Improvements and Other Things I'd Like To See

  • As it goes the Raspad 3 is fine for what it is but there are some badly needed improvements.

    Critical Issues:

    The first and probably biggest issue is the lack of low amp USB charging capability. While there was a USB-C to Barrel Jack adapter included in the box none of my existing USB power supplies or battery banks would charge it. When I contacted support I was then told that a 15V2A adapter would be needed, which to be fair, sounds about right considering it terminates in a barrel jack. But there is no excuse to not include a charge circuit that can't trickle charge three 18650 cells off of .5 amps. This alone relegates the Raspad to a limited range near an outlet. Change that one deficiency and you've got an excellent field computer that can, for example, be used to manage multiple Arduino weather monitors.

    Get rid of the barrel jack, replace with USB-C port for charging. This is the one issue that's preventing me from recommending this product.

    It's also worth noting I get a small but definitely noticeable spark every time I plug in the Barrel Jack. It makes me rather uneasy and I'd like to see a proper grounding circuit put in place.

    Second issue is that Micro SD card. The fact that there is the possibility of something actually breaking if we do not remove the SD card before disassembly is frankly, a huge oversight.

    Third is the asinine volume/brightness up/down button controls. Volume is locked to the + button and Brightness is locked to - button. This means depending on what you're doing you might have to press the opposite button first to choose what you want to change before being able to actually change it. Volume Down means pressing the + button first to choose Volume then - to bring the sound level down. Brightness Up means pressing the - Button first then pressing the + button to bring the screen brightness. If I spam the - Button I expect my volume to go down but instead my screen goes dimmer and dimmer.

    It confused me for the first ten minutes and I can guarantee that basically everyone expects those buttons to adjust Volume only with screen brightness as a secondary feature that only comes up if you do a special button press like holding down both buttons for five seconds.

    Are there options to adjust volume/brightness in the OS? Yes. Is this a major issue? Not really. Is this annoying enough for me to list under critical issues? Absolutely.

    Minor improvements:

    Raspad OS. Despite being touted as designed for the Raspad it's basically a desktop UI with an onscreen keyboard shoddily added. It's usable though it can barely be called that, you will need the mouse and keyboard. I would like to see a proper mobile UI version.

    The ability to rotate the screen through the monitor's controller. Sure, most OSs have the ability to rotate the screen at will and Raspad OS has the sensor to change orientation. However as this is an experiment platform I would like to have the ability to rotate the screen through the monitor's controller so that an OS with less functionality can still be used as the user wants to.

    Lack of any camera mount. At first I thought the center hole on the back was a place to install a camera, was a bit disappointed that it was just a screw hole. Not too big of a deal for me as I was never planning on installing a camera but it would be nice for it to be a fully self-contained unit.

    1080p screen. While smaller screen sizes does mean you can get away with a lower resolution panel the Raspad is right at that line where the jump to 1080p is noticeable.

    Speakers are tinny but still usable, if a bit too close together. I'd like to see them closer to their respective corners.

    Fan is noisy, but you already knew that. What I'd like to see is a more flush mount with the back cover, something like having the screws come in through the back and into the fan. I haven’t done it yet but I am tempted to grind off those plastic fan standoffs so I have enough room to fit in one of those low profile Ice Tower coolers.

    The slot for the GPIO ribbon cable was made way too small for most cables and I really don't want to cut the slot wider.

    Considering the size of the device I would've liked to see a place for a 2.5" SSD for increased storage.

    Things I actually like about the Raspad 3:

    Usable internal USB ports. I've got a wireless dongle for a keyboard/touchpad and a 256GB flash drive in there holding some random movies. Being able to hide stuff like that inside is a godsend.

    Build quality is good. It's got a sturdy plastic shell with metal inserts so the screws don't easily strip. It's meant to be taken apart and put back together and it definitely feels like it. This was physically well designed and I do not see it breaking anytime soon under normal usage.

    Connectivity is good. Plenty of USB ports, headphone jack, ethernet, full sized HDMI, etc. It's got more than enough to be usable in everyday situations.

    Future Raspads I'd like to see:

    Definitely a Compute Unit Raspad. The possibilities are endless with that one. The custom PCB might be a bit pricey but I'd still be interested to see what could be done.

    Not exactly a tablet but a Raspberry Pi laptop with an physical keyboard, touchpad, screen, and battery all in one package. Could probably have a Compute Unit at its core.

    A Raspad Zero of some kind. With a flatter profile, single USB IO, cheap price, and low power usage it's perfect for the budget pi tablet.

  • Great summary and assessment by @John K  I would like to also highlight again a need for a better quieter fan and agree that I may also mod my case to allow for a bigger fan for more air movement and less noise. I have had issues with getting cables in out and around that GPIO slot as well so some better way to manage that would be great. Also YES on the SSD slot as well to hold and allow other options than microSD. A camera mount would be great. Perhaps a solution could be a release of other shells, covers that have some of the modifications we could swap out? 

  • @Christian L I love the shells idea with new covers we could swap in for different use cases.


  • @John K

    Thank you very much for such detailed suggestions.👍
    I have forwarded your suggestions to the R&D department and made relevant records.😊

  • Adding on to the already great ideas, I would like some kind of mounting solution for a car or camera tripod. Something to really anchor the raspad to for stability. 🖖Not necessarily built in, but a place to do one or the other. Due to the wedge shape, long flat surfaces and button placement, mobile mounting is difficult. Some modding is needed. No complaints here, very happy, but a wishlist item.

  • @John Stogner should be easy enough to design and 3d print. 

  • @John Stogner

    Sorry for not understanding what you mean.
    "Mobile mounting is difficult" Do you mean it is not easy to fix RasPad3 to other things?

  • @Phil Bennett That is the next adventure for sure. For now, some well placed slots in frame allow me to clip on a tripod mount and adds the benefit of the gpio extension cable hanging out of the bottom for connection to the breadboard while keeping the screen in a proper viewing angle. For me, this was huge. I can't operate a soldering iron where little fingers seem to find me the iron and all the tiny parts of projects. I take the projects to my garage, bring the raspad back when done. :)

  • @RasPad Support Yes that is correct, the improvement would be for a means of fixing the raspad to other things. I "added"  (dremel) a couple of slots to allow me to attach a tripod mount and can now mount the raspad securely just about anywhere.  There is most deffinitely a better way than mine.

  • @John Stogner

    Thanks for the feedback, we have made a record of your suggestion🧐

  • VESA Compliant mounting.

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