10.1-inch RPI All-in-One PC review with Raspberry Pi 4

A couple of months ago I received “RPI All-in-One”, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display for Raspberry Pi boards, listed the specifications, checked out the package content, installed a Raspberry Pi 4 inside the display before booting my new all-in-one (AiO) PC successfully.

I’ve now had time to spend more time with the PC/display and see how it performs under various conditions. I also tested HDMI and USB-C input features with a laptop and mini PC.

Raspberry Pi OS All-in-One Touchscreen Display

Fan or fanless operation?

After updating Raspberry Pi OS, I ran sbc-bench.sh script together with rpi-monitor to see how the Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB RAM would perform under load with the (noisy) fan enabled.


 

EVICIV Raspberry Pi 4 All-in-One-Computer Fan cooling temperature

No throttling was detected, and the temperature never exceeded 56°C in a room with an ambient temperature of 26°C.

I then disconnect the fan, but it turns out the fan can also be easily disabled in the OSD menu without having to open the back cover. I re-ran the test without a fan and a heatsink-less Raspberry Pi 4 board:


 

EVICIV Raspberry Pi 4 All-in-One Computer Fanless temperature

Unsurprisingly, the temperature is much higher, especially during the 7-zip multi-thread test, but throttling did not occur. I’d still recommend putting a heatsink on top of the processor to keep it cool if you’d like to disable the fan. I don’t have access to one at this time, but I’ll try it out later with another board.

RPI All-in-One OSD menu

RPI All-in-One buttons

There are size buttons on the back of the display with the power button (hardware power off only, no clean software power off), the menu button, and associated up/down and back buttons for navigation. So let’s go through it…

RPI All-in-One brightness & contrast

The Picture section allows us to adjust brightness and contrast.

DIsplay color configuration

The color temperature, as well as red, green, and blue can be changed in the Color section.

RPI All-in-One Display Aspect Ratio Touch Rotation

The Display menu is used for Aspect ratio, touch rotation (more on that later), and fan control to either turn on or off the (noisy) fan.
RPI All-in-One Display Settings

The Setup menu allows us to select one of the 12 OSD languages (English, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Germany, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian), signal source (HDMI-RPI, HDMI-IN, or USB-C), configure the position and timer of the on-screen menu, as well as the audio volume. There’s also an option to Reset the display.

RPI All-in-One Setup

RPI All-in-One Setup Language

The misspelled “Infomation” section provides details about the resolution (1280×800) and the refresh rate (60Hz). Not quite sure what 49.2 KHz is…
RPI All-in-One Information

User experience, tips with Raspberry Pi 4

I’ve been using the AIO PC to browse the web with Chromium, and it does the job. But bear in mind the user experience is quite different from what you’d get with a tablet. First, there’s no battery, so RPI All-in-One PC is designed for desktop use or mounted with a VESA mount with access to the mains. There’s also no sensor to automatically switch between portrait and landscape mode.

Portrait mode is still possible, but it must be configured manually, first by changing the screen orientation in Raspberry Pi OS, or through the terminal as explained on Linuxhints:


and then in the OSD menu, by going to Display->Touch rotation and change the value to 270 (if rotate right) or 90 (if rotate left) degrees.

10.1-inch Raspberry Pi PC portrait mode

If the router is a bit far, WiFi will disconnect easily, so better place the device close to the router or use an Ethernet cable. I don’t usually have connection troubles over WiFi with my phone in the same location.

You’d expect a software keyboard on a touchscreen display, so I installed matchbox-keyboard:


It kinds of works, but some characters are missing probably due to missing fonts that can be installed, but more importantly, since I’ve received the model with 1280×800 resolution the software keyboard would often cover the terminal windows, so I’d have to resize it. I ended up using a wireless keyboard with a USB dongle since it’s more convenient.

matchbox keyboard 1280x800 resolution

Note it’s possible to change the layout and parameters of the keyboard by changing keyboard.xml, but it’s out of the scope of this review.

Using RPI All-in-One as an HDMI (touchscreen) display

The display can also be used as a standard HDMI display. Simply connect an HDMI cable between your host (e.g. a laptop) and the HDMI input of the display, then change the input to HDMI-IN, and you’re good. Just like any TV or monitor. I’d always make sure to turn off the fan in that case, since it’s not needed.

RPI All-in-One Display connected to laptop with HDMI

The resolution is confirmed to be 1280×800, and I find the display to be much sharper than the 1366×768 laptop screen I used for testing.

Ubuntu CEX 7" HDMI displayThe display shows up as CEX 7″, another touchscreen display for Raspberry Pi, so I assume RPI All-in-One simply used the same chip.

If you need the touchscreen function, you’ll need to connect the USB Type-C to USB Typa-A cable provided in the package. The kernel output for the USB touchscreen reports it as TSTP MTouch model:


And it works without doing anything, except for a little detail…

HDMI Touchscreen display wrong display
You can see the software keyboard shown on the main display, and that’s because the touchscreen is mapped to the wrong display… So If I tap on the actual touchscreen display the pointer will be shown on the laptop display. There’s an easy fix via Askubuntu:

We should find out the name of the display with xrandr:


So that would be HDMI-0.

