us probably won’t use.
Battery (and camera) not included.
Looking forward to the first ideas on how to include an SSD! A bit of a shame that there’s no room for this in the case…
It’s an excellent step in the right direction but:
– Instead of needing a mouse why not just put a trackpad on the right or left.
– This would have been a perfect situation where the twin Mini HDMI ports aren’t needed (there is enough space) and where the use case is such that most people would just prefer a single full size HDMI.
– Analogue Audio Output / headphone out?
– Just get on with putting an M2 slot in the bottom so we can put a real drive in it at a reasonable cost.
top right trackball would be my druthers.
Important question: did they fix the bug in the power connector? The one that made the RPi4 look like an analog headset to anything connected in the USB-C power connector…
If I remember right boards with that fix hit the shelves back in January/February. This is a new design, you’d like to think they have incorporated the fix there too.
Didn’t know it was already fixed. Thanks.
Now to figure out this best way to connect my tablet to this thing.
For??? You can network over USB and run an Xserver on the tablet acting as client to Pi. (It alwyas sounds arse backwards when you’re talking about X, the server is what provides the windowing system)
I would hop on one in a hurry if the USB C port allowed it to be used on a dock…
IT probably can – USB otg via the USB-C is something Pi4’s can do.. So it should be able to do uni-directional USB-data over the USB-C.. I think only as USB2 though.
But I’ve never tried it or looked into it seriously – I just know that port does have data lines from reading the specs.
How much legwork you’d have to do to make it work I have not got a clue (the Pi4’s are my only USB-C devices – so no collection of USB-C hardware to test with)
My new mantra: I don’t need it!
I know what you mean. I want this too, but haven’t yet figured out the need…
Much as I have a soft spot for retro-Sinclair-like devices, there’s a question: By the time you’re done with a power supply, screen and mouse/touchpad how is this an improvement over the inexpensive Chromebook I’m typing this on?
The Pi boards are a good, cheap-ish platform for network/data handling in dedicated projects, but touting that as a useful computer-for-noobs (or fathers in law) puts you into price/feature territory that Sinclair/Commodore et al. never had to contend with.
Just the keyboard is $70, but they have a kit at $100 that has everything you need, except the monitor.
How is it an improvement over a chromebook? For starters, it doesn’t run chrome OS.
Ahhh, Memories… they should have called it the 500, though ;-)
PS, Eben used to be an Amiga user back in the day
If someone design a tidy adapter from this GIO port to an ISA port that would make for an incredible retro machine/sound card testing gear
That’s a cool idea. I bet the details in this project:
provide a very good start on such a design.
1. ugly keyboard, no mechanic, no indicators for screen, time etc.
I prefer this https://klawiatura.wordpress.com/wersja-mini/
pgUp down in one key,
2. Why not add screen (4 rows for 12 pt for example for chinese character)
3. Why not add a lipo power on board? Or 12 V from car
good direction but not good for hackers
> good direction but not good for hackers
That’s the point.
Don’t agree. This form factor has much potential for hacking. It looks like the HiD chip is connected directly to USB2, so that connection can be reclaimed for other purposes.
With all the connectors on the back, this will be ideal for various retro home computer builds and otherwise.
The USB3 connectors being single connectors, it is also possible to remove one and route USB3 internally for fast SSD’s and or a hub for having stuff internally.
The heatsink is perfectly hackable and could be extended and supplied with a fan..
So for the board alone, I see a lot of potential.
“Multi-language” lol, mostly Polish.
It looks like over a year ago, ‘Alex’ on this very own site predicted this release: https://hackaday.com/2019/03/24/heres-the-first-person-to-put-a-pi-in-the-raspberry-pi-keyboard/#comment-6013294
“That’s awesome. They should release a version of the keyboard with this capability built in.” (and Sykobee’s reply, “It really feels like a lost opportunity to not have this ability as default, in retrospect.”).
Eben has been known to show up on HaD from time to time. Who knows, that hack may have inspired this.
That’s funny. I didn’t remember that earlier hack.
