Raspberry Pi Foundation Launches Pi 400

in STEMGeekslast year

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Interesting new product released by the Raspberry Pi foundation.

Basically it is a Raspberry Pi 4 in a keyboard for $70. It is actually an improved Pi 4 running at higher clock rate and 4 GB edition.

Announcement Trailer

For $100 you can buy a complete kit that includes the Pi 400, Pi Mouse, Power Supply, SD Card, Micro-HDMI to HDMI cable.

I don't have one and likely don't have a need for a Pi 400, I do find it a good solution for people who only need to check email and surf the web. I've recommended iPads for many people in this situation but this fits the bill even better.

I do wish they went with some sort of SSD instead of using SD cards. SD Cards are notoriously unreliable when abruptly shutting down the computer, and this happens frequently with a PC. You can get 120GB SSD for around $20, it should have at least been an option. The performance difference with an SSD on a Pi over SD is huge.

The Raspberry Pi 4 is known to get really hot and the Raspberry Foundation dealt with that by including a large heat spreader inside of the keyboard.

One things I really like about the Pi 400 especially as a desktop computer is the placement of all I/O ports on the back of the device. There are some Raspberry Pi 4 cases that do this for you as well but they are really pricey coming in more than the Pi itself.

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Performance

As I mentioned earlier, the Pi 400 is basically a Pi 4 4 GB model with higher clocks. This is confirmed with some early benchmarks of the device.

I think it was smart for the Raspberry Foundation to build this device around the 4 GB model, I frequently tell people the 2 GB is suitable 99% of the time, and I do believe that. But when you are using it as a Desktop device, the additional memory can help a lot. Desktop replacement is one of the few situations I'd suggest a 4 GB+ model. If you are doing clustering or a Bitcoin node is another situation you would need more ram, but for most everything else the 2 GB is more than enough.

I might end up getting one just to have test it out, I do have one interesting use case I thought of. I am considering moving my 3D printer away from my desk and I find it critical to have a computer next to it so I can make fine adjustments while calibrating the printer. Both 3D slicer programs I use (Cura & Simply3D) support Linux distributions. Almost all my Raspberry Pi's (10+) do not use TV or Monitors and are installed "headless" but this is one scenario where I'd need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and this is a lot cheaper/small than a full PC.

I actually thought this might be a good portable device when I am on the go, as I always have to bring a laptop to remote in to my PC when on the go, but you still need to carry a display and this is far more clumsy than a Mac Book Air or similar device. I usually have my ipad, bluetooth Keyboard, Laptop, and iPhone so I already am carrying a keyboard with me.

This is a good time to release a desktop version of the Pi with the native Ubuntu distribution and the push to 64 bit.

Lastly, I am really happy to see the 40 pin GPIO exposed to the outside, this means you can still use this device to tinker with electronics.

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computers made full circle :D

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 last year Reveal Comment

My ex-brother-in-law, still has his and uses it...!!! The only computer he has ever owned😎

Me too!

I quite like this product, and if I hadn't already built the kit I have, this would be what I would buy now. It's basically a modernized version of all those classic PCs with an integrated keyboard.

For your 3D printer you can also run Klipper on the rPi and get substantial performance improvements over Marlin.

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I was going to give Klipper a try when I upgrade the mainboard.

Yes. That's what I did. I upgraded my Ender 3 Pro mainboard to a SKR 1.3 with a rPi 4 running Klipper.

I really should do a post about it.

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How much faster is it?

At least 100% faster.

I increased print speed from 50 to 100 mm/s in Cura with no ill effect.

I think it could go faster still.

I did a detailed post here: https://stemgeeks.net/hive-163521/@apshamilton/upgrading-the-ender-3-pro-with-klipper-on-raspberry-pi4-skr-1-3-mainboard-and-tmc2209-drivers

I think this is pretty awesome. I will probably pick up one or two of them to play around with once the supply is stabilized. I have a feeling they will be hard to get your hands on at first.

I really like that one. Just need to find a reason/use case to justify the buying. :)

cool device😎

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I wonder whether the keyboard has a space to mount one internally?

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I didn't see your question even come in on Gina.

You can use a USB 3 cable (I have a post that goes into this for the Pi 4 but should be very similar) to boot off SSD.

I really think the device should have come with SSD as desktop usage really isn't good on an SD card and they could have done a good sized SSD for only $20. Likely even fit it inside of the keyboard (ideal).

I didn't provide the wrong information, I assumed it was obvious you could use an external SSD or even use an SSD cable like the one in my post above. I was mainly referring to what they provide and how they could have done it internally for a much better product.

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SD are fairly stable, unless you pull the power then they run a higher than normal chance of corrupting. But more importantly they are slow as shit, especially random reads.

Keep it up dude, earth is flat, research it!

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life.

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You can solve this really easy. Buy a $40 weather balloon, and a cheap mobile phone, send it up with the camera streaming, you will have your answer within 2 hours.

Better yet, I'll give you 1,000 Hive for a really good picture of the edge of the Earth.

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