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Review Raspberry Pi 400 The First “Out of the Box” Pi !


hey everybody it’s lon seidman and we’re taking a look today at the raspberry pi 400 this looks like a keyboard but it’s actually an entire computer built into a little keyboard here and all you got to do is plug it into a monitor and hook some power up to it and you are off and running and we’re going to be taking a closer look at this in just a minute now this is from the same folks who make of course the raspberry pi which is a single board computer and this is designed really to focus on people who think that this is a little bit too much to get started with the raspberry pi is typically very simple to work with but if you are a little intimidated by just a raw circuit board and having to buy additional components to get everything working this might be a much friendlier way to get started because everything you need is pretty much in the box and you don’t have to do anything to get up and running other than plugging it in and turning it on and i think that’s going to appeal to people first getting into computing and maybe to schools as well that might want a very inexpensive pc that they can outfit across their organization without a lot of work to get up and running and i think there’s a real place for this and in this review we’re going to focus on the strengths of this device and what it can do is really no different than the single board device can do but i think a lot of folks haven’t really talked about the basics here and that’s what we’re going to cover in this video all the different things you can do with the raspberry pi 400 and if you don’t want to buy this and have one of these you can do all the same things with this just by updating the operating system so we’re going to get into this in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this new raspberry pi is all about now there are two price points on this one there’s a 79 dollar

version which is just the unit here there’s also a kit version that includes the unit a mouse a power supply and a really cool guidebook that we’re going to look at in a few minutes and that costs 99 now the heritage of this kind of goes back to the early days of computing because back in the old days you bought a computer and you plugged it into your television a commodore 64 or something like this one back here which is the timex sinclair 1000 here in the u.s those of you across the pond will know this as the zx81 or zx81 as we like to say here and this was a little computer that you plugged into your tv you could code on it you could use a cassette player to record your data and whatnot really cool stuff and of course this one does very much the same thing you plug it into a tv and start typing and you can do all sorts of things but this one of course given that it’s made in the 21st century is very very powerful in comparison and can actually emulate this old computer and many other classic computers of the past as well uh really cool stuff now the build quality on this actually impressed me it is all plastic but it is super rigid it doesn’t bend at all and the keyboard is actually really good to type on all things considered i was not expecting it to actually feel this good but it does the keyboard itself will remind you probably of a lower cost chromebook or something along those lines it’s membrane keys but they are rather springy and they have good travel to them and i found it to be a very comfortable typing surface i do have the one quality control issue with the tab key as you can see here this is how mine came it wasn’t installed properly so you might see some of these little gotchas on some of these earlier units i’ll see if i can pull that key out later and fix it now the back you pretty much have the same ports as what you would have on a raspberry pi 4 because that’s what essentially the guts of this thing are the motherboard is actually different but it’s the same overall design so we do have a kensington lock on here which you can use to lock the unit down on

a desk with one of those kensington wire loop security devices that’s really important for something that might be used in schools especially given how easy it is to walk away with the whole computer here so you may want to look at one of those you’ve got gigabit ethernet here these devices never quite take advantage of the full gigabit that that port can do but it does do better than 100 in most cases but just don’t expect super fast gigabit performance out of that port even though it will connect at gigabit speeds you’ve got a usb 2.0 port here for the mouse and that’s where i would plug the mouse into you have two faster usb 3.0 ports next to it you’ve got a usb type-c port here and this is only used for power this is the same situation with the raspberry pi 4 single board computer and that power supply goes right in there you do have two hdmi outputs here these are the smaller micro hdmi connectors again much like what you would see on the raspberry pi 4 this does support 4k displays but i have found with these devices that they don’t feel all that zippy on a 4k monitor so my advice is really to target 1080p at these things but you can get two monitors connected and have dual displays going which is awesome i see my pi 4 review for more technical details about these ports but again i would run

