raspberry pi 400 setup

Raspberry Pi 400 FAQ: All Your Questions Answered

The Raspberry Pi 400 has its own category in the Raspberry Pi model line-up and, with it, it brings a ton of specific questions from potential buyers, owners and other curious people. I’m the happy owner of a Pi 400, and I’ll answer all of your questions in this article.

I’ve sorted the questions and answers by category, so you can use the Table of Contents below to quickly find what you’re looking for. Do you have another question? Fill out the form at the end of the article or ask it in the community!

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Introduction to the Raspberry Pi 400

What is the Raspberry Pi 400?

Basically, a Raspberry Pi 400 is a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of RAM that is hidden inside the official Raspberry Pi keyboard. All of the ports (USB, display, network) are available at the back of the keyboard.

Unlike other Raspberry Pi models, the Raspberry Pi 400 looks much more like a traditional PC, with everything in one piece, embedded in the keyboard. It’s cleaner to be used as a standard PC, instead of having the main board in the open air, as with other models.

More details here: The New Raspberry Pi 400 is Out! A Pi Built into a Keyboard

Can the Raspberry Pi 400 replace a desktop computer?

The Raspberry Pi 400 can replace a desktop computer for light office tasks such as web browsing, email or working with documents and spreadsheets. However, the specifications and the operating system have some limitations.

The Raspberry Pi 400 specifications place it in the low-end spectrum of traditional computers. It comes with a decent processor(4x 1.8Ghz) and 4 GB of RAM. It should work well for doing one task, but multitasking will often be a challenge, especially if a web browser is open.

Also note that a Raspberry Pi 400 runs on Linux, a free operating system, that is not necessarily compatible with all the usual applications you may have on other computers.

Related: Get Started with Raspberry Pi 400: A Beginner’s Guide

What can I do with a Raspberry Pi 400?

The Raspberry Pi 400 is perfect for schools or moderate use at home. It can be a great way to discover Linux, programming, or simply how to interact with a computer.

Don’t expect to play the latest games on it or run 20 apps simultaneously, but I know many people who have one to check their emails daily and do some quick Internet searches. You don’t need a $1000 computer for this.

As mentioned earlier, it’s a Raspberry Pi 4 inside that runs Raspberry Pi OS (the official system for all Raspberry Pi models). This means you can always experiment with all the projects mentioned on our website: testing different systems, learning how to code in Python, hosting a web server, etc.

You can use GPIO pins with a Raspberry Pi 400

It’s not built to be used with the usual robot kits for Raspberry Pi, but the GPIO pins are available on it, so it’s possible to experiment with simple electronic circuits if you are into it. While it’s not necessarily the best choice, there’s nothing to stop you from doing it.

I should also mention here what you CAN’T do with it. Even if it’s possible to run Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi, it’s not made for it. It means that some applications won’t be available. There are often good alternatives, but they might need some extra work to learn how to use them.

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Related: 17 Best Apps to Use a Raspberry Pi as a Desktop PC

Is the Raspberry Pi 400 worth it?

The Raspberry Pi 400 is an affordable solution for basic computer tasks (office, email, web) or education (Linux, programming, servers in general). However, it comes with limitations that may discourage users who require high-performance, multitasking or specific applications.

In short, it depends a lot on your goal and intended use.

In the community and the emails you send me, I see it’s often a solid choice as a first computer for kids (or seniors, by the way). It’s enough for almost anything they do, and they don’t necessarily want to spend more money.

Given the price of the full kit (check the current price here), it’s worth the price, but once again, if you plan to run AAA games or use Photoshop, it won’t be the right choice for you. In these cases, a more powerful computer, with Windows on it would be a better choice (like the Intel NUC series).

Specifications & capabilities

How much RAM does the Raspberry Pi 400 have?

The Raspberry Pi 400 comes with 4 GB of RAM. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 4 and 5, it’s only available in one variant. You can’t purchase a Raspberry Pi 400 with more RAM.

Can you add RAM to a Raspberry Pi 400?

Unlike standard computers, it’s not possible to change a memory chip on the Raspberry Pi 400 to get more RAM. If more RAM is required for your projects, you should consider a Raspberry Pi 4 or 5 instead.

While I’m sure some DIYers can manage to solder an additional RAM module on it, it’s not officially supported or recommended.

Does the Raspberry Pi 400 have a battery?

