back to article Remember when the keyboard was the computer? You can now relive those heady days with the Raspberry Pi 400

Perhaps a little too early for a festive gift guide comes another official incarnation of the Raspberry Pi – this time built into a keyboard. The Raspberry Pi 400 sees the return of the diminutive computer to its roots. Namely, that exciting moment when you unbox a new computer and then march over to occupy the household TV. …

  1. werdsmith Silver badge

    I have the tracking number for mine already, though if the weather had been nicer I would have gone into Grand Arcade today and grabbed one.

    Pi 400 for 4GB, so an 8GB would be Pi 800, maybe add XL on there for some Atari style. I do like the neatness of an integrated Pi desktop. The SoC chip is a revised one from the one on the Pi4, it is also used on the CM4. It has thermal tweaks I believe. I expect that another revision of Pi4 is in the pipeline using this chip, no benefit of unnecessarily fabbing both chips.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      I guess more like #408 [*], the 400 series should be for the RPi v.4 and the 800 series should be RPi v.8.

      [*] Or whatever, if they don't plan on 16GB RAM it could be 480, with the last number for the iterations of the RPi4 (rev a, rev b...). Or just a random number, as was the seemingly the case all those years (decades) ago.

      1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

        Marketing has the final say on product numbers so don't expect anything rational. It usually involves getting to a nice round thousand as quickly as possible.

        1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

          Re: Marketing has the final say

          I think they do it like this

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ommMKTyUVU

          1. mtp

            Re: Marketing has the final say

            Or this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg

        2. KarMann Bronze badge
          Joke

          If the product number is irrational, they're going to have trouble fitting it on the board, box, and marketing materials.

          1. Mike 125

            >If the product number is irrational

            Raspberry π

          2. EVP Bronze badge

            Haha, irrational model numbers have always fitted good into marketing materials and made imaginary promises.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Coat

        Apparently, they initially went with your first naming scheme suggestion, but with the 4GB version, each time someone went to fetch it, it would turn out to be not found.

        (ok, that sounded better in my head)

    2. Maximum Delfango Silver badge

      What will you use it for?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        It's a PC. It's an adequate desktop replacement, I will use it daily and because it's all integrated and tidy I will clean up my desk area with it.

        1. Maximum Delfango Silver badge

          Fair enough. Thanks!

        2. JassMan

          The government should give one of these to every school kid for tele-learning during Covid lockdown. Not only would the less well off be able for the kids to learn while mum/dad are working from home, but the kids might be enticed to learn some computing skillz in stead of wasting their lives on facebook etc.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            The government should give one of these to every school kid for tele-learning during Covid lockdown.

            That presumes you have an HDMI-capable monitor lying around. I know in my household, the only options are the 42" TV in the living room, and the 32" one on the top of the tall dresser in the bedroom. Neither of which is a usable solution for a computer-in-a-keyboard. Plenty of VGA/DVI flat-panel monitors, but that still brings up the additional need for adapters to connect to a display (and can you see your local council being able to handle that?)

      2. Scotthva5

        This looks like a low power Plex server to me, as long as you don't need multiple transcoding streams it should do just fine. I've been looking for something to replace my current Plex server (i5 powered Asus lappy) with something that uses less juice.

  2. msknight

    External HDD support is a question

    I've got a Pi 2, 3b and 4 and external hard drive boot support, without an SD card, is something which has remained on their back burner, but for me to use this as a daily driver I would want better performance than the Micro SD ... and I've run some tests with a few different USB hard drive configurations, external USB controllers and the like... and I've had some good results. When the Pi 4 came out with 8Gb, it was the hard drive issue which prevented me from buying one... and so I sit in the wings... patiently waiting for external USB HD boot to become a thing.

    On this particular unit, I'd want to see an internal USB C, with mounts ready for a 2.5" drive, and ready support for the drive, without requiring the Micro SD.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: External HDD support is a question

      Agree.

      I've and old laptop 500gb attached to mine, so is there room?

