In June of last year the world was introduced to the Raspberry Pi 4: a tiny computer with an even smaller price tag that could run a full desktop operating system making it useful for more than just hacks and homebrew projects. To celebrate the Pi’s eighth birthday it just became an even better bargain with the base version getting an upgrade to 2GB of RAM for free.
When announced last year the Raspberry Pi 4 was made available in three versions differentiated by their price and how much memory they included: 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB for $35, $45, or $55, respectively. But as you prepare to