by ANDREW HEINZMAN
We’ve waited almost half a year for the Raspberry Pi foundation to roll out the Pi 4. Now it’s here, and it’s clearly built with cheap desktop use in mind. For $120, the Pi 4 Desktop Kit is a killer deal.
The Raspberry Pi 4 is a much-needed refresh to the tried-and-true Pi 3. It has two USB 3.0 ports (alongside two USB 2.0 ports), a gigabit ethernet port, two Micro HDMI ports (with 4K dual monitor support) and a USB-C port for power. It also has an upgraded Broadcom BCM2711 SoC with four 1.5GHZ Cortex A72 CPU cores (that’s a mouthful), but the most significant boost to the Pi 4’s desktop capabilities is its RAM.
The basic $35 model of the Pi 4 comes with 1GB of RAM, just like the high-end Pi 3 boards. But you can also grab a board with 2GB RAM for $45, and a board with 4GB RAM for $55. Naturally, the 4GB RAM board is the best for desktop applications, and that’s why it’s included in the Pi 4 desktop kit.
For $120, buying the Pi 4 Desktop Kit is like buying a super cheap computer. It comes with the 4GB RAM board, a keyboard, a mouse, a USB-C power supply, a computer case, a guidebook, a 32GB microSD card pre-loaded with NOOBS and Raspbian, and two Micro HDMI to Standard HDMI cables (dual-monitors right out the box, baby). This set is ideal for anyone who’s just getting started with Linux, or for big-time Linux fans who want something cheap and new.
Of course, you don’t have to buy the Pi 4 Desktop Kit if you already have a keyboard, mouse, external storage, and Micro HDMI cables lying around. The $55 board with 4GB of RAM is the best choice for desktop use, and it’s a bargain in its own right. Whether you’re looking to build up a cheap and fun Linux desktop, a Plex server, a low-power NAS, or whatever else you can dream up in that brilliant brain of yours, the Pi 4 is a killer and affordable way to make it happen.