But what if it goes the other way? Raspberry got into the keyboard game b/c they eventually planned something like this, but integrating them all together at the price point was tricky? Looking back, a number of their products (mouse, keyboard) look suspiciously like finger exercises for this one.
They also sell detached screens…
You predicting a LapPi in the future? Or would we call it a “PiBook”?
So Who’s Going to be the first one to put it into a Mech Keyboard?
My hands are itching… I found a nice small mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX brows switches this week while thrifting and I do not care about anybodies personal key switch dogma, two euro’s fifty for Cherry MX anything is a helluva deal!
Anyway, I use it on my PI4 workstation, but if I didn’t I’d order the RPi 400 this morning! But the notion of rigging that board into the mechanical keyboard did cross my mind. It can even be done in such a way where it could also still operate as a normal keyboard.
But at this point, I’m resisting heavily!
“In some sense, it’s getting dangerously close to fulfilling the Raspberry Pi Dream.”
“We remember the founding dream of the Raspberry Pi as if it were just about a decade ago: to build a computer cheap enough that it would be within everyone’s reach, so that every school kid could have one, bringing us into a world of global computer literacy. ”
Yes. This seems way more suited to that purpose than a raw Pi board.
But as much as I love what Raspberry Pi has done for our community, making SBCs affordable I never understood the “Pi dream”.
Why are any kids unable to have a computer in the first place? Yes, I know the obvious answer is money but is that really an issue? “Outdated” PCs which can still more powerful than a Pi and run pretty much every current piece of software, even if slightly slower than a fresh from the store PC would are everywhere. They are so abundant that one can’t even give them away. At least that’s how it is here in the US. The thrift shops won’t even take computers as donations anymore because they know that they will just fill up space on their shelves as they continue to go even further out of date. The recyclers won’t even take them for free. If you want to be environmentally responsible and get rid of your computer properly, not just throw it in the trash you have to pay. Many individuals and businesses alike have closets full of old computers they would love to give away if only someone would take them.
Are things really that much different in the UK?
Is it the HDMI output? The Raspbi team seems to think HDMI makes their computers more accessible b/c they can run on the family tv. Computers with HDMI outputs are starting to hit the give-away piles but is that even a positive? I don’t see giveaway monitors as much as computers but they are out there. Also, the thrift shops do still deal in those (for now). I see flat screen VGA monitors from $5 to $15 all the time.
In a family where there isn’t much budget for electronics do the parents really want their living room TV occupied by their kid coding for hours on end?
I can tell you from when I used to work in the cable industry. The less a family can afford to spend money on unnecessary entertainment the more likely they are to sign up for the big cable packages. It’s sad but it’s almost a set in stone rule. At least here in the US. Again, is the UK that different?
Is it the GPIO pins?
Are kids with Pis in mass learning to be not just coders but hardware makers using those GPIO pins? That would be great but I find it hard to believe. Besides, a $5 Arduino clone could allow them to do the same thing with a hand-me-down PC and does it better because their Arduino code accesses pins in real time as opposed to within the multitasking OS.
I think it would be cheaper, quite possibly even free to get a kid going on a used PC than on a Pi no matter how cheap they can make the Pis. Raspbian for x86 or something similar on a CD, bundled with an Arduino clone and instructions to ask local businesses if they have any old PCs to give away could probably get kids set up with an ideal learning environment for less than the price of a Pi.
You make a lot of good points.
I think there are two main point against using old PCs:
1. portability – a Raspberry Pi is a very small device, a child can easily carry one in a backpack from home to school and back again. They can benefit from the exact learning environment at home as they use at school.
2. uniformity – in a learning environment you want to focus as much as possible on learning, getting 30 kids at a time setup with a diaspora of discarded technology would be a gruelling process. With a Pi you can say “you need one of these” and they’re available. The setup is copying an image to an SD card, and then the learning begins.
Uniformity? You mean teachers are teaching classes on Pis? Ok, that’s definitely a difference between the UK and the US then. There aren’t many schools that tech savy here. I assumed it was the parents buying these for their kids individually.