The Raspberry Pi 400 doesn’t include a battery. It is powered via an external source, generally using the USB-C port as input. To make it work at its best, use a proper power supply that delivers the correct current and voltage for the Pi 400.

Even if Raspberry Pi can generally start with any USB cable or phone charger, it’s recommended to get the official power supply (or at least something similar). The Raspberry Pi performances will vary depending on the input, so make sure to do this properly.

Here are some related articles worth reading on this topic:

Can a Raspberry Pi 400 boot from USB?

Like all recent models, the Raspberry Pi supports USB boot. This means the system can be installed on a USB stick or drive instead of the usual SD card.

I have a full tutorial about USB boot on this website, but basically, if you eject the SD card and plug a USB drive into the Raspberry Pi 400, it will use it as the main storage (and boot on it if a compatible system is installed).

This is convenient if you don’t have SD cards to test new things, but it’s particularly useful to boot from an SSD. That type of drive is much faster and can give you better performances across the board.

Related: 8 Easy Tips & Tricks to Increase Your Raspberry Pi’s Speed

Does the Raspberry Pi 400 support 4K?

The Raspberry Pi has two built-in HDMI outputs that support 4K video playback on both displays simultaneously.

So even if it’s not necessarily the best format for a media center plugged into your TV, you can definitely use it to watch high-quality videos.

Related: How To Watch Netflix On Raspberry Pi OS (No app required)

Does the Raspberry Pi 400 have a fan?

The Raspberry Pi 400 doesn’t have a fan, so it’s completely silent when running. There’s no need to add a fan or heatsink, as it shouldn’t become hot in normal use.

Be aware that if you intend to try overclocking or using a Raspberry Pi in extreme conditions, it’s probably better to get a Raspberry Pi 4 or 5 instead. These models can be used in specific cases that are particularly efficient to keep it cool in all situations, which is impossible with a Raspberry Pi 400.

It tested many solutions over the years, here are some of my recommendations:

Can you run the Raspberry Pi 400 from a power bank?

In theory, a Raspberry Pi 400 only needs a USB-C power input, so a power bank can be used to start it. However, most power banks don’t deliver enough power (5.1V / 3A recommended), which may limit the overall performance.

Download the Pi Glossary!
If you are lost in all these new words and abbreviations, request my free Raspberry Pi glossary here (PDF format)!
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If you don’t have other options, you can use one occasionally, but I wouldn’t recommend using a power bank all the time.

Does the Raspberry Pi 400 have Wi-Fi?

The Raspberry Pi 400 includes a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter (2.4 and 5.0 GHz). It can be connected to any Wi-Fi network without the need for an additional dongle. Most security types are supported natively on Raspberry Pi OS (WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc.).

For your information, it also includes Bluetooth 5.0 support, which means you can connect your Bluetooth devices like headsets, game controllers or keyboards/mice without any cable.

Related: How to Configure Wi-Fi on Raspberry Pi? (6 Easy Ways)

Can you use the Raspberry Pi 400 as a keyboard?

The Raspberry Pi 400 is not built to be used as a traditional keyboard.

While it looks like the official Raspberry Pi keyboard, it’s not possible to simply plug it into another computer and use it as an input.

As always, some DIYers did it, but it’s not recommended to try this. Keep the Pi 400 as a computer, and use a normal keyboard for your other computers :-).

Related: Tested: The Best Keyboards For Raspberry Pi In 2023

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Using a Raspberry Pi 400

Can a Raspberry Pi 400 run Zoom?

While Zoom is not officially available for the Raspberry Pi, it’s possible to access Zoom meetings via a web browser. There is also an extension available for Chromium.

I won’t say it works perfectly, but if you don’t spend your days on it, the Raspberry Pi 400 should be able to handle a meeting from time to time.

More details here: How to Use Zoom Meeting on Raspberry Pi? (Video Conference)

Can you play Roblox on a Raspberry Pi 400?

Roblox doesn’t offer a Linux version, and the Raspberry Pi 400 is not the best choice to play games, but, if needed, it’s still possible to run Roblox on a Raspberry Pi.

Don’t expect something spectacular, but if you only need to quickly check something or chat, it’s possible to start Roblox with some restrictions on your operating system.

You can read my step-by-step tutorial here with the detailed answer: How to Get Roblox on Raspberry Pi (Tips & Alternatives)

What OS does Raspberry Pi 400 use?

