Raspberry Pi single-board computers or SBCs are fully-featured computers fitted within a motherboard that is roughly the size of a credit card. You can connect whatever peripherals you want and run it like any other computer you have ever used.
Raspberry Pis were originally intended for facilitating computer education in underdeveloped countries, but their flexibility and size have made them ideal choices for makeshift IoT applications. At its core, however, Raspberry Pi remains a popular choice for people who want to introduce their kids to computing, and that’s what the Raspberry Pi 400 embodies.
What is the Raspberry Pi 400?
The Raspberry Pi 400 is technically the same as previous iterations of the SBC but the entire computer is now built inside a full-sized keyboard. The dimensions of this keyboard are 286 mm × 122 mm × 23 mm, and it has 78 or 79 keys depending on where you get it. The top panel of the keyboard has cutouts for all the ports that you need to connect your peripherals.
Internally, the Pi 400 is the most powerful device that the company has ever created. It comes with a quad-core processor, 4 gigabytes of high-speed 3200 MHz RAM, and features wireless networking along with Bluetooth 5.0.
On the video playback side of things, the Pi 400 is capable of 4K video playback at 60 fps. This is made possible as the device supports high-efficiency video codecs like H265, H.264, OpenGL ES 3.1, and Vulkan 1.0.
First and foremost, the Pi 400 comes with a 40-pin GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) header that makes the device compatible with a wide range of sensors, motors, LEDs, and accessories. The GPIO header has been a staple of Raspberry Pis since its inception and is the primary reason for its success as an IoT tool.
Other ports on the Raspberry Pi 400 include a Gigabit Ethernet port, 2 × USB 3.0 ports, 1 × USB 2.0 port, 2 × micro HDMI ports (supporting 4K at 60fps video throughput), a MicroSD card slot for the OS and for storing data, and a USB-C port for charging.
How the Raspberry Pi 400 works
The officially recommended Operating System for the Raspberry Pi 400 is the Raspberry Pi OS, previously known as the Raspbian. In essence, it is a Debian for Linux distribution modified to work with the Pi.
You get the Raspberry Pi OS to run on your 400 by using the Raspberry Pi imager. Using the Imager, you can modify an SD card such that the OS can be directly run off of it. For this, you need to download the Imager onto a computer that has SD Card support, connect the SD card that you will use for the Pi, and the Imager will do the rest.
Once the operating system has been written to the SD Card, you can plug it into your Pi 400 and use the keyboard as a computer.
Pricing and Conclusion
You have two options when purchasing the Pi 400. You can get the complete kit that comes with the keyboard, charger, mouse, a MicroSD card, and an HDMI cable. This retails for $100 worldwide. The other option is to get only the keyboard unit. Assuming you have all the other peripherals you need, this will cost you around $70.
The Raspberry Pi 400 is a very efficient and attractive little device that makes computing fun to learn. Now that it’s more powerful than ever, the Pi 400 is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to get into IoT or simply enjoy a refreshing new PC.