Probably because of the Pi and BBC Microbit there has been a much greater degree of computer skills on offer here (in some schools at least – it does not seem all that uniform, but at least a few of the nippers I know are getting a vastly better technical education than I saw.)
Lets have a reality check. You can buy either a brand new $35 to $100 computer with a click of a button off of Amazon, AdaFruit, etc.., that fits in your shirt pocket. Or you can spent time trying to find a clunky boat anchors that may/may not work the way you want or stop working after a few days for about the same amount…. Which would you pick? Same with a school computer lab…. A bunch of hand-me-down mismatched computers, keyboards and monitors taking up a lot of space, or a bunch of little fan-less, energy efficient RPIs sitting on the tables? Add the GPIO potential built in to the RPI for more advanced uses/education. Still computer plus GPIO all fits in your shirt pocket….
Also, what better use for TV monitor than as a computer monitor? One might find out you really don’t need a TV after all :) . Win Win.
BTW, I tried to sell some of my older computers a few years ago at a garage sell. Not worth the hassle. One went to the land fill, the other was bought, and came back, had a discussion with buyer, and finally they took it. The last two working motherboards went a friend who as some ideas on how to use them… They were not that old though (maybe a year or two). I went to AMD Ryzen based systems which was reason I got rid of them.
Lenovo m720q, or alternately m72p m92p, m93p etc etc.
Companies are unloading them from time to time, I paid $150 for some G5400t ones, and they are a maze ing.
Full x16 slot capable (not sure if x8 electrical, but pcie3 anyway).
M.2 Nvme slot.
Dual ram slots, mine were 4gb machines, but with 2 ram slots its easy to buy. Or use some from the laptop you upgraded.
65w OEM power supply is $5.33. 90w and 135w also available.
Standard m.2 Wifi capable, no Whitelist/blacklist.
Also you can hit up encompass parts for VGA or HDMI or DisplayPort options for the _3RD!?!_ output. Generally for less than a mid range cable or adapter from the local hardware store. I chose instead to add a four port quadro card, so 6 outputs. And not too shabby of one either, almost gtx1050 class.
There is a copper CPU heatsink option for full power procs, 9700 i7 is listed as an option. Not sure if I want to try that, its either discrete graphics or the full processor, and the 9500t is working well for me in my p330 (same chassis, workstation class, also see m920x I believe, which for some reason is More Expensive, when similarly specced. But you can get all the bits to convert the m720q to a p330, its the same motherboard)
Well, personal experiences vary. I’ve had terrible experiences with cheap TVs as monitors. Installing a Linux distro on an old office PC though is usually no harder if not easier than setting up a Pi SD card. I’d even suggest Raspbian if it wasn’t 32-bit. I can usually get all that for free or sometimes migjht have to go buy a vga monitor for $10 or so at a thrift shop.
A $35 pi however still needs a case, a power supply, a keyboard and mouse and since, like I said I’ve only had horrible experiences trying to use old TVs an HDMI to USB converter. $35 becomes $100 or more quick!
I have seen more expensive TVs work well as monitors but that kind of defeats the purpsoe doesn’t it.
Are you even a human?
1) Give a child an old laptop.
2) Give a child a computer board a power supply, a cable, a plastic box, a variety of components/breakout boards, a magazine or 2 with step by step instructions on how to do stuff over the next few weeks (be it hardware OR software, or BOHT).
My parents would have watched me hogging the TV with a Pi any time if it meant I was not watching mindless TV non stop. Second hand HDMI monitors can be had for free if you must have you daily dose of celebrity tv programming.
To a kid, the putting the pi in the plastic case alone is a much more interesting thing than a regular laptop.
The goal is affordable STEM computing platform, yes, but still be fun like a bucket of Lego bricks. You can even step on this stuff and really hurt yourself just like you do with real Lego bricks left strewn around.
You missed the point. The whole Raspberry Pi idea seems to be based on a premis that there are all these kids out there who don’t have access to a computer at home because their families cannot afford one. With there being so many used computers out there that are free for the taking that makes little sense to me.