The default operating system on Raspberry Pi 400 is Raspberry Pi OS, a custom build of Debian for the Raspberry Pi users. It comes with a GUI and different tools and optimizations specially made for the Raspberry Pi.

It doesn’t mean you have to use Raspberry Pi OS. Most Linux distributions have a version available for Raspberry Pi models, and can run on the Raspberry Pi 400:

Systems are also available for specific uses (media-center, retro-gaming, etc.). You can find my favorite systems for the Raspberry Pi in this list.

How to factory reset a Raspberry Pi 400?

The Raspberry Pi 400 system is generally stored on an SD card, which can be formatted to install a new operating system. By doing this, all previous settings and files are deleted, which is basically what a factory reset means.

On the Raspberry Pi board itself, there is only the firmware, that is used to boot the system, you don’t need to worry about this or to reset it.

As the Raspberry Pi 400 system is installed on an external device (SD card or USB drive), it means you can easily switch from one setup to another, without losing your data.

Can you play Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi 400?

It’s possible to run Minecraft on a Raspberry Pi 400, even the full Java version can run on it. You won’t necessarily get the best performances, but it should be playable.

I explain in this article how to install Minecraft Java on Raspberry Pi if you are interested.

You should also know that there is a specific version of Minecraft available (for free), that can be used to learn how to program in Python (which is great to keep kids interested!).
More details here: How to program Minecraft with Python on a Raspberry Pi?

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Comparisons & alternatives

Is the Raspberry Pi 400 better than the Raspberry Pi 4?

In short, the Raspberry Pi 400 and the Raspberry Pi 4 are almost the same, with different form factors. The main difference is that the Raspberry Pi 400 is only available with 4 GB of RAM, unlike the 8 GB version of the Raspberry Pi 4.

The choice lies more in your projects with it than in the performances only.

A Raspberry Pi 400 is great for desktop usage. A Raspberry Pi 4 might be a better option for home servers, electronics projects or when more RAM is useful.

What are alternatives to the Raspberry Pi 400?

The main alternative to the Raspberry Pi 400 that comes to mind is the Orange Pi 800. With a similar form factor and price (get it on Amazon), it comes with a better CPU and EMMC support.

The Orange Pi 800 is advertised to be compatible with Android, Manjaro, Ubuntu and Debian. Just keep in mind that compatibility with Raspberry Pi accessories is not guaranteed. I also find that competitors are generally slower to get the latest updates for the supported OS.

The best alternative to the Raspberry Pi 400 currently is probably the Raspberry Pi 5. Even if it’s not the same format and necessarily for the same users, it’s the one I would consider.

What are the disadvantages of a Raspberry Pi 400?

I’ve given the Raspberry Pi 400 a lot of credit there, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

The Raspberry Pi 400 doesn’t have an audio output (no jack) or a camera connector. There are only 3 USB ports (one taken by the keyboard), and it’s not the best for GPIO projects. Also, the Pi 400 is only available with 4GB of RAM.

These are a few things to have in mind if you decide between a Raspberry Pi 400 and other models.

Is there a Raspberry Pi 500 available?

There is no Raspberry Pi 500 available or announced. But we can guess, that an upgrade of the Raspberry Pi 400 based on the Raspberry Pi 5 might be a thing in the future months or years.

I haven’t seen any hint of this from official sources yet, but they are pretty good at keeping secrets, so stay tuned to be the first to know about it :-).

Whenever you’re ready, here are other ways I can help you:

The RaspberryTips Community: If you want to hang out with me and other Raspberry Pi fans, you can join the community. I share exclusive tutorials and behind-the-scenes content there. Premium members can also visit the website without ads.

Master your Raspberry Pi in 30 days: If you are looking for the best tips to become an expert on Raspberry Pi, this book is for you. Learn useful Linux skills and practice multiple projects with step-by-step guides.

The Raspberry Pi Bootcamp: Understand everything about the Raspberry Pi, stop searching for help all the time, and finally enjoy completing your projects.

Master Python on Raspberry Pi: Create, understand, and improve any Python script for your Raspberry Pi. Learn the essentials step-by-step without losing time understanding useless concepts.

You can also find all my recommendations for tools and hardware on this page.

If you have other questions about the Raspberry Pi 400, you can send them to us via this form. We may add them to the list or answer directly if possible.

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