Sunfounder Raspad

Back in April, I backed a Kickstarter campaign for Raspad, a $129 Raspberry Pi powered Tablet computer that would be open source. The campaign was successful and whilst I was away on holiday, my package arrived but was taken back to my local Post Office Depot.

When I went to pick up the package, the Post Office wanted £13 for VAT on the item as it was an import and a handling charge.

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Here’s the packaging, once you open the outer carton:

In the bottom of the box were some additional parts from the Kickstartter campaign, a small LCD, ultrasonic sensor, case, heatsinks that were supplied free, albeit floating loose.

Turn it over and you can see the cver that gives you access to the recess where you install your Raspberry Pi:

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Overall the unit feels like good quality but the cover was a little difficult to remove and i’m worried it might break in the future.

I had already flashed a 64GB Micro SD Card with the latest Raspbian and inserted this into a spare Raspberry Pi 3 B+ I had lying around for projects just like this (these were not supplied with the Raspad unless you paid extra money).

The Pi locates onto four lugs on the underside of the recessed area. Attach the HDMI and Micro USB power cables. Then place a small black piece of plastic over the Pi to help keep it in place and finally replace the cover.

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I then looked to see if the Raspad was getting power. No lights. Ummmm. Then I noticed my extension lead wasn’t working. Plugged the Raspad into another power source and a green flashing light came on indicating it was charging.

Pressed the power button for 3 seconds and the Pi began its initial setup:

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Then I noticed the touchscreen was not responding. I realised I hadn’t moved the USB connector from the left hand side of the screen into one of the Raspberry Pi’s USB ports. Did this and then the touchscreen started responding.

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At this point I also realised that the touchscreen is not accurate and is offset by a few millimetres but I cant see a way to calibrate it yet – will have to investigate this.

There is also no on screen keyboard so I had to connect a USB keyboard to go any further with the setup. Followed the Raspbian set up instructions. There was an error message on the last screen print which I ignored as I will be manually updating Raspbian:

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Then did the usual RPi update’s:

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Then I installed matchbox for a virtual keyboard:

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After this, go to MENU >> ACCESSORIES >> KEYBOARD and the keyboard will appear.

Overall first impressions:

  • Watch out for the UK customs/VAT charge on top of the sale price.
  • Reasonable price
  • Overall good build quality
  • Worried about the Raspberry Pi cover breaking
  • Sound is good from the little onboard speaker
  • Touchscreen works but cant calibrate and it needs to be done
  • Lack of default onscreen keyboard
  • Portable.
  • Comes with a 4A DC adapter that seems a little flimsy but does the job?
  • The unit arrived with a an almost drained battery and started beeping after using it for a short time without the mains adapter. Will recharge and check how long it takes to charge and then how long it takes to drain back to empty.
  • Cant see much in the way of online support from Sunfounder yet on their website. On their forum, someone else has raised the same screen issues with very little response from Sunfounder.
  • Looking forward to trying some projects with this and seeing if it really is useful or just a gimmick.
  • Useful to attach GPIO cable and accessories for projects
  • Can also attach to an external HDMI screen but haven’t tried this yet. A message was sent by Sunfounder that there were some problems with HDMI cables and they would be sending out replacements?
  • Will purchase a Bluetooth keyboard and see if this better than trying to use the touchscreen.

Update 20/11/18

I haven’t used my Raspad much since it arrived but plan to change that in the near future. I, like many other users have had some early issues with the touchscreen and I think some users have not had much feedback from Raspad themselves. I emailed their support team on the 7th November and received the following reply on the 19th November. Not sure if this well help anyone or not:

So sorry to bring you trouble.

Actually, the reason why inaccurate of touchscreen is that compatibility between system and screen is not good. Currently, Raspberry Pi is designed by Linux system that is worse than Windows system on user experience. In the meanwhile, the mode of compatible screen and mouse should be required by the screen so that there are some deviation while using it.

 We are very glad you guys to support our product, we are trying to do the perfect product. We will try our best to research a good way to improve this issue. 

You can improve your experience by using large icons.

Setup steps:

1. Select Preferences>Appearance Settings in the RasPad menu bar.

2. Click on Defaults

3, choose For large screens

4, choose OK

 

 

Capacitive touch screens are easier to operate, but not as accurate as the mouse.

To prevent false clicks, most touch screen interface uses larger icons, even larger click areas such as Android and iOS. They even render web pages at much lower resolutions, such as 2K resolution iPad rendering 576P web pages.

Like most desktop environments, Raspian with the PIXEL desktop is not suitable for touch screens, and the touch screen provides a poor touch experience.

For that, we have been developing a RasPad OS with larger icons, better on-screen keyboards, etc. to improve the touch experience.

RasPad is not only suitable for Raspberry Pi and Raspbian. RasPad provides external HDMI input and USB touch output for more platforms and operating systems.

If you’re looking for a better touch experience, try using Android or Chromium OS, such as Emteria OS (Android) and Flint OS (Chromium OS). for more information visit:

https://emteria.com/

https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os

PS: Please keep the Rasbian OS.

 Regards

SunFounder Team

I will do another update soon and try some of their suggestions and feedback. Maybe I should have bought a Pi-Top?

 

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Kickstarter – Raspad

I think this might be my 10th crowdfunded purchase from Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I have bought a couple of different Sunfounder products in the past to make Raspberry Pi based projects and usually find them excellent although not always easily available in the U.K – see previous blog posts.

Saw this advertised some time ago and as soon as they launched I had backed them within a couple of hours. Considering how many Pi based projects I make in a year, I think this will help me to complete projects in some sort of all-in-one development environment that’s also portable. Cant wait for mine to arrive. I will post an update to this post when mine arrives with my first impressions.

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