A few weeks ago I bought a Raspberry Pi 400. The Raspberry Pi is a Single Board Computer (SBC) that comes in a variety of flavours. The 400 is basically a Raspberry Pi 4B built into a keyboard.
For what it costs (CDN $134.95) it is an impressive bit of technology. Here’s some specs:
|Processor||Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72|
(ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.8GHz
|Connectivity||Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac|
wireless LAN, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
2 × USB 3.0 and 1 × USB 2.0 ports
|GPIO||Horizontal 40-pin GPIO header|
|Video & sound||2 × micro HDMI ports (supports up to 4Kp60)|
|Multimedia||H.265 (4Kp60 decode);|
H.264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode);
OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
|SD card support||MicroSD card slot for operating system and data storage|
|Keyboard||78 key compact keyboard, US Keyboard Layout|
|Power||5V DC via USB connector|
|Operating temperature||0°C to +50°C|
|Dimensions||286 mm × 122 mm × 23 mm (maximum)|
The Pi runs a version of Linux called Raspberry Pi OS which is based on the Debian distribution. Learning Linux wasn’t too bad once you catch on to the way things are done, which is different from Windows.
My rationale for buying the Pi was that I needed a dedicated computer to run my PROVer 3018 CNC machine. My original intent was to use the Pi, but because it requires a monitor I found it easier to just move my Windows 10 laptop to the workshop.
My Raspberry Pi 400 has now replaced my Windows 10 laptop as my everyday computer. So far it has handled every task I’ve given it: web browsing, email, spreadsheets, word processing and presentations. The Pi OS comes with LibreOffice software which does everything that Microsoft Office does, is fully compatible with MS Office and costs exactly $0.00
All Pi’s come with a set of I/O pins. The Pi 400 has 40 pin I/O which can be programmed using Python. I bought a component kit which includes an assortment of resistors, LEDs, switches, etc which you can control from the PI using Python.
I have so much more to say about this amazing machine. So I’m sure there will be more posts about it in the future.
If you’re interested in a Raspberry Pi, I purchased mine from BuyaPi.ca and I highly recommend them. Their customer service was great.