And free second hand HDMI monitors? Where? Hook me up! I’ve seen cheap used TVs but cheap TVs these days don’t have positioning adjustments and when you plug in a computer you almost always loose the left and/or bottom edge right where all the icons go. For my daughter’s Pi Ihad to buy an HDMI to VGA converter. Yet another reason it doesn’t make sense as a solution for low income families.
As for the whole STEM angle, like I said, $5 gets you an Arduino clone to connect to your hand me down pc. With it’s 5V tolerant pins that opens up a lot more inexpensive sensors and other devices you can connect plus you get analog inputs.
I started my daughter with a Pi but we upgraded to a hand me down PC so she could run the full Minecraft Java edition. At first we tried Raspbian x86 but being 32-bit still couldn’t run Minecraft. Instead I made a list of all the cool STEM software that came with Raspbian and just installed it all in Kubuntu. And I bought her an Arduino and a lego case for the Arduino. She loves it!
$5 also gets you a Pi Zero, much more capable then an Arduino by the way, and you can do virtually all you can with an Arduino and much more. Again, add a monitor, which leads me to…
All sorts of companies are always throwing away computer equipment including monitors. I took 25 ViewSonics, 19″, full HD, from my last place of employment and donated 19 of them to people in my local community.
I have the other 6 on my desk as I type this. I would have taken more of them but once I expressed interest in them and asked what I was going to do with them, they decided to share the love and offer them up to more employees. In one round they game more than 50 of those monitors away.
A lot of medium sized companies and bigger would gladly donate a few older monitors instead of paying to dispose of them.
Practically everyone in the first world countries can afford a computer of some sort, and if you don’t then you’re probably eligible to some program or welfare that would make you. This is a non-issue here.
The premise is the same as “one laptop per child”, which is the idea of giving computers to people who live in social conditions without the infrastructure to make computers useful. Someone living in a tin shed in a favela making five dollars a day could “afford” a $50-70 computer the same as how you and I can afford a $1000 computer, but practically speaking the would have no use for it in that social context any more than you would have use for a particle accelerator in your garage.
All the usual arguments like “You can do your taxes, or you can write your schoolwork or a job application with it!” comes down when you don’t even pay taxes, you’re not in school, and you have no jobs to apply for. Teaching kids computer skills in those environments only works for the kids if you assume that they’ll leave their communities, which makes things worse for those who are left behind (brain drain).
You need a socio-economical basis for the computers, which comes from basic economic activities that produce real value and wealth for the community. These are very often lacking because the poor communities are structured around things like squatters and shanty towns at the edge of a large city, or subsistence farming communities in the middle of nowhere, next to nothing of value. They’re not structured around anything that would allow them to scale up economically and all their income is from somewhere else – it’s not outcome of their communities.
It also exposes one of the weak points of Linux. If you don’t have an internet connection, it’s damn right useless. You can’t just “apt get” something on a sneaker-net because you’re not connected to the repository, and doing the same thing manually is an exercise in futility because of the politics of Linux. There’s no “setup.exe” you could carry around on a thumbdrive that would work universally on anyone’s computer because the Linux community doesn’t want there to be. That means it would be more useful in terms of even OS software availablity to give the person an old Windows laptop.
Erm, there really is a setup.exe option if you want it…
But now just use appimages of somesort and take a fully ready installed program, less effort, easier to make 100% universal etc etc.. Or take your whole linux install and programs – unlike the bloat that is windows a full desktop OS and all the usual programs comes in well under 8GB (will be more if you want your bootable USBstick to service other architectures too – but still not bad).. It will run faster and be usefully portable..
You don’t even need an internet connection to do advanced configurations because everything installed ships its own manuals and documentation – the web makes it easier, especially if you are going into untravelled waters so don’t know the terms.. But its not actually needed..
Point of order: Micro HDMI
The Zero is the one with Mini HDMI
Also, Pleeeaaase stop with the micro when it is a product this size. For the model B it is understandable (if not acceptable) because of form factor. But in something this size? Why? Also, is there any chance of Displayport?
