A Better Pi

A new-generation, more powerful Raspberry Pi arrives

On Monday, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the launch of its new computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. The device is an overhaul of its predecessor, rather than a mere improvement on previous models.

The first Raspberry Pi was introduced in 2012, and it became an instant hit. The diminutive development board has become better with every update, and the latest version is no exception as it has been beefed up with new features.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation appears committed to a price tag of $35 for the device. Unlike the previous model, which was also priced at $35 and came with 1GB of RAM, the Raspberry Pi 4 allows for greater RAM configurations. Customers can buy a variant with 2GB of memory for $45 or the fully loaded model with 4GB for $55.

The Raspberry Pi 4 offers improved specifications across the board. It supports 4K screens and 4GB of RAM, which is four times more memory than that offered by the previous generation; a faster CPU and graphics processing unit; a quad-core 1.5 GHz Broadcom CPU, up from 1.4 GHz in the previous model; gigabit Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi. It also has two micro-HDMI ports instead of the full-size HDMI port of the Raspberry Pi 3, two USB 3 and a couple of USB 2 ports. The device uses USB-C for power rather than a micro USB port, and features Bluetooth 5.0.

These upgrades mean that the Raspberry Pi 4 is now usable as a budget desktop PC. The foundation is also offering a full-blown desktop computing kit. The bundle, which is priced at $120, includes the 4GB Raspberry Pi 4, a case, a power supply and USB cable, a keyboard and mouse, a pair of HDMI cables and a 16GB microSD card that has the latest Raspbian operating system pre-installed.

At $35, Raspberry Pi has always offered stellar value, and it has become popular as a platform for microcomputer enthusiasts, prototype developers and educators worldwide. It has spawned several copycat competitors, and there’s now a substantial ecosystem of compatible add-ons. With numerous notable upgrades, the new Raspberry Pi 4 is even more attractive than previous generations. This is no small deal.