The Raspberry Pi Foundation is making its cheap minicomputers a little less intimidating with the Raspberry Pi 400. The new $70 computer comes built into a compact keyboard that plugs into any TV or external monitor. For $100, the computer comes bundled with a MicroSD card, wired mouse, and MicroHDMI-to-HDMI cable, so all you need to supply is the screen. The computer is available now through several retailers that Raspberry Pi links to from its website.
Inside, the Raspberry Pi 400 is similar to the $55 Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, with a quad-core processor and 4 GB of RAM. By loading Raspberry Pi’s Linux-based operating system onto the MicroSD card, you can use the computer for web browsing, word processing, and programming, effectively making it a lightweight Chromebook alternative.
Of course, the computer-in-a-keyboard concept isn’t new. As The Verge notes, the Raspberry Pi 400 is a throwback of sorts to classic PCs such as the BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum, or Apple IIe, and some vendors such as Asus have tried to revive the concept before. But with Raspberry Pi’s low pricing and its emphasis on education, now might be just the right time for a revival. The only question is when Raspberry Pi takes the next logical step and makes a full-blown laptop.