It seems very well done otherwise, and it would be awesome to get the PCB only for a DIY laptop or choose your own (cough, Lenovo 7 row) keyboard.
Hop, skip and a jump to a full on laptop with this circuit board. Very nice.
And I hate to be that guy, but for $15 bucks extra, you could throw away the keyboard.
(While waiting for someone to make the equivalent breakout board for the compute modules.)
Lol, agreed, not a deal breaker, form factor really nice for the price. I’ve got an x220 shell sitting on the shelf. Must resist. XD
There are two “compute-module-compatible” motherboards that I want. The first is exactly as you describe, and fits in this case. The second is much much smaller and fits in a clamshell phone so I can FINALLY have my all in one mini PC and phone combo… an updated Psion for those who remember. Yes, I’ve seen the f(x)tec, which doesn’t have “real” Linux, and the Cosmo Communicator, which suffers the same problem.
If the Pine Phone ever ships with a hardware keyboard, I’d probably buy one of those too.
Yes. The micro-HDMI is a deal-breaking mistake, compounded by the baffling omission of the audio jack.
This is the form factor that they should have released with from the start to meet their stated goals.
Beat me to it.
Mmmhhh … Nop won’t buy. Atari, Amiga, TO7, MO5, … they where keyborded computers and despite being awesome for their time and I still love them, but …. they were/still a pain to move the “keyboard” away from screen.
No audio out – big problem
Ethernet – who uses it these days, except in the office, which we’re not in as much anymore.
Otherwise, a great Commodore 64 killer ;)
Wi-Fi is sometimes wonky on non-official distros (and sometimes even on official, although rare’ish and patched within a week, but still screwed if you can’t download it thanks to Wi-Fi being only connection except for sneakernet or ponying up for a USB adapter)
And the throughoutput of 300mbit Wlan even in a “unpolluted” area versus good ol’ cat5 gigabit is laughable, so hope you’re not transferring files or got fiber, because otherwise it’ll be a bottleneck.
You misspelled Gigabit Ethernet. Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things!
I’m kinda kidding, but a portable like this with that kind of bandwidth still blows my mind just a little bit.
This is very neat. My question is – can the keyboard be used also as an external keyboard for other devices (using the USB-C port maybe?) – that would really make it a dual purpose device!
It should be possible – assuming its like the Pi4’s that do have USB otg on the USB-C.. So can play gadget if they want to.. But I don’t know it is.
This is exactly the form-factor folks need for making Raspberry Pi 4 ‘blade’ clusters as the key ports are all on one sides for various cluster mainboard configs:
– headless network boot config – ethernet (for pxeboot), power, gpio (serial, i2c, gpio to trigger reboots, etc),
– boot with storage – ethernet (for pxeboot), power, gpio (serial, i2c, gpio to trigger reboots, etc), sdcard option, and USB drawn out for USB stick, usb3 sata, usb3 m.2 nve, and other peripherals
I also see this slim form-factor helpful for projects helpful for those where a “3×5” style board cannot fit.
If the Raspberry Pi foundation or licensees do not release this form factor without the “keyboard wrappings”, makers will gut the keyboard which will be landfill plastic eventually. And that would be bad, m’kay.
Please, sell this mainboard form-factor on its own. There is a demand for it.
For sure. I’ll buy the whole thing just for the mainboard, Hopfully at some point, they’ll sell the mainboard separate.
Holy Hipster! $70??
That keyboard is based on the cheapest 78-key Chinese keyboard you can get on aliexpress. All of $9 retail.
And the mouse? Spring $3 you could have got a wireless one.
And these are at current-day retail prices which are about 100% higher than last year.
Yes the miracle workers at the “foundation” figured out how to spin a PCB to fit in a keyboard and make an RF shield into a heat-sink. The price is still hard to justify. The Raspberry Pi 4 compared to say an Odroid N2 isn’t even close.
And $100 for a “kit” which basically just adds a printed book is steep. Not so environmentally friendly either. Even most 3rd world countries have ample access to online resources.
