Raspberry Pi 400 is a $70 personal Pi computer built into a keyboard
The folks over Raspberry Pi Foundation have introduced yet another product. The Raspberry Pi 400 is a unique device, especially for the ones who love minimalism. It is an ARM-based PC built right into a compact keyboard. It features a bunch of ports at the back allowing you to connect a display, a mouse, USB peripherals, and so on. It is priced at $70 for the standalone keyboard or as a ‘ready-to-go kit’ for $100. The kit bundles a mouse, power supply, a microSD card, an HDMI cable, and a beginner’s guide.
At the core of the Raspberry Pi 400 is a tweaked version of the Raspberry Pi 4 from last year. Thanks to a teardown by Jeff Geerling, we can also confirm that the underlying board is quite different and seems to be custom made. You get a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, 4GB of LPDDR4-3200 RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0, and Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Now the design is very familiar as it looks like the Raspberry Pi keyboard that was launched last year. The only difference here is the variety of ports. These include two micro-HDMI with support for up to 4K resolution at 60Hz, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB 2.0 port. There is also a microSD card slot for storage, a USB Type-C port to power the device, and a 40-pin GPIO (General-purpose input/output) header as well. It will be offered with a 78- or 79-key layout depending on the region. Customers will have the option of UK, US, German, French, Italian, and Spanish layout with additional variants for the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese, and Japanese coming soon in the future.
The company is banking on the form factor. While Raspberry Pi offers excellent value for money hardware, it is often overshadowed by usability. “User-friendliness is about more than performance: it can also be about form factor. In particular, having fewer objects on your desk makes for a simpler set-up experience,” says Eben Upton, Chief Executive Raspberry Pi Trading. The Raspberry Pi 400 looks appealing and can be a great option if you are looking for a tiny, fuss-free PC for multimedia or coding purposes. Simply power up the keyboard, hook up a monitor and mouse, and you are good to go.
Customers in the UK, US, and France can get their hands on the Raspberry Pi 400 kits and computers starting today. It is expected to reach Raspberry Pi Approved Resellers in Italy, Germany, and Spain next week. Additionally, resellers in India, Australia, and New Zealand should start to offer the kits and computers by the end of the year. The company is also seeking compliance certification for other territories. Expect more regions to be added in the early months of 2021.
A couple of weeks back the company had announced the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, successor to the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. Instead of the JEDEC DDR2 SODIMM mechanical standard that comes with I/O signals on an edge connector, the Compute Module offers I/O signals on two high-density perpendicular connectors — one for power and low-speed interfaces, and one for high-speed interfaces. In doing so, Raspberry has managed to reduce the overall footprint of the module letting users achieve smaller form factors for their products.