Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

Raspberry Pi 400 Compact Keyboard Computer Announced for 70 USD

The Raspberry Pi Foundation have recently released the Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard computer based on the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi keyboard. The new computer is a modern take on the home computers of the 1980s such as the BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum, and Commodore Amiga with the computer being fully integrated within the keyboard. The computer features a custom layout Raspberry Pi 4 4 GB clocked at 1.8 GHz with the ability for significant overclocks thanks to the large integrated heatsink.

The new product is targeted towards cost-conscious consumers and students who require a basic computer. The computer is available in a number of different versions including English (UK and US), French, Italian, German, and Spanish keyboard layouts. The Raspberry Pi 400 is now available for 70 USD for the computer on its own, or 100 USD for a ready-to-go kit with power supply, mouse, SD card, HDMI cable, and official Raspberry Pi Beginner's Guide.
Announcement Video

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation
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20 Comments on Raspberry Pi 400 Compact Keyboard Computer Announced for 70 USD

#1
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Nordic version plz. No audio jack is a bit sad IMO.
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#2
300BaudBob
Interesting...I was just thinking of making a modern version of a trs80 model one using an 8 bit microcontroller (with additional I/O ports for home automation or whatever).
But this would be cheaper and need a lot less software written to get that old fashioned feel I sometimes miss;).
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#3
Imouto
Frick
Nordic version plz. No audio jack is a bit sad IMO.
Going by the quality of the previous versions I'd say you are not missing anything.
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#4
Lord_Soth
Full HDMI and black/grey color scheme would be better for me
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#5
Ferrum Master
Such a waste of space.

They dropped the ball without having an optional internal 2.5inch drive bay.
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#6
Vya Domus
Just put a real GPU in the SoC that can do compute and stop screwing around.
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#7
thevoiceofreason
Lord_Soth
Full HDMI and black/grey color scheme would be better for me
Yeah micro-HDMI on something that's gonna be plugged and unplugged often... bad idea. Other missed opportunities: no audio jack (I'm pretty sure there is one on RPi 4), wonky storage (SD cards get corrupted on RPi from time to time which is a pain in the ass) and not using their very own Compute module form factor for upgrade path...
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#8
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Imouto
Going by the quality of the previous versions I'd say you are not missing anything.
Considering I use the audio jack on my Rpi 3B I'd say I will miss it. I don't have anything with HDMI audio.
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#9
Gruffalo.Soldier
I'm the only one
Frick
Nordic version plz. No audio jack is a bit sad IMO.
It's a nice thing, but agree, can't understand why it doesn't have one tbh.
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#10
Haile Selassie
Ferrum Master
Such a waste of space.

They dropped the ball without having an optional internal 2.5inch drive bay.
Dropped the ball? You know there is no native SATA controller on the MCU, right? If you do that you immediately lose one USB3.0 port.
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#11
Ferrum Master
Haile Selassie
Dropped the ball? You know there is no native SATA controller on the MCU, right? If you do that you immediately lose one USB3.0 port.
If you get the idea, I know electronics very well.

Putting an internal usb port and leave space costs nothing. The SATA USB adapters take no space at all.
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#12
Thefumigator
Frick
Considering I use the audio jack on my Rpi 3B I'd say I will miss it. I don't have anything with HDMI audio.
Never had a raspberry but... can I plug my USB sound interface? or any USB sound devices that are around? I know it's supposed to feature an audio jack... but if I can plug my sound interface I'm ok with it.
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#13
XiGMAKiD
If it gets popular I can see monitorless laptop in the future
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#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Thefumigator
Never had a raspberry but... can I plug my USB sound interface? or any USB sound devices that are around? I know it's supposed to feature an audio jack... but if I can plug my sound interface I'm ok with it.
Depends on the OS, but yes.
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#15
silentbogo
Haile Selassie
Dropped the ball? You know there is no native SATA controller on the MCU, right? If you do that you immediately lose one USB3.0 port.
They don't need to use USB at all. On Ada's official channel I left a suggestion of adding a touchpad on next revisions, and you can simply throw in a runn-of-the-mill KBC or PS/2 controller (or implement your own on cheap Cortex M0), and run a keyboard and touchpad through PS/2 over a single USB that's already used for keyboard (there are even many community-made kernel modules for native support).

You can do even better workaround for USB3.0. Instead of using a cheap dual-port VLI controller they could've thrown an extra $1-$2 for µPD720201, which is a quad-port USB3.0 host controller, and in the spirit of AsRock electronic design methodology, just daisy-chain the shit out of it with things like SATA-III controllers etc.
Plus, everyone is already using USB3 on Pi just for storage, so losing one USB3 in favor of SATA is a reasonable tradeoff.

t's still a step in the right direction, but there's room for improvement. As far as it's not more expensive than various Rockchip alternatives, there's always a headroom in BOM for more features.
Thefumigator
Never had a raspberry but... can I plug my USB sound interface?
Of course you can. Linux has a decent support for Class 2 USB Audio. In some cases it may require manual config tweaking, but most common DACs should work out of the box.
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#16
john_
30+ years ago



or if you prefer a PC example from the 90s
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#17
Fourstaff
Very nice. Based on historical trends they will release a higher RAM version ala Pi 4.
Posted on Reply
#18
thevoiceofreason
silentbogo
[...] and in the spirit of AsRock electronic design methodology, just daisy-chain the shit out of it with things like SATA-III controllers etc [...]
I don't know, the USB bus is pretty terrible for pretty much anything but peripherals. At least in RPi 4 the Ethernet is no longer on USB 2.0...

The proper way to do that would be to get a SoC which natively supports SATA/USB 3.0/Ethernet/PCIe.

But I guess that would increase the price by $20 so better have colorful packaging and generate e-waste instead.
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#19
Imouto
Frick
Considering I use the audio jack on my Rpi 3B I'd say I will miss it. I don't have anything with HDMI audio.
All the ones I had were terrible with zero shielding and constant noise.
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#20
silentbogo
thevoiceofreason
The proper way to do that would be to get a SoC which natively supports SATA/USB 3.0/Ethernet/PCIe.
But I guess that would increase the price by $20 so better have colorful packaging and generate e-waste instead.
That would be a bit more than $20. The only ones that fit the bill are Jettson dev kit (not Nano), various Intel Bay Trail/Cherry trail boards, and very expensive Snapdragon dev kits, or RK3399 dev kits that also go over $100.
And regarding SATA over USB, it's a vague argument. USB3 to SATA controllers aren't any less reliable than PCIe to SATA3 or any other IC, which you can find all over x86_64 desktop and embedded boards.
RaspberryPi Foundation definitely has some exclusive deal with Broadcom, which means we won't see any alternative chipsets any time soon. Plus, the OS/software development is already ironed out for BCM, and mass-market won't trade stable OS releases and good support for a beefier SoC, just to end up with some abandonware like NanoPi, OrangePi and CubieBoard and others. Same reason why Hardkernel barely budged off Exynos to Amlogic.
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