And then there’s the obligatory rip-ship that’s canon for most Raspberry Pi retailers not mentioned here. “$5” Raspberry Pi Zero anyone?
The Pi 4 4GB is going for $55. The keyboard by itself, based on that board, is $70, $15 more. So $9 for the keyboard, and $6 for the custom plastic case? Not too bad, is it?
The kit is $100. What do we get for that extra $30? A power supply, mouse, SD card, Micro HDMI cable, and the printed book. Not actually too bad.
So yeah, $70/$100 sounds like a bunch, but when you break it out, it’s not actually too unreasonable.
Unfortunately, we’ve learned from the “$5” Raspberry Pi Zero that the advertised price is not even close to what you end up paying. But just ignoring that, $70 is definitely meh for what is basically a netbook/chromebooK without the screen. Going by specs alone, Amlogic, Rockchip, and others have superior performing SBC’s at competitive prices. It’s not a “bad” price, but it’s not a great/compelling price either. $70 with FREE shipping and included mouse and PSU would have been more attractive. Even so, that BCM2711 makes anything over $50 feel like a stretch.
If you want a cheap computer that runs emulation well (and has a well made keyboard, audio jack, and screen), corporate surplus dell or lenovo laptops will cost about the same in the end and deliver a lot more performance. Concerned about GPIO’s? Get a $4 ESP8266 (or an ESP32 if you’re a real Hipster) and toggle those pins wirelessly.
i admit its cute. but i have some reasons why im not buying it.
no on board battery management hardware, no room in the case for a battery or other mods.
should have some hardpoints for a screen kit.
no built in mouse (a trackball would be nifty).
no barrel jack.
no built in speakers.
chicklet keys (not expecting a full mechanical keeb, but at least give me some nice membrane keys. using chicklet keys on the terminal just seems, wrong).
something to keep my beer cold.
i guess these are ok if you need to have computers for 20 kids on a budget, and i guess there is a need for cheap learn at home computers. i don’t really see this as being useful in any other way, certainly ain’t for the haxxor crowd.
So the reason you’re not buying it is because you want a Rapsberry Pi Laptop. Ok.
What it lacks is M2 slot for SSD. that being said Santa i want to update my wish list! :D i love home micro form factor all the memories of ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C64, Atari, Amiga i used as kid I wish there was a case for MicroITX or MiniATX MoBo in this format.
wow! i am amazed! erh….. no. they only “reinvented” ZX80 / ZX81 / ZX Spectrum / Vic 20 / Commodore 64 and so on.
Nothing new under the sun. It is just a refresh of an idea of 1980 with tecnology of 2020.
No need to be so negative about it. Part of why it’s so cool is that it reminds one of those old computers. Yet, it is using modern technology. It’s definitely more powerful than any computer I had in the 80s or 90s and maybe even the aughts as well. And if you looked at it without noticing the back, you’d just think it was a keyboard with no idea there was a computer in there too. It is a very neat little device.
“no need to be so negative about it”. Man, you have *no* idea what I am able to write when I want to be negative :-). In my post I only pointed out a objective truth: they just “re-invented the weel”, the concept to have all the electronic inside the keyboard is “something already seen”: no more, no less. And my ZX Spectrum+ is still in his original envelope somewhere in my basement. And a C64 too.
Yeah, it’s totally weird that they did this kind of thing without saying that the whole Raspberry Pi foundation was influenced by the 8 bit computer era…
This looks like I need 1 or 2!
Raspberry Pi is forcing non-free firmware on their users, for a little bit more ($120) you can pickup a Station P1 with RK3399, which is capable of running free software for it’s graphic acceleration.
” for a little bit more ($120) you can pickup a Station P1 with RK3399″
Then I guess nobody’s forcing non-free firmware on anyone.
Not really the same ballgame. I do love a good free firmware stack. But support and community are a massive reason to choose the Raspi foundations stuff.. I’ve yet to find anything even remotely close to as supported that can claim ‘fully’ free.. And you can’t get kids to learn if even the teachers can’t find details or understand how its working..