these at 1080p 60 and you can get two monitors going on it and because i bought the kit version i did get a cable in the box to connect that micro hdmi connector to a full-size hdmi connector on my monitor these cables are not hard to find there’s adapters available as well so you shouldn’t have a hard time getting a second display hooked up if you need to but only one cable was in the box this one came with a sd card installed in its sd card slot that had the operating system already loaded on it so that’s great i just plugged it in and it booted up and i’ll show you that os in a minute so that’s great to see on here because typically you have to get your own sd card and then go through the process of downloading and loading in the operating system this one’s ready to go it connects up it’ll download updates and you’ll be off and running it’s very much a real out of the box pc experience which was great to see here now this row of pins right here are the gpio pins that you typically see on one of the raspberry pi devices in fact they are the very same pins so if you are doing things with hardware and you want to code some software around that hardware interface you can plug the hardware into the pins just like you would on a regular raspberry pi and be able to address those pins just like you can again on one of the regular raspberry pi’s so let’s boot this thing up and see what we can do with it now and we’ll take a look at that cool book that it came with as well so we are up and running here and my kit came again with an sd card already loaded up with the raspberry pi operating system and as you can see here it looks very similar to what you might experience on a windows pc it’s even got a start menu here except it is at the top versus the bottom of the screen and there’s also a couple of shortcuts to applications here at the top so for example i can pull up the web browser here and this browser is actually the open source version of google chrome called

chromium and while this won’t be as fast as a more expensive pc it’s still good enough to get on the web and browsing things it’s not going to be great for youtube and some of the other online video services but it can play back video pretty nicely here as you can see but you will get a lot of drop frames here and there even with 30 frames per second video but it’s still good enough for educational purposes and it all seems to work pretty well here just by booting it up and there’s also a full office suite that will be installed on here by default so if you go over to your start menu and go to office you’re going to see libre office applications they’ve got a great word processor that is pretty much the same as microsoft word you’ve got a great spreadsheet here called libreoffice calc that is similar to excel and you can actually work with microsoft office files you can load them right up into this thing or save your files as microsoft office documents to send to friends you can of course use the browser and access google docs and everything else as well so there’s a lot that you can do here for free just for the price of the hardware because this is all open source and available to the community now as i mentioned this has the same guts as the raspberry pi 4.

It’s got a broadcom bcm 2711 and it has four gigs of ram on board which is good for a raspberry pi as you can see sitting idle here on the desktop we have about 117 megs in use so you’ve got plenty of room here for loading up stuff these devices do really well at media playback they support both h.

264 files along with hevc and on media players here as you can see it runs pretty nicely there are some bootable home theater applications you can get for the raspberry pi and anything that will work on the pi 4 will also work here on the pi 400.

Now if you want to download more applications you can go into the command line here and type in what you’re looking for if you want something a little bit more intuitive you can go over to the preferences option here and click add remove software and this will give you the entire raspberry pi repository and there’s a lot of software in here it’s not the nicest interface in the world but you can search for things you might be looking for so for example i’m going to look for something called [ __ ] which is an open source image editor it’s kind of like photoshop and i just typed in the name of the application here into the search window and it found it here there it is the gnu image manipulation program i’m going to hit the check mark there and click on apply and what it’s going to do now after i type in my password is grab that program and install it for me and then i can just load it up and start editing images so let’s let this download and we’ll see what happens when it’s done alright so we just finished downloading the from the repository and if i click on the raspberry pi menu here and go over to graphics you can see that it’s available to me in the menu we can click on that and load it up so again this was something that wasn’t installed on the raspberry pi initially but it was in its repository and we were able to grab it from there and have it automatically installed and now i’ve got a pretty decent photo editor here that might give you much of the same experience that you might have on photoshop which of