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: External HDD support is a question

      External USB Boot will work on these and the Pi4 / CM4.

      But NVMe inside would have been better.

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: External HDD support is a question

        Not all external ssd housings work with usb boot, so do a little research before buying one.

        I have this one, and it works: "Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure, USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Case, UASP Supported, FE2002"

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: External HDD support is a question

      On this particular unit, I'd want to see an internal USB C, with mounts ready for a 2.5" drive, and ready support for the drive

      An M.2 SSD stick, rather. Less space, less power, and a spinning disk would not be a great match for something that weighs maybe a few hundred grams, easily moved about on a desk.

      1. JassMan

        Re: External HDD support is a question

        Totally agree with the need for an M.2 SSD inside. It would be even better (all Pis would be) if there was a physical write protect switch on the microSD card. Put the boot partition (and maybe /etc) on the card and everything else on the SSD and you would have a reasonably secure computer. The write protect switch needs to be interfaced to the write line not like that stupid switch on SD cards that tells the OS you would like for the card to RO but still allows the card to be written by software which ignores the switch.

        Another improvement would be to recess the pi board slightly an have a lift off panel hiding the cables away and allowing all the cables to have anchors thus reducing strain on the connectors. -- On my Pi4 I have used a 15cm microHDMI(m) to HDMI(f) adaptor cable and tywrapped it to the case having ruined 2 cables by ripping off the metal bit of the microHDMI. This allows you to use a standard fullsize HDMI cable. I was worried that the 3rd failure would be the Pi and not the cable.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: External HDD support is a question

          The write protect switch needs to be interfaced to the write line not like that stupid switch on SD cards that tells the OS you would like for the card to RO but still allows the card to be written by software which ignores the switch.

          Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no R/!W line on an SD card; all you can do is not send write commands, so it'd be all down to software anyway.

      2. msknight

        Re: External HDD support is a question

        I've tried one of those. It got hot... hot... hot... !

  3. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

    No, this has a real keyboard, more like a Commodore...

    Looks a very nice device for kids having to follow lessons at home. It's true you need a USB headphone/mic combo, though. and the HDMI ports require adapters to use older monitors.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

      No need for an adapter, just get the right cable.

      I'm lucky as I used to hook up ancient tablets to the tv to use as a media centre

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

        The Apple USB-C to Audio adapter costs £9 from Apple, or £7.50 from John Lewis. Pair that with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, and it seems to work just about everywhere. USB 2 provides more than adequate bandwidth for audio, USB 1 would likely be fine for all but the highest audio settings, though I don't have any USB 1 ports to test it on.

        Other brands are available, and most of them will likely work just as well.

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

          whyu introduce the extra step, USB-A to Audio is just as cheap, and theres no need to pay the apple tax

          you could go USB to RCA too

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

      No, this has a real keyboard, more like a Commodore...

      As with most keyboards these days there's no travel on it, so I'm afraid not. It's worse than a dead-flesh Speccy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "or maybe that ZX Spectrum proudly on show"

        "It's worse than a dead-flesh Speccy"

        That would be quite an achievement.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        there's no travel on it

        Well, touch screens have no travel at all, so kids don't expect it really, unlike people switching from typewriters to computers <G>

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: there's no travel on it

          How did the sage Strongbad put it? "Your computer has too much television and not enough typewriter!"

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    No pics?

    No pix of it connected to a display and working? Pix or it doesn't get ordered...

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: No pics?

      Check out Geerlingguy on Youtube.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: No pics?

      Plenty of online reviews if you look for them - here's a couple:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1E5xszQqV8&t=615s

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nopc7mJUDkM

  5. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

    The keyboard is everything

    - Sent from my old Thinkpad

    1. Anonymous Cowtard
      Thumb Up

      Re: The keyboard is everything

      - Upvoted from my x200

      1. Allonymous Coward

        Re: The keyboard is everything

        - Upvotd fom my MacBook Po

        1. PTW

          Re: MBP

          down voted for all the missing keys on Apple products

          1. Anonymous Cowtard

            Re: MBP

            - Downvoted for missing the joke

            1. sgp

              Re: MBP

              Upvoted for pointing this out.