Then we can look up the device ID for the USB touchscreen with xinput:


Now let’s map TSTP Mtouch (device id 22) to HDMI-0 display:


It works!
Ubuntu configure touchscreen display

USB-C display function

If you own a device with a USB Type-C port supporting DisplayPort Alt Mode, you can do the same over a single cable. I tried it with UP Xtreme i11 mini PC equipped with a USB 4.0/Thunderbolt port. At first, it did not seem to work at all and each time I selected USB-C input I was redirected to HDMI-RPI after a few seconds. So I made sure the DisplayPort Alt Mode functioning the mini PC worked using a USB-C dock connected to the HDMI input of the display.

AAEON UP Xtreme 11 mini PC USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode

I tried again connecting the USB-C cable between the mini PC and display, and the display got dark for a while, and eventually, we could access Ubuntu 20.04 with the touchscreen function over a single cable. Please note that the power supply still needs to be connected in that case, as the USB-C interface of the display does not support power, only data and DisplayPort.

USB-C display via USB 4 Thunderbolt port

Can RPI All-in-One PC work with another SBC?

The display should work with any hardware equipped with HDMI and USB ports, but finding a board that fits into the enclosure like Raspberry Pi 4 does it more of a challenge. I’ve tried other Raspberry Pi compatible boards in RPi accessories in the past, and there’s always a problem with the board not fitting. I still tried Rockchip RK3399 based NanoPi M4V2 board with low confidence, especially since the ports are different (USB-C + Full-size HDMI).

NanoPi M4V2 Raspberry Pi AIO display

To my surprise, NanoPi M4V2 fit inside after pushing a bit and hearing some cracking noises… But I can see I get power, and the HDMI port looks to be inserted properly. I think that deserves another post, as I’ll have to flash an image, configure it, and drill some holes for the WiFi and Bluetooth to make a NanoPi M4V2 All-in-One PC. [Update: I’ve tested it already: Building a NanoPi M4V2 based All-in-One Linux PC running Armbian (Ubuntu/Debian)]

Video demo

Conclusion

RPI All-in-One is an interesting display that can be used as both a Raspberry PI All-in-One PC or an external display connected over HDMI + USB, or USB-C. The fan is quite noisy, but if you place a low-profile heatsink on top of your board, it can be easily disabled through the OSD menu. There’s also no reason at all to use the fan when use as an external display.

The display is mostly designed for fixed operation on a desk or VESA mounted, as it lacks a battery and requires connection to the mains at all times. Both landscape and portrait modes are possible by require changing some settings in the OSD menu and/or operating system of the host device.

I’d like to thank EVICIV for sending a review sample. If you are interested you can purchase the 10.1-inch 1280×800 version  for $159.99 on Amazon, or even $149.99 since there’s $10 coupon at this time. The 1366×768 and 1920×1200 versions of the touchscreen display are also sold on Aliexpress,

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10 Comments
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tkaiser
tkaiser
4 months ago

> Unsurprisingly throttling occurred, but only for a short time during 7-zip multi-thread test

According to the output it wasn’t throttling but frequency capping as the result of supply voltage dropping below 4.6V or something like that. Also it happened ‘since last reboot’ and not during benchmark execution (since then it would’ve been mentioned in dmesg output).

wanderer_
4 months ago

Yeah, I’m generally skittish about trusting the sometimes-voracious model 4 to a cheap or possibly sketchy power supply.

Larry
Larry
4 months ago

This is interesting.

When people tried to install Linux on their
slim and quiet Android tablet.

When people tried to install a full size raspberry Pi 4 to the RPI all-in-one.

linuxgeex
4 months ago

I’d love something like that which instead used a CM4 inside the tablet case with max 1cm thick. As much as the Hack-a-Day design with the RPi slapped on the back in its own box gives it a warm geeky vibe, its both impractical for travel (way more likely to damage) and not very comfortable in the lap. The benefit of using an RPi4 instead of CM4 is that in future the ports may be upgraded. The benefit of the CM4 is that there’s a hope in hell of making it into an actual tablet form-factor, and perhaps even a… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 months ago

The 49.2kHz is almost certainly the line-rate of the signal being fed to the monitor (i.e. how many total lines per second – including blanking) 49.2kHz as a line rate at 1280×800 60Hz suggests that the signal being fed to the display is 49200/60 = 820 lines per second, so the 800 line active signal is sent as 820 total Iines (with 20 lines of vertical blanking period) Conventional SDTV 625/50 PAL has a line rate of 15.625kHz (625 x 25), conventional 525/59.94 NTSC has a line rate of 15.734kHZ (525×29.97) (50->25 and 59.94->29.97 because of 2:1 interlace being used… Read more »

Andrew Lazarev
4 months ago

Would be interesting the same one but with Russian ARM CPU “Baikal”

paul
paul
3 months ago

Have you measured the power consumption with the cpu idle? I am wondering about the practicality of battery power for short periods. Not for travel or real portability, but to temporarily unplug it to bring it over to another part of the room. That is unfortunate if the included power cube can’t deliver enough power to run the pi 4. Even worse if the problem is the internal dc-dc converter making 5 volts from 12. Your other post said it was a 12 volt 2 amp supply, so 24 watts, though some of it must go to the screen. Unfortunately… Read more »

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