The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the fourth version of its miniature budget computer. The Raspberry Pi 4 keeps the same form-factor and $35 starting price of its predecessor, but it has improved specs across the board. It now comes with up to 4GB of RAM (four times that of any previous Pi), a faster CPU and GPU, faster Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, twice the amount of HDMI outputs, and two USB 3 ports.
These upgrades mean that the Raspberry Pi 4 is usable as a budget desktop PC replacement if you opt for its most expensive 4GB model. Tom’s Hardware’s review notes that the hardware is able to handle many everyday tasks such as web browsing with up to 15 Chromium tabs, light image editing using GIMP, and document and spreadsheet work using Libre Office. Unsurprisingly, the sub-$100 miniature PC has its limits. It reportedly struggles with full screen video playback from YouTube for example, even if you turn down the resolution to 480p.
Here’s a full list of the Raspberry Pi 4’s improvements over its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 3 B+:
- Quad-core 1.5GHz Broadcom CPU, up from 1.4GHz in the previous model.
- 500MHz VideoCore VI GPU, up from 400MHz previously.
- A USB Type-C port for power, rather than Micro USB.
- Two Micro HDMI ports which can power two 4K monitors at 30fps, or a single 4K monitor at 60fps alongside a 1080p display.
- Two USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports, up from four USB 2 ports.
- A Gigabit Ethernet port which is no longer throttled by a USB interface.
- Bluetooth 5.0 rather than 4.1.
- Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
- A microSD storage card with a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 50 Mbps, up from 25 Mbps.
- A 40 pin GPIO connector with support for three more interfaces; I2C, SPI, and UART.
The Raspberry Pi 4 is available starting today with either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM for $35, $45, and $55, respectively.