The company behind the Orange Pi range of devices have been cranking out Raspberry Pi alternatives for years, mostly focused on small, low-cost single-board computers. Now the company has unveiled its answer to the Raspberry Pi 400 computer-in-a-keyboard.
At first glance, the Orange Pi 800 looks like a wired keyboard. But it’s a full-fledged computer with a processor, memory, storage, wireless capabilities, and I/O ports. All you need to add is a display.
Under the hood, the Orange Pi 800 features a Rockchip RK3399 processor, which is a 6-core chip with two ARM Cortex-A72 CPU cores and four Cortex-A53 cores and Mali-T860 graphics. It’s a processor that’s been around for six years at this point, which is both a strength and weakness.
On the one hand there are certainly higher-performance processors available these days. On the other hand, companies have been using the RK3399 chip for low-cost Chromebooks and Linux laptops and phones for years, so there’s a pretty robust software ecosystem available.
Orange Pi says its upcoming computer-in-a-keyboard will support Chromium OS (the open source version of Google’s Chrome OS) as well as a new Orange Pi OS that’s based on Arch Linux.
Other features include:
- 4GB LPDDR4 memory
- 64GB eMMC flash storage
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 port
- 1 x VGA port
- 1 x 3.5mm mic/headphone jack
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
- 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
- 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A port
- 1 x USB Type-C port (for power only)
- 1 x microSD card reader
- WiFi 5
- Bluetooth 5.0 LTE
- Built-in speaker
- 26-pin GPIO header
The keyboard features 78 keys and has a few status indicator LED lights. The whole thing measures 286 x 122 x 22mm (11.3″ x 4.8″ x 0.9″) and weighs 385 grams (14 ounces).
Pricing and availability details haven’t been announced yet, but given the hardware, and that it’s meant to compete with a device that has a list price of $70, I wouldn’t expect the Orange Pi 800 to be particularly expensive.