Tech by VICE

The Raspberry Pi 4 Is Here and Wants to Replace Your Desktop PC for $35

The Raspberry Pi Foundation claims it’s finally built a tiny computer that can replace a desktop PC.

by Matthew Gault
Jun 24 2019, 7:00am

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is today releasing the Raspberry Pi 4, the latest in its line of cheap, versatile, credit card sized computers.

Raspberry Pi’s are bare bones machines that can pull off a lot of tricks. Users have transformed the computers into cell towers, supercomputers, and retro game consoles. The new models comes with 4K support, USB 3.0, dual display support, and up to 4GB of RAM. NASA recently admitted a hacker gained access to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) through “a Raspberry Pi computer that was not authorized to be attached to the JPL network.”

The Pi 4 will come in three models: $35 for 1GB of RAM, $45 for 2GB, and $55 for 4GB. “It's roughly three times as powerful as its predecessor, Raspberry Pi 3+, and around forty times as powerful as the original Raspberry Pi from 2012,” Matt Richardson—Executive Director, North America for the Raspberry Pi Foundation—said over email.

Richardson wants users to see the Pi 4 as a viable alternative to desktop PCs. “One feature that wasn't widely requested, but which we felt was important was dual-display support,” Richardson said. “If you look around our office, almost everyone is using their PC with two displays, so this felt like something that was important to fulfil our aspiration of being a genuine alternative to legacy PCs.”

Replacing the PC desktop has been a long standing goal of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Richardson thinks it’s finally designed a machine that can do that. “This is the first product we've made which most users will find to be a viable alternative,” he said. “On some level the changes are just quantitative: the same features, but turned up to eleven. But together they seem to add up to a qualitative change in the experience of using the device.”