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The Raspberry Pi 400 – Our Little Event Helper

by James Duffell

Remember attending events in person? Rather fondly, we do though the memories are becoming a little hazy.

Over previous years we’ve hosted, attended and worked events across Lancashire and the country. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be in a position to do so once again, and something that launched earlier this week has got us a little more excited about that prospect.

The Raspberry Pi 400, takes the compact form factor of the Raspberry pi with the latest version (4) and merges it directly into a keyboard, providing the ultimate in convenience.

Raspberry Pi 400

When it comes to our involvement in events, our roles can vary rather broadly, from live blogging an event, to providing on-screen presentations, videos and graphics, to the classic Twitter wall – something I’m discovering the Raspberry Pi 400 is perfect for.

Highlights of the Raspberry Pi 400

  • It’s cheap (for a computer). You can get the Raspberry Pi 400 for just under £70
  • The slim form factor means it’s extremely convenient to take out and about (in a bag ideally)
  • Low power consumption means you can run this via a wall socket or, even more conveniently, a battery bank. Alternatively, you can piggyback off nearby devices with an available 5v output
  • With the majority of the applications (we use for events) being SaaS (software as a service) that run through a browser, utilising the Chromium Linux browser, we’re able to run pretty much anything we may need

How Might You Use a Raspberry Pi 400?

  • Liveblogging; all of our blogging will be done via a SaaS web application, so it’s a big tick there
  • Twitter walls/streams; again as with live blogging, these are SaaS web applications, so that’s another tick there

But why use the Raspberry Pi 400 over using your laptop? For us, it’s down to the situations when we may need to leave our equipment in an environment we may not be in control of and a keyboard is a less attractive proposition to a much more expensive laptop.

Raspberry Pi 400 Keyboard

It also packs a punch – for such a small computer it offers a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.8GHz processor and 4GB LPDDR4-3200 ram, so the browser applications we’d be using it can effortlessly handle.