The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a lot of different designs and updates to its clever mini-computers over the year, but they may have just released the most practical take yet on a traditional design with the Raspberry Pi 400. It’s a keyboard but it also has ARM-based computing components built into it.
Underneath the hood of this typical “keyboard” is a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, up from 1.5GHz in the Pi 4, 4GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.0, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which gives it enough power for most people’s basic computing needs. A pair of micro HDMI ports that can each output up to 4K / 60Hz, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB 2.0 port, which will allow it to be plugged into additional monitors and peripherals, transforms it into a true computer. As for storage, there is a microSD card slot with power coming through the USB 2.0 port.
Ultimately what makes a Raspberry Pi so special is the innovative things that people can do with them, plugging them into a variety of different hardware devices and being able to code their own automated and computing solutions. That idea doesn’t change with this new model, although with its keyboard form factor it is definitely aimed at more traditional computing fans and I could easily see people connect this to their TVs and run a variety of classic games or even streaming services from it. Or maybe even just use it as a fun little PC to fool around on. Which is kind of the point according to Raspberry Pi’s founder, Eben Upton, in an interview with The Verge:
The dream always with Raspberry Pi is to lure people into buying a PC and then trick them into becoming computer programmers. That’s what happened to me, I was lured into buying a BBC Micro and then suddenly I became a software engineer.
I certainly like the design of this new Raspberry Pi and at a price point of just $70 for the standalone machine or $100 for a model that includes a mouse, power supply, microSD card, HDMI cable, and beginner’s guide, it offers good value for money too. For those wanting to dabble in the IoT space or just have a machine to practice your programming on, this should definitely be on your shopping list.
Last Updated: November 4, 2020