              1. Def Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: MBP

                Voted out for upping this point.

            2. PTW

              Re: Downvoted for missing the joke

              Touche! Still had to read your post 3 times before I spotted the missing 's', your/my mind reads what it expects to see

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The keyboard is everything

        likewise from the x230 here, two x220s flapping their lids to agree. Kids less happy cause we wanna touchscreeeens, but hey, over me dead body (not long now anyway)

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: The keyboard is everything

          Now - I have the Pi touch screen so can I use that for one display on a Pi4 and the TV as the other and use a keyboard too? ISTR having problems getting the pi to do touch and keyboard simultaneously but that was a while ago!

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: The keyboard is everything

            Ive got a Pi4 with the Pi touchscreen and a BT keyboard, and also a Pi3 with the Pi touchscreen and an USB keyboard; both work fine and have done so from day 1.

      3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: The keyboard is everything

        Replied from my sofa, with my "airmouse".

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

          Re: The keyboard is everything

          I always feel like I'm doing incantations while using my airmouse.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: The keyboard is everything

            A weird idea on paper, but works wonderfully well. I couldn't be without them!

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: The keyboard is everything

      Well, thinking of keyboards, I've wondered if you could remove the rPi board from the keyboard-case it comes in, and modify an IBM Model-M to take it (the hardest parts would be providing the extra power the Model-M likes to have, and making a conversion for the cable on the rPi400 board to whatever adapter you use for the PS/2 KB controller board)

  6. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    All it needs..

    Is a Radio Shack CoCo emulator and I will have come full circle with home computers attached to TVs. Memo to self: needs to design a cassette tape to USB interface...

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: All it needs..

      Amazon (or others) have your back... https://www.amazon.com/Cassette-Player-Software-Converter-Compatible/dp/B08CRFYCM5

      Now if only this could work the other way... record data on the cassette tape :-) Although i seem to remember Sony's minidisc was able to do that? Memory a bit foggy on that one...

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: All it needs..

        Now if only this could work the other way... record data on the cassette tape :-)

        Shouldn't be too difficult; a bit of software to turn the file you want to save into an audio file with the correct frequencies representing the ones and zeroes, then blast that out the audio port.

        Although i seem to remember Sony's minidisc was able to do that? Memory a bit foggy on that one...

        AFAIK there were a few models that could be used as a data drive because, after all, those MiniDiscs were just some form of binary storage.

  7. elaar

    It would have been nice to make it a little wider, incorporate a mouse/track pad into it, and with that extra width have the option to stick a 2.5" SSD into it.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Plenty of room for an NVMe drive, if they had added an interface. NVMe can work with the CM4 developer board through the PCIe socket so not impossible.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Bring back the drive slot on the right-hand side I say.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Someone stuck a PCI express card on a Pi4 - tempted to see if you can run a majorl eage GPU on it!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

    There's heaps of spare space along that back panel! One full size and one micro would have been nice and you are 100% more likely to have the right lead. Micro HDMI connectors are really not very robust either.

    Cool product though. I'll be getting one before long to complement my collection of Pis. I might wait for the 8G.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

      Micro HDMI connectors are an absolute curse. I wouldn't buy this as a result. Too many broken sockets...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

        I was worried about the hdmi connectors, but mine has arrived (posting this comment from it) and they are protected by being recessed in the plastic housing so I'm relaxed about it now.

    2. Andy Taylor

      Re: Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

      The compute module I/O board comes with dual full size HDMI ports, so I don't believe Mr Upton's quote about how it wasn't possible on the Pi400

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

      There's heaps of spare space along that back panel! One full size and one micro would have been nice and you are 100% more likely to have the right lead.