Tis also rather daft to say they are forcing anything. They built a device, and this is what it requires to run buy it if you want to, don’t if you don’t.. Its not like they are the only SBC maker available, or in any way trying to stamp out rivals though anything but creating a ‘better’ product…
* AV Mini Jack (with RF modulator for bit banging DVB-C/T/S).
* PCIe switch IC, M2 Connector. (and a “trapdoor” like the amiga)
* Full Size HDMI. (what is it with these fruit companies and their mini connectors with overpriced adapters)
* Opensource Firmware & hw.accel. video decoders/encoders. (#see note)
* USBC 2GO ID/CC pin resistor on RPI4/400?. (again with the missing resistors)
* Internal pads for CSI & 3 lane DSI. (its on the chip, so make it accessible)
* Remove GBE or add POE. (kits don use ethernet, and schools want POE+PXE)
* Remove Kensington lock or attach it to heat sink. (a plastic lock is useless)
* RPI400+ version with full size keys (adults also want cheap computers)
# at least add missing HDMI + USB + Ethernet bring-up support to the unofficial open firmware on github.
Awesome. Now can we get a mini PC version with all the ports nicely in the back and built in support for an SSD?
I first saw this in no context pics on some non-tech sites, and was wanting to hate on it as some crowdfunded 3d printed mess, that used some display part or something that was made in only a quantity of 200 3 years ago… then I realised it was a proper product, and unhated it, then I realised it was by the actual pi foundation so would be well supported, and liked it a bit, and then I realised it was actually priced reasonably, and I began to want one… or three.
I am wondering if, because it is a fixed base set of hardware, it might actually become a “platform” per se, for games and applications.
Not sure I want a pink one though, it would just clash with everything else, so maybe not pulling the trigger yet.
Who uses Ethernet these days? Anyone running a media server since Wi-Fi really chokes on that. I don’t think the RPi would be much good as a transcoding media server, mind you, but at $70 it’s worth trying it out to see.
Not sure if trolling? Wifi can be unreliable, or just plain slow if there are a lot of other users within range (like in the “educational” environments this thing is targeted at)
There have also been issues in the past with certain enterprise Wifi setups that don’t like the Wifi in the Pi. MSCHAP v2 from memory…
This computer needs to be plugged in to a screen anyway, why cripple it with slow wifi when you could use gigabit ethernet?
One of the most common uses of a Pi is for network traffic-management/ad-blocking, for which you obviously want Ethernet. See: https://pi-hole.net
Or for a cheap NAS. Or, or, or….
Come on. The bigger question is WTF is up with micro-HDMI and no audio jack.
I am really looking forward to some real world first hand experience using the Pi400. With the older Pis even browsing the Web was a rather unpleasent experience but since the Pi4 I am actually mostly pleased and I am not even an experienced Pi-User.
For Internet, small office, home office, media consumption the Pi400 might be a solid alternative even to a €700 PC. Not exactly “better” but definitly good enough.
Also it is a great way of increasing the number of PC workplaces in several places. Right now I have two workplaces with computers, thats our home office (a Core2 Q9550 workstation and a i7-6700k workstation) and my “kitchen gaming laptop” (ryzen 4600 with Geforce 1660). The kids don’t have their own computers yet for several reasons:
-three full blown computers would be simply too expensive.
-the kids should not have access to addictive computer games all day
-they are not old enough for using a computer without limitations
A Pi400 fixes all three problems at once.
To my surprise there are quite a lot of highly advanced games available through Android, Shield, XDA/FDA/Mono, Java. And native ports of games like Doom3 run surprisingly well. The only downside is the hazzle to get these to run. Or even get a list of games which might run.
We definitly need some sort of Steam Store for entertainment products for the Pi-Series.
Wow! Reminds me of the Timex Sinclair 1000 from way back in 1982, only 1,000 times better!
Now all we need is the hokey Sinclair tape drive interface and a tape drive…..
What I really see in this is an opportunity to add an e-ink screen and some phone batteries and have a dirt cheap alternative to the Freewrite/hemmingwrite are there commercially available e-ink screens with a refresh rate to make it worth it?
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)