+ Monday September 23rd, 2019

Microcomputing is a hobby for some, and a serious business for others. With tiny computers that can do everything from running a home media centre to uses in industrial automation, the Raspberry Pi has been a popular tinkerers toy for a couple of years now, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released the 4th major version of the hardware.

Sticking with the same bargain basement pricing of $35 US for the base board, the Raspberry Pi 4 features a number of improvements over the previous generation, including:

  • Dual 4K HDMI outputs
  • 1.5 GHz Quad Core ARM processor (3x performance boost)
  • Choice of 1, 2 and 4GB RAM models
  • Full-throughput gigabit ethernet
  • Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2 x USB 3 and 2 x USB 2

The only price difference between the three options is for different RAM configurations, starting at $35 for 1GB, $45 for 2GB, and $55 for 4GB.

The Raspberry Pi 4 has also moved from MicroUSB for power to the increasingly ubiquitous USB-C power standard, meaning more power for the board, and more power for connected USB devices.

While the board supports dual 4K HDMI displays, you’ll need some adaptor cables; to fit everything in the small footprint, the Foundation has used Type-D micro HDMI connectors, but you can buy adaptors just about anywhere for a few dollars.

rasp_pi_usb

With this much power in a tiny formfactor, the Raspberry Pi 4 can easily replace a desktop for modest use; while you mightn’t get 45 Chromium tabs running here, the RasPi 4 can easily handle web browsing, email, office tasks and a couple of simultaneous tabs.

To that end, the Foundation has released a new version of Raspbian based on Debian 10 Buster. Amongst the improvements are the Chromium 74 web browser, a more modernised desktop interface and the usual technical improvements and bug fixes.

If you’re in the mood for some hobby projects involving a tiny little PC, check out the full details on the new Raspberry Pi 4 here, and keep an eye out for local availability.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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