      And I don't see using more than one screen with one of these. Sure, I can see with the regular rPi4 that you could use it for digital signage. But if I'm working at something that needs more than one display, I'd more than likely going to want a full-size mechanical keyboard. (Which I suppose goes back to my idea of fitting it's system board inside of a Model-M)

      1. Ian 55

        Re: Lame excuse for no full fat HDMI

        Would love to know how many people EVER run two displays off one of these.

        1% of buyers? Less?

  9. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Built into a keyboard?

    And to think they killed netbooks ...

    A few months ago (ages in IT time) I purchased a second hand Asus 1000HE/2Gb/500Gb (Atom N280) in perfect working condition for US$50. Complete with its box, accesories and manual.

    Granted, it lacks the shiny/now/wow-look-at-that factor but it does the same things this new keyboard/RPi does, has a screen and an (outdated) external connector for a monitor.

    For roughly the same cash I was offered a later model (Atom Z520 4Gb) albeit with a non working screen.

    From all the posts I've read, what everyone seems to be wanting is nothing but a netbook with updated hardware.

    O.

    1. sgp

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      I would like a modern day netbook. I once got a Dell one for free from a relative who couldn't stand the sluggishness of Windows 7 on the Atom + 1GB ram combo. After installing a linux distro (can't remember which one) + lxde, it served me well on many trips. Not having to worry about it getting stolen or damaged was a big plus. Only real downside was the Dell battery quality of this era..

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Built into a keyboard?

        ... served me well on many trips.

        Pop in a 2Gb stick and a SDD, install Devuan and for less than US$50 you'll be set for many more trips.

        O.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Built into a keyboard?

        Only real downside was the Dell battery quality of this era..

        Did you use "Dell" and "quality" in the same sentence?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      Do you get all those IO pins on the Atom?

    3. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      "From all the posts I've read, what everyone seems to be wanting is nothing but a netbook with updated hardware."

      Remember, this is the internet -- if it were raining beer, half the people would be bitching because there weren't any free peanuts.

    4. Martin
      Happy

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      It's slightly off topic, but surely Chromebooks are the replacement for netbooks? You can run Linux on them and I saw a recent article that indicates that Windows via Parallels is coming soon.

      Back on topic - I think this little jobby is great - I'm quite tempted by one. Not sure what I'd use it for....but when did that ever stop a geek from buying a toy?

    5. chololennon
      Happy

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      "A few months ago (ages in IT time) I purchased a second hand Asus 1000HE/2Gb/500Gb (Atom N280) in perfect working condition for US$50. Complete with its box, accesories and manual."

      I still have my Asus 1000HE, marvelous machine :-) It has its original Windows XP home, an outdated openSUSE 32bits, and Android 5 x86. The battery, from 9.5hs decayed to solid 7hs, after 11 years :-) I can't complain. The only thing that is not working Ok, it's the left button in the trackpad.

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      I have one of those Acer AspireOne netbooks (Atom CPU N270) that a former tenant left behind, which I had bumped up to it's maximum 2GB memory. Perfectly functional for when I needed a basic word-processor (LibreOffice under Linux) away from home. But I had wondered if U could fit some newer 64bit SBC like the rPi4 into the housing. It would involve un-soldering the on-board ports and relocating them to where they are placed on the netbook.

      But then once I picked up a cheap Lenovo Chromebook (which I can run Android and Linux apps on anyway) it didn't make any sense to do it (other than for the giggles, like our friend who put a V8 into a Dodge Colt on a bet). So now I'd probably just use it as a DOS retro-gaming machine.

    7. ROC

      Re: Built into a keyboard?

      How about the MS Surface Go? Got an open box unit with 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD; added open box keyboard (and even open box stylus, but hardly use that), all for under $500. Works well with Linux Mint 19 (once I found the tricks for setting Windows boot manager and fixing wifi driver via DDG searches).

