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The Raspberry Pi Basis declares the lovable little Raspberry Pi 400

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This is the Atari 400 Raspberry Pi 400. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is launching a new product today – and it's a brand new device. As you can see in the photo, the Raspberry Pi 400 is a computer built into a compact keyboard and costs $ 70.

And it's the easiest way to get started with a Raspberry Pi. If you're unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi, it's a single-board computer with many ports that is the size of a deck of cards.

You can give it to a kid to play around with a terminal, you can use it as a computer brain for your weekend projects, or you can give it to your grandparents to replace their slow Windows XP computer that they use to receive email use.

Last year as the Raspberry Pi Foundation presented the Raspberry Pi 4, the foundation also used this opportunity to bring out a cute mouse and keyboard. Of course, you can also use these accessories with a Raspberry Pi. And your basic setting would look something like this:

Credit: Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

These are great goodies for Raspberry Pi fans. And yet there are many, many keyboard and mouse manufacturers. Building your own mouse and keyboard didn't really make sense.

It turns out the Raspberry Pi Foundation had a different idea. The Raspberry Pi 400 is essentially the same keyboard – but with an integrated Raspberry Pi. Your next project has been right ahead of us for a year.

Raspberry Pi 400 (above) and Raspberry Pi keyboard (below). Credit: Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has already sent me a Raspberry Pi 400 to try out. While many of my colleagues are excited about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, I was also very excited about this new device.

Because yes, the Raspberry Pi 400 (or, as Brian Heater from TechCrunch called it, the PiStation) looks really cute. You plug in a few cables and you're good to go. As far as I can see it is a fanless device so there is no sound when it is turned on.

Credit: Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

Putting a computer in a keyboard is nothing new. You could even say that PCs started this way. In the 1980s, you could plug your computer into your TV using a keyboard and get started right away.

At some point computers got more complicated. They had to buy a computer tower, display, mouse, keyboard, and so on. Laptops reversed this trend by packing everything you needed into one device. But laptops aren't perfect either.

The Raspberry Pi 400 is a great device for kids. In many ways, it's way more powerful than a Chromebook. You can learn a lot more about computers and feel less limited in what you can do.

I could see it in schools, at home in the playroom, or on a shelf waiting to be hooked up to a display. This is a great way to play around with computers.

Credit: Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

It gets more interesting when you think of older children. Many people have said that closed schools have been especially challenging this year, especially because you don't necessarily have enough computers for everyone in your home.

If your child is old enough to get a smartphone, it doesn't mean they have a convenient facility for distance learning. The Raspberry Pi 400 is a cheap device that could fill that void. In addition, the Raspberry Pi 400 could be a great way to separate school from leisure activities (and social networks).

Now let's talk about specifications. The Raspberry Pi 400 is pretty similar to a Raspberry Pi 4, but not exactly. It has an ARM-based system on a chip (64-bit quad-core ARM-Core-A72 at 1.8 GHz for the curious). It comes with 4 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, Bluetooth Low Energy and Gigabit Ethernet.

When it comes to ports, you get two micro HDMI ports, which means you can connect two 4K displays in case you really need a lot of screen space. There are two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port and a USB-C port for the Power Brick.

Like other Raspberry Pi devices, it uses microSD cards for the operating system and to store your data. You can use Raspberry Pi Desktop, a Debian-based Linux operating system, or a third-party operating system like Ubuntu.

There are several models with keyboard layouts for the UK, US, French, Italian, German and Spanish. In addition to the $ 70 device, you can purchase the Raspberry Pi 400 kit, which includes a mouse, power adapter, micro HDMI to HDMI cable, preformatted microSD card, and official beginner's guide, for $ 100. It should be available in the coming days.

Credit: Romain Dillet / TechCrunch

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Melinda Martin