User avatar
coreywi
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:56 pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:07 pm

I'm kicking myself now for buying a PI 400 so soon, but it's was SOOO compelling....

I wanted to use the PI 400 as a desktop replacement. I was a little worried about the previous post that details all sorts of problems the typing on the PI 400, but I went ahead anyway. The problem is that the keyboard randomly consistently loses key presses. Here's a sample (taken from a bash history) where I typed 'this is a test to see how this will work'. This is what the PI saw:

211 this iss a test to ee o his wi worrk
212 this issa test to see how this will work
213 this iss a test to ee how this will work
219 tis is a test to see how this will work
220 this i a test to see how this will work
221 this is atest to see how this will work
222 thi is a test to see how this will work
224 this isa test to see how this wil work
225 thiss is a test to see howw this will work
226 this isa test to see how tis will work
227 thi iss a test to see how this will work
228 thiss i a test to see how this will work
229 this is a tes to see how thi will work
231 this is a test to see howw this will work
232 this is a test to see how this will work
234 this is a test to see how thi will work

It's absolutely infuriating trying to do any kind of serious typing.

I am using an official PI 4 power supply and I have tried various combinations of powered USB hub for the mouse, or plugging it in directly. When I plug in a full size 105-key external USB keyboard, this problem goes away.

Is the build quality of the PI 400 so suspect that it's unusable? Has anyone since the original post managed to mitigate this problem in any way?
Last edited by coreywi on Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kerry_s
Posts: 2108
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:38 pm

:lol: i probably don't type fast enough to get those issues.

i use my pi400 everyday as a desktop. i'm running ubuntu 20.10 on mine.

pidd
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 8:29 pm
Location: Wirral, UK
Contact: Website

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:44 pm

With most rubber contact type keyboards a hard press sometimes improves the reliability.

Or maybe your typing style doesn't match the Pi400 keyboard - I have one keyboard that refuses to acknowledge my typing correctly but it isn't faulty, it just doesn't match my somewhat heavy handed typing style.

If it doesn't meet what you consider your reasonable expectation and this is a red line, send it back or use another keyboard.

User avatar
coreywi
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:56 pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:46 pm

Ha ha. Point taken. Maybe I type too fast for it. Ironic that with an external keyboard attached to the PI 400 I can type as fast as I'd like...

KeithMck
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:58 am

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:27 pm

I think there are a few of us who would like to see the RPi400 motherboard fitted into a 'regular' type of case. ;)

Undertow
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:00 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:27 pm

I''d keep open the possibility you have a bad keyboard or connection. I'm not the fastest typist in the world certainly but regularly dropping keystrokes doesn't seem to happen for me on a Pi 400.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 14743
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:35 pm

KeithMck wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:27 pm
I think there are a few of us who would like to see the RPi400 motherboard fitted into a 'regular' type of case. ;)
What I'd actually like to see would be for a third party (not, I think, enough of a market for the RPT to do it themselves) to market an after-market replacement mechanical key-switch keyboard. Something like a slightly cut down Monoprice Workstream TKL one.

thradtke
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:16 am
Location: Germany / EL

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:37 am

coreywi wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:07 pm
Has anyone since the original post managed to mitigate this problem in any way?
It gets better over the time. Not sure if this is due to getting used to a very precise typing, or that keyboards needs a breaking-in. Still, after months of good use the number of missed and repeated keystrokes is not acceptable. Very fast typing remains impossible. I believe this is a purely mechanical problem as there a keys that work worser than others (in my case, it's the "a" that loves to bounce).

I fear it really takes a new membrane. Hope someday someone will come up with a source of those membranes. There are lots or similar (but working) keyboards out there.
Rocket Scientist.

User avatar
craigevil
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:22 am
Location: OZ

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:03 am

I have a dust cover over mine and the only issues are my poor typing skills.
Raspberry PI 400 Raspberry Pi OS (Unstable) Kernel: 5.10.17-v8+ aarch64 DE: MATE Ram 4GB
Debian - "If you can't apt install something, it isn't useful or doesn't exist"

User avatar
bensimmo
Posts: 5330
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:36 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:35 pm
KeithMck wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:27 pm
I think there are a few of us who would like to see the RPi400 motherboard fitted into a 'regular' type of case. ;)
What I'd actually like to see would be for a third party (not, I think, enough of a market for the RPT to do it themselves) to market an after-market replacement mechanical key-switch keyboard. Something like a slightly cut down Monoprice Workstream TKL one.
DIY
https://www.40percent.club/2020/12/orthopi.html?m=1

alphanumeric
Posts: 2924
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:58 am

I've had keyboard issues with two Pi400's. I had a bad key on mine, pressing ; always got me ;; . I had that replaced and all seemed fine, but I have now discovered my caps lock does not work. I've had it too long to get it replaced so I'll just have to live with it.
On the plus side with my hunt and peck typing, no missed keys etc. Or double characters.