      Only real deficiency for me is lack of screen rotation support - not automatic, and manual change only seems to activate half the screen (maybe time to do some more DDG'ing?). I have several Pi's I mess with, and they do ok as straightforward low-end PC's (Kano touch screen is a nice add-on if you can find one on eBay), but the Surface is a big step up for performance and "tight", neat packaging for extreme portability, and is easily extended with a USB-C expansion adapter.

  10. Blane Bramble

    Affordable?

    The Bank of England inflation calculator reckons £100 in 2019 is about £28 in 1982, so much more affortable than the early days of home computing.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Affordable?

      Yes BBC Model B was a months wages for many so no comparison.

  11. macjules Silver badge
    Gimp

    lack of a dedicated ... headphone jack

    Following Apple then?

    (Fanboi icon since no Raspbian option)

  12. andy gibson

    This must be the best modern keyboard with a computer inside.

    https://www.hackster.io/news/a-beautiful-raspberry-pi-powered-zx-spectrum-489deb2020ab

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No idea why your post was down-voted. Must be VIC-20 users!

  13. JacobZ

    Internal M.2 NVMe

    An internal M.2 connector seems like the natural upgrade rather than trying to stuff a 2.5" SSD in there

  14. john.jones.name
    Stop

    NO OpenGL ES 3.2 still ?

    still no OpenGL ES 3.2 so graphics is a real pain... everything else is nice but OpenGL ES 3.2 would mean it rocked as a games device

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: NO OpenGL ES 3.2 still ?

      That really grinds my gears!

    2. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: NO OpenGL ES 3.2 still ?

      Its already 3.1 conformant, and it looks like Vulcan 1.0 support is the next priority.

      3.2 seems to be mostly the Android Extension Pack. Does that mean 3.2 support can be done in shaders?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not in the enterprise

    Unless there's a way to completely physically disable the GPIO, I can't see any enterprise Security team allowing this on their networks. They are paranoid enough about what people might plug into their USB ports, let alone the kind of custom hackery that exposing the GPIO invites.

    For the same reason, easily-opened cases are considered a bug, not a feature, in the enterprise.

    1. MJB7

      Re: Not in the enterprise

      This is aimed at the home/education market, not the enterprise. They want people to learn to tinker with the GPIO

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Not in the enterprise

        Upton explicitly mentioned it as a thin client using their partnership with Citrix.

        The keyboard had better be very good though... Not sure I'd want all those cables trailing back either.

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

          Re: Not in the enterprise

          I got the impression that there will be an enterprise version, rather than this is intended to be the enterprise version. I'd like to see that instead.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Not in the enterprise

          I found hanging the Pi off the back of the telly and using a BT keyboard/mouse combo was quite successful. Though of course the TV control and Keyboard obey Pauli's Exclusion principle and are never simultaneously within reach.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not in the enterprise

        I see we have some extremely none-too-bright visitors today.

        Yes, the Pi is aimed generally at home/education. But the article SPECIFICALLY DISCUSSES a role for it in the enterprise.

        Reading skills matter.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Not in the enterprise

      Er, the Pi was always about home and education, your complaint is it uses the classic home computer form factor (the one which got most people here into this nonsense in the first place)?

      Stick a Pi in a beige box if you really want to be enterprisey about it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not in the enterprise

        The may have gone with the 80's home computing form factor. Shame they didn't go with the full fat keyboard most models other the Sinclair went with, eg Tandy (not CoCo), Apple, C64, Atari (not the 400), Amiga, etc. I really don't like those Apple Airbook alike keyboards.

    3. Allonymous Coward

      Re: Not in the enterprise

      completely physically disable the GPIO

      Hot glue gun?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not in the enterprise

        A squirt of Isopropanol very soon negates that ‘security feature’

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not in the enterprise

      Those security people were obviously cloned from that strain of Elf-and-Safty who spends their days cutting the plugs of electrical things that doesn't have a "recent" (hand-written) Elf-and-Safty sticker on it!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not in the enterprise

      " For the same reason, easily-opened cases are considered a bug, not a feature, in the enterprise."

