Trying Out The RasPad 3 – Unboxing & Review
The raspat 3 is designed to hold a raspberry pi 4b and turned it into an all in one tablet: style device with a large 10.1 inch touchscreen it sells for around 250 on amazon or 220 from their web store ill talk a bit more about the price. Once youve had a look at whats included and what it does ill leave a link to it in the video description, if youd like to get your own in addition to the rise pad, youll also need to get yourself a raspberry, pi 4 and an sd card To complete the build im going to be using an 8 gig version of the raspberry pi 4b, as this is one that ive got available at the moment, but you can use a 2 or 4 gig version as well. Lets take a look at whats in the box. First up is the user manual its one of the best ive seen for these types of kits its very well presented with illustrations for each step and im pretty sure that even a child of around 10 years old wouldnt have much trouble following the instructions. To put it together, the english is pretty good for the most part, but there are a couple of gems along the way. Underneath the sponge protector, weve got the razz pad in a plastic sleeve, Music and under that weve got a compartment with the power, cable, internal cables and accessories, and even a screwdriver, to put it together with so.
The rise pad includes everything you need to get it running. Even the heatsinks for your power included. You literally just need to add your raspberry pi and sd card from the manual. It looks like theres a version available with a pre flashed microsd card, but i couldnt find an option for this on their website or on amazon, so its possibly a carryover from a previous version, so thats whats included in the box now lets take a look at The raspberry on the front weve got the large 10.1 inch touch display on the left side. Weve got an ethernet port 3 usb 3 ports, a full size, hdmi port, a headphone jack and a power socket on the back is a thin slot to pass the gpio ribbon cable through, so that you can access the powers. Gpio opens on the right hand, side weve, got a battery indicator buttons to control the volume and brightness a power button and a microsd card slot. There isnt really much on the rear. Weve just got the screw holes and some ventilation, holes and speaker grilles. The ros pad is roughly the same size as the 10.2 inch ipad. Music lets use the included screwdriver and put the rise pad together. Underneath the back cover youll see theres a relatively large breakout board on the right hand, side a pair of speakers are on the bottom and another smaller breakout board. On the left hand, side along the top is a 3 cell 3200 milliamp hour battery pack.
We start off by plugging the usb and ethernet cables into the power, then add the hdmi and power cables. We then add the sd card adapter next well screw down the power and plug the sd card adapter into the breakout board. Now weve got three heat sinks to stick onto the part. There is also this accelerometer shim to push onto the gpio pins to auto rotate. The display im not sure why they dont have proper female header pins on the shim, its just supposed to be pushed onto the exposed pins. I dont really like this design as it feels like the shim can just fall off if the pad is bumped and you arent sure that all of the pins are actually making contact with the shin. Lastly, we need to add the fan to the back cover. This is mounted directly onto the cover and pushes the air out of the case rather than pulling air in when the case is closed. The fan is positioned directly above the pis heatsink. Now that weve got everything installed, lets close it up. Remember when working with electronics, we dont care minor hiccups with violence. Next, we need to burn our operating system image to our sd card. They have their own operating system which ill try first, this can just be downloaded from the website and is then flashed with a utility like etcher. The power adapter is quite bulky, but it needs to provide quite a lot of power to the ros pad to power.
The power the display and charge the battery when its empty, the first boot takes about a minute to complete and youve, then got a couple of settings to get through. It would have been nice if one of the steps included setting up a wi fi network as well, but you can just head over to the wi fi menu in the taskbar to set that up afterwards. Subsequent boots take a little under 30 seconds on the standard operating system and they do have an option to just turn the display on and off with a short press of the power button. If youre going to be briefly away, the operating system looks quite similar to raspberry pi os, but it does have a custom menu which suits a tablet style interface. Theyve tried to make the operating system reasonably touch friendly and youre, able to get through tasks like using a spreadsheet or word processing app using an on screen keyboard. But the keys are quite small and its just not anywhere near as easy as using a keyboard and mouse. This isnt a fault with the hardware. The touchscreen on the rise pad, is actually pretty good. Its responsive and fairly accurate. These apps are just inherently designed to be used with a keyboard and mouse, so there arent things that can be done with the touchscreen like a right click. Also, the small icons are difficult to press accurately take an app like minecraft, for example.
If you attempt to do anything with the touchscreen, it just results in continuous downward digging and youre, then unable to close the app it does work well with some games, and i think the tablet would be well suited for education, where students do drag and drop programming. It would also work well for home automation, apps with a touch interface or other purpose built touchscreen apps. I think youd have a hard time using the tablet for apps, which require regular text input without using an external keyboard. The speaker quality is also not bad if using it to stream, music or videos. You also have the option to run different operating systems or flavors of operating systems on it quite quickly and easily. I tried bootsing up raspberry pi os and it worked perfectly, including the touchscreen input without any additional setup. I also tried running retropie and that worked well too. Its actually quite a nice package for a retropie system as youve got a portable battery powered display and speakers. All in one unit, i tried connecting an external display to the rise pad, and while this works well, it does disable the touchscreen im, not sure why theyve done this, as it would still be useful to have the touch inputs with an external display. But this is just something to be aware of the specs claim: 5 hours of battery life, i managed to get a little under 4 hours, but this obviously depends on how you use it if youre running apps, that dont require much processing, power and youve done the Display then youll get better battery life Music.
I then tried the auto rotate function and that didnt seem to work there isnt anything mentioned in the manual about a setup or use conditions. So i assume that this should just work when used with the operating system. I wondered if the shim that i was initially concerned about wasnt connected properly, so i opened it up and added my own header pins to it. I then close it all up again and this didnt work either. So i think my auto rotation shim is just faulty. If i had to think of a few things that id like to see on future versions of the rise pad battery level, feedback to the operating system is the first thing that comes to mind. Theres, a battery level indicator on the side of the device and this overlays a low battery level warning on the display when it gets low. But if you dont actually turn the rise pad off, then it eventually just does id like to see a low power shutdown. Script integrated into the operating system next would be an option to add an internal ssd theres, a lot of free space inside the raspberry and theres, even a free, usb 3 port. So it would have been pretty easy to add a space or adapter to add a small ssd. Although there is a slot on the top for the gpo ribbon cable to pass through, you either have to open the case up every time.
You want to connect something to the gpu opens or have a ribbon cable dangling out the back permanently. I would have preferred to see a set of gpio opens brought out to the side of the case, which can then be plugged in and removed easily. My last suggestion is not so much a change to the rise pad, but perhaps a future variant that would be to create a cm4 version. I get why theyve designed the rise pad around the much more common raspberry pi 4b board, but given that its mounted inside and has a number of cables connected to it, it would be a lot simpler to just plug in a cm4 module. It could just be an easy option for those who want a raspberry, pi tablet and intend on leaving their power inside the tablet permanently. Getting back to the price point i mentioned earlier at around 220 to 250 dollars once youve added a pizza youre, pretty close to 300. This does seem quite high if you consider that you can get other tablets for around 200, but i think you need to take into account the use cases for the razz pad. There are definitely better options if youre looking for a cheap tablet, but the rise pad offers makers, the same level of flexibility and adaptability that a raspberry pi comes with being centered around a raspberry pi. You have a world of possibilities for operating systems, peripherals sensors adapters and input devices, which typically dont exist on other platforms.
How many tablets do you know of that? Have gpio pins available directly to connect a moisture sensor to or drive a servo with, with the rise pad youre paying for the convenience of the raspberry pi platform in a compact, all in one form factor and thats pretty cool? Let me know what you think of the rise pad in the comment section thanks for watching.