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.
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.