      Funny. I work for an extremely large and very well known enterprise. A fair number of employees will be tech savvy though I imagine its outnumbered by those who are not. They take security seriously enough, some of the policies are downright draconian compared to other places I've worked.

      The internal IT support site will happily tell me how to fit that new SSD or RAM that I can order via the internal IT equipment portal. Even before COVID, they suggested that self service is the order of the day (or find a co worker who can use a screwdriver), with professional installation being the last resort.

      Only time I needed someone to do something for me was when it needed a BIOS tweak and therefore someone who knew the BIOS password.

  16. Mage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Nice but

    Why is it WHITE!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice but

      Because it looks good and works hard. Just don't turn your back or it will colonise you.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Nice but

      Why is it WHITE!

      It isn't white ... not all white, anyway. It's the same pinky-crimson with a white top that you find in other Raspberry Pi cases and keyboards (though for most of those dark grey is an option).

      Methinks the pink is supposed to be the colour of raspberries and the white is suggestive of pastry, as in a raspberry pie.

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: Nice but

        think theyre saving the dark grey for the enterprise version

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Nice but

        Maybe these instead?

        https://youtu.be/nopc7mJUDkM?t=640

    3. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Nice but

      > Why is it WHITE!

      Because you haven't painted it or applied transfers* yet?

      * that's decalcomania for those across the pond.

  17. Aitor 1

    4GB

    Not enough.. 8GB would be MUCH better as a general pc.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 4GB

      General desktop use barely goes much above 1GB.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 4GB

        .. for systemd.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 4GB

          For Raspberry Pi OS.

    2. _andrew

      Re: 4GB

      While true, don't forget that the first few generations of "real workstations" that ran BSD-derived Unix had one thousandth the memory (and one hundredth the clock frequency). Clearly software bloat is still very much a thing. (Yeah, like running your browser in a VM image just because...)

  18. Herbert Meyer

    where is the coin slot ?

    Rasp Pi has a python coding lesson called "Code the Classics" that is old fashioned arcade games in source form. I am very fond of Myriapod, a Centipede game. So I need a Rasp 400, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a stack of quarters, and it is 1977 again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: where is the coin slot ?

      You can get DIY-arcade bits and pieces from a place called 'Arcadeworld UK' (harcadeworlduk DOT com) - when they have stock that is; It seems that lots of people are "working from home" with implementing "integration of high-end, customised, IT solutions"

  19. WolfFan Silver badge

    Configure as PiHole?

    If easily configured, I see some added security for parental units, parental siblings, and siblings. This has the potential to to save me from having to make multiple hour road trips or long-distance phone calls to sort certain messes out.

    1. Gordon861

      Re: Configure as PiHole?

      If you are making them a PiHole just get a Aluminium Armour - Heatsink Case for Pi4 and add TeamViewer Host to the setup so you can remote in as required.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Configure as PiHole?

      It'll run anything that the Pi 4 can. If you can get pihole running alongside desktop tasks then sure, though if you're going to have it as a standalone box that hangs off the router there's very little reason to buy this over a standard Pi

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    E for effort

    Not really good enough. It has a few good ideas but falls short on what are really essentials these days - SSD - audio - built-in PSU with standard IEC connector.

    (stops all the nonsense with mains adaptors and lost/broken PSUs)

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: E for effort

      It's more than good enough for £67.

      Maybe you can ask them to make you a special one with the latest NVidia chip too, I'm sure it will still meet their price point.

    2. Binraider

      Re: E for effort

      One suspects you're missing the point of the Pi. If you want shiny GPU and the ability to shift hundreds of megs of storage per second, fine, get a PC. But if you want a near-disposable box to code/hack/screw up, or more to the point, let kids code/hack/screw up it's a fine thing. Taking a soldering iron to a Pi is encouraged. Would you go shoving one round your X570 motherboard and Ryzen 7? All hidden away behind proprietary nonsense (be it USB, PCI-express or otherwise - you can't just get a bunch of bits from electronics supplier of choice and a breadboard).

