RASPBERRY PI has been one of the great British tech success stories of the decade, and the company has just announced its fourth generation flagship - the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.
The maker-board mini computer has really grown up with this release, and to prove it, it's being offered with optional (removable) case and bundles including a customised keyboard which acts as a USB hub, and a mouse.
In short, if you're not into the hardware modding side, you can pretty much use it as a desktop computer straight from the box - in fact, the Raspberry Pi Foundation claims it sits on a par with an entry level x86 laptop.
Talking about this pivot towards a more complete experience, Eben Upton, King of the Raspberries told The INQUIRER: "We've always seen ourselves as a PC company, and measured ourselves against the PC industry. Every iteration of Raspberry Pi has brought us closer to our goal of delivering PC-equivalent performance, and Raspberry Pi 4 finally gets us there for all but the most demanding users.
"It's a big step forward for us, and we're looking forward to seeing how it's received."
The Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core 64-bit processor clocked at 1.5GHz is flanked by two 4K mini-HDMI ports for twin monitor support, RAM up to 4GB, dual-band wifi, Bluetooth 5.0, an ethernet port, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports and PoE capability via one of the Pi's legendary "hats".
The WiFi/Bluetooth has been certified for modular compliance. That means that you can base your whole product around an RP4 from the off, there's no need to have your own custom board printed.
The RP4B is backwards compatible with previous Pis, thanks to the 40-pin GPIO header we know so well. As usual, the operating system sits on a microSD card, which can be expanded to allow for storage.
Finally, the power supply moves into the 2010s with a USB-C connector powered at 3A, which should provide extra options for those high-drain projects.
As ever, Raspberry Pi is offering a long shelf life for the RP4B. It will remain in production until at least January 2026 with support - official and unofficial likely to last into the 2030s.
The barebones Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is charged according to RAM - the cheapest barebones model (1GB) will set you back a mere $35 (£28), the 2GB is $45 (£36) and the top-whack 4GB model is still a mere $55 (£43). The full package with keyboard, mouse, microSD card, casing and a lavishly tooled book of projects to get you started is $120 (£105). All are available now, with further packs to be announced.
The INQUIRER has been tinkering with the RP4B over the weekend - check soon for our full review. μ
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