course you can pay a monthly fee for but here this is completely free and open source i can do all of my dodging and burning and everything else that you might want to do with the image on a completely free piece of software and again there’s a lot of stuff inside of this repository that you can look through they’ve got a bunch of games some of them actually run pretty nicely on here lots of internet-based applications as well and if you’re looking for just something to kind of explore when it comes to open source operating systems this is really a great way to do it because you really can’t break it and there’s just a lot of really great open source applications that have been ported over to the raspberry pi platform now the coolest feature of the kit in my opinion is the book that it comes with the official raspberry pi beginners guide and this will take you through the entire process of getting this thing set up that includes the plugging in component and then all of the different software applications that you might encounter when you first boot it up and then it’s got a lot of detail here on programming and this is going to be something i think that’s great for kids and adults because you can start really simple here using something called scratch and you’re going to find all of the applications that it’s referring to on your start menu here so for example if we go up to the raspberry pi menu go to programming and go over here to scratch three which is what it’s referring to you can get started right away by putting scratch up on screen and then wait for it to load up here and then you can go to the book here and start

playing around with scratch and learning the basics of coding so for example the first thing they’re going to have you do here is make a little program that says when clicked say hello and there’s a little cat on there that will respond to the commands that we issue i’m just waiting for this thing to load up it takes a second on the first shot looks like we’re ready to go here and what we’ll do is uh replicate that so we’ll go to events here we’ll go to when click i’ll just drag that in here and then i’ll have it go over to the purple thing here where i think it says say and let’s go over maybe it’s over in looks maybe yep say hello we’ll just drag that in there and then it looks like i can just have this go to town here there he goes he says hello and that is our first little program and it gets more and more advanced as you go here and then you eventually graduate to a more advanced programming language in this case it’s going to be python and they have the thani python ide that they point you to again that’s installed right on your raspberry pi and you start off with a very basic uh hello world application which i’ve already typed in here and if i hit enter you can see i’ve done my first program now in python and as it goes here it gets more and more advanced and you can start integrating graphics into your programs you can start working with hardware through those gpio pins you can even do stuff with minecraft where you can programmatically change your map with python and i think for a kid who’s looking to really get into coding and developing an interest perhaps in gaming and game development this is a good first place to start because you’ve got a book here that will take you from knowing nothing to actually becoming a pretty competent coder at least with the basics and once the basics are down you

can get other books and begin rolling on from there and because this is an open source platform most of the major programming languages that you might encounter like c and c plus plus and everything else will all be accessible to you on your raspberry pi or of course you can buy a more advanced computer down the road to do some heavier lifting but i think it’s pretty cool that you got a computer here out of the box that you just boot up you’ve got a great book here to guide you through everything and for kids that are really looking to get into computers this is so awesome and i would have loved to have had this as a kid i had an apple ii i had logo and basic but some of the more advanced programming languages were expensive you had to buy these big expensive kits in order to get started with those here it’s all free and right on the device along with a book to guide you through it now you might be asking well what about a chromebook wouldn’t that be a nice equivalent price wise and it could be depending on what you want to do but what’s nice about this is that it’s not limited it’s not locked down you can install whatever you want on it you can really do things on a raspberry pi that you’re restricted from doing on a major platform device and that’s really what this is about it’s about playing and learning it’s hard to break it and if you do happen to mess something up you can just refresh the operating system on the sd card and try again and because the sd card is removable you can have multiple installations of your raspberry pi that you can swap between at will things like retropie run just as great here as they do on the pi 4 so you can do your retro gaming

again anything that runs or works on the pi 4 is going to work here and i think this one is really well suited for schools and for homes where people are first getting into computing and would rather just get going as opposed to picking out components and everything i really like the book here that comes with the kit it is very complete and it takes you step by step from the very beginning right through some of the more advanced topics and of course there’s more publications available through the foundation and elsewhere to continue your journey with the raspberry pi it’s just been a great thing over the last decade or so to watch their development and this really is i think the embodiment of everything they’ve been working towards and it’s a fun little product that is also very affordable and if you’ve got a computer geek in your life this is a really good gift i think so be on the lookout for one of these if you can get a hold of one that’s going to do it for now until next time this is london thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters including gold level supporters brian parker jim peter tom albrecht and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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