Recently, the Raspberry Pi Foundation over in the UK surprised me with an updated model called the Raspberry Pi 4 (Modal B). While the naming convention is easy to follow, this little board is more than just an upgrade in name only, it is now powerful enough to be a basic desktop replacement. If you need something to surf the web, communicate and do spreadsheets then this little guy starting at $35 may be for you.
So what is a Raspberry Pi if you are not following the wonderful world of Tech News? Think of it as a small computer that fits in the palm of your hand because that is exactly what it is. For those that love to tinker or learn, these little computers can be used for all sorts of projects and in education. Some schools use them to teach coding and computer skills to their students while Makers use them to create robots, make weather stations that record information, coding applications and Internet of Things hardware like Smart Thermostats, or even building Retro Arcade Cabinets like myself to play Pac-man or Galaga.
Like I said, the Raspberry Pi 4 is more than a numeral update to the name. The processor is now a beefier Quad core processor which means multi-tasking and working with power-demanding tasks like streaming 4K video can be done with stuttering. The Pi 4 also gives you the option to purchase in 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of RAM. If you find yourself running larger programs or using this little guy as your desktop, the 4GB is always welcome. 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.o Low Energy mean connecting to wireless and connecting peripherals is easier to do and more efficient.
There are a few other differences but the largest and most interesting is the support now for dual 4K displays with the micro-HDMI out ports. This means you can have two screens running from the same Pi and have both of them running beyond 1080P now. This is one of the shining reasons to step up to the Pi4 from the other versions.
If you are interested in the new Raspberry Pi 4 and other Raspberry Projects, check out the projects page here: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/
Keep an eye on Garland Area MakerSpace as we may have a session on setting up a Pi for the first time and more info hands on at once of our future Pop-Demo Events.