      The size lends itself rather better to sitting in a bedroom plugged in a telly. Rather than a big-box monster. Sony and MS have been missing a trick for close to two decades in not turning out a Wedge-format home computer that happens to double as a game console. Which is absolutely what EVERYONE that ever owned an Amiga or Atari did.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: E for effort

        What on earth are you talking about?

        I mention simple basics and you go right over the top. It's a completely different board layout already so what's the big deal?

        Audio - doesn't have to be fantastic but what kid doesn't like to make some interesting noises (big kids too). The chips for 16bit stereo are at almost give-away prices these days.

        Storage - the micro SD cards don't have a good track record for lots of reads and writes, so most people plug in a USB stick, which uses up a socket and sticks out so it's likely to get knocked and stress the socket. You can get a tiny SSD almost for pennies these days, both SATA and PCIe.

        PSU - You've got to have one anyway. If I had a pound for every time I had to deal with a missing, broken is simply under-rated wall wart I'd be rich! A lot harder to go wrong if it's built in, and the PSU itself can still be fully enclosed.

        With all of the above, this unit is aimed at tinkerers and kids. Neither are known for their delicate handling of gear - especially the kids!

        1. short

          Re: E for effort

          Hang on, doesn't audio come out of the HDMI device?

          Nobody with a choice designs in a mains power supply. RPF have a perfectly usable range of global plugtop PSUs.

          Your other moans - meh.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: E for effort

          Audio - the intended audience will have it connected via HDMI to a TV and that will provide full audio output capability. For input, buy a USB microphone, either an ultra cheapie for a couple of quid or £x00 for a professional grade one. The Pi4 doesn't have analogue audio input either, so why would this?

          Storage - what do you mean by "most", do you mean "me"? A true SSD would add significantly to the cost - anyone who wants to do that can buy a USB storage device and have done with it.

          PSU - it's USB-C (and presumably the bugs in the implementation from the first rev pi 4 have been fixed). It's not like you have to have a custom wallwart, though the official RPi one is cheap, widely available and easily replaced.

          Perhaps you're not fully up to speed with who this is for?

    3. Gordon861

      Re: E for effort

      I expect that you will be better served once the Pi4 Compute Module reaches general circulation. With the EMMC options and the PCIE port I expect someone will bring out a fairly small all in one box with an M2 or SATA connection inside.

      With this and the Pi Keyboard/Mouse it'll be a much better setup.

      I really think the Pi400 missed a trick by not making the main board accept a Pi4 Compute Module, it would have opened many more options and they could have sold the main board as a unit for home building personalized Pi's.

  21. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Akh! That's a horrible keyboard. Can you get the kit and insert a keyboard of your own choice? A nice decent one with actual keys, not tiddlywinks.

    I've got a very nice Dell SK3200 which I've been sawing a hole in to fit a Pi. Even the flatter KB813 is better than the advertised offering.

    1. Allonymous Coward

      Why not gut one and use the innards in a different/better keyboard? Would make an interesting project.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        I'm starting from scratch - using a better keyboard and putting an off-the-shelf Pi inside it. No need to buy somebody else's attempt and chuck half of it away.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Because the port layout of the Pi 400 would be a better match than a standard Pi for any keyboard you would want to convert?

        2. Gordon861

          Probably better off with the compute module rather than the basic Pi4.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    having looked on their website

    What suprised me most was that it was designed with the sinister mouse in mind and any hat suspended in mid air

  23. bigphil9009

    Tip o' the HAT

    I'm familiar with most computing acronyms, but I have to admit that 'HAT' (as mentioned in the article) has got me stumped. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HAT?

    Quick internet search - HAT stands for “Hardware attached on top”. It is a hardware specification for add-one modules for the Raspberry Pi. HATs have several advantages compared to older add-on modules for the Raspberry Pi. No soldering, just plug it onto the Raspberry Pi (and they are stackable).

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