User avatar
pasdechance
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:27 pm
Location: France
Contact: Website

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:45 pm

I have used my Pi400 every day since November. I feel like there are days that this problem does not occur. Then, it comes back the next day. I don't know what does this but I will live with it. It is still worth the price.
pasdechance
English/French
Debian, Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit Beta, LibreElec

samuraikm
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:20 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:04 pm

I am having trouble with the number "2" ("@") key. It is unreliable and has made some massive mistakes in my workplace! I have had it fail to work, or other times it will type multiple "2"s. There seems to be a weird problem with buffering as well. When I have typed 2-2-3, it came out 2-3-2. Strange. Could it be dirt or something else? This 400 is brand new (as of Dec 2020), and it is a daily (8 hour) worker for me.

KY4O
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:49 am

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:03 am

Glad it just isn't me! I sent my first Pi400 back because one of the USB ports didn't work and this replacement has an intermittent R key. Just trying to press harder for the time being and see if it gets better.
Bill, KY4O

User avatar
kerry_s
Posts: 2108
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:17 am

i spilled coffee on mine and everything still works, guess I got lucky. :lol:

User avatar
davidcoton
Posts: 6258
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:37 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact: Website

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:31 am

kerry_s wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:17 am
i spilled coffee on mine and everything still works, guess I got lucky. :lol:
Raspberry Pi and coffee, yum. Both need some cream, though. 8-)
Location: 345th cell on the right of the 210th row of L2 cache

daycoder
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:21 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:41 pm

Pi Keyboard rather than Pi400. It hasn't been great for me. I'm using it with a Windows laptop as my daily driver. I think the problem is that it needs firm very accurate typing. If you're a bit light, the keys depress, but don't make contact, and if you're on the edge of a key, this is more likely. It's worse on bigger keys, like Shift. holding down on the corner and just rocking my finger left and right a little, I get: OOOOOoOOooOOOOOoOOOoOoOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooo.
alternately typing a letter and space, but with my thumb on the edge of the spacebar: q we r t y u i o p a s d f g h j k l z x v b nm

Bottom of the Enter key:
q
we
rtyu
iop

My 'c' key needs a firm finger.
10 presses: cccccc

I'll get something better at some point and keep it as a spare.

juj
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue May 04, 2021 3:50 pm

coreywi wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:07 pm
Is the build quality of the PI 400 so suspect that it's unusable? Has anyone since the original post managed to mitigate this problem in any way?
samuraikm wrote: I have had it fail to work, or other times it will type multiple "2"s. There seems to be a weird problem with buffering as well. When I have typed 2-2-3, it came out 2-3-2.
I have the exact same on my Pi 400 keyboard. Keys are lost, keys are doubled, keys get transposed with other keys. Many others have reported the same issues.

Here is one earlier thread about the bad keyboard quality: viewtopic.php?f=140&t=291298

Some people jumped to suggest that "maybe just your copy is bad", but the large occurrence of the issues make me doubt it. To me it is more likely that the people who don't notice issues are one finger typists.

I think the keyboard hardware, firmware or driver software is faulty by design. Threw the Pi 400 to the corner after day 1 testing and did not pick it up since. :( If I had bought it from local store, would have taken it back, but since I ordered it internationally, refunds felt like a pain and did not bother.

PS. the mouse driver has very similar issues, and it is broken out of the box on Pi 400 in a very similar manner. Found a thread on reddit on how one can fix the driver by adding a configuration field - https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/c ... tastropic/ . That did raise some hope that maybe they did the same software-fixable mistake with the keyboard driver, but nobody has just discovered a similar kind of fix for it like the mouse driver has.

Hopefully the problem is acknowledged and can be fixed in firmware or software. :roll:

juj
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue May 04, 2021 3:57 pm

Oh, inb4 someone claims - I am not particularly a keyboard critic, don't need the keyboard to be mechanical or fancy at all. My daily keyboard is the much blamed flat macOS butterfly keyboard, and that has worked well for me (except for the lifetime degrading dirt issue that Apple had) - partly because of that I thought I could use the Pi 400 flat keyboard as well without adjustment issues, but this is something else altogether.

cspan
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:03 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Tue May 04, 2021 5:05 pm

I don't need much either - I have gotten by fine with a $4 Inland (Micro Center) and $11 Logitech non-mechanical keyboards. The only notable flaw with the former is the propensity of the key labels to wear off rapidly (within 6-12 months). That's the only reason I moved to the latter.

I don't have the Pi 400, but I do have the Official Pi Keyboard on which it was based. I have experienced the same sort of issues that coreywi details, and those of others. Double actuations and no actuations.

It's unfortunate because the 400 is so portable and faster (in two ways - clock speed and no throttling). One is tempted to just consider the keyboard as a $15 case, and connect a USB hub to it so you can enjoy its benefits with your own keyboard and mouse. Indeed, I'm weighing that decision now as travels will soon take me near a Micro Center.

cspan
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:03 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA

Re: PI 400 poor quality keyboard?

Fri May 14, 2021 11:47 pm

Update:

I went ahead and bought a Pi 400 earlier this week. I spent an hour or more over two sessions typing out some notes, and thus far, the early returns are notably better than my Official RPi Keyboard. That said, it's early, and I'm a bit suspicious of a few failures to actuate on the O and L keys. It could have been my typing ... i.e., other failures have been, but I'm not so sure those were. Anyway, more testing to go, but I'm hopeful that it is indeed reliable.

Return to “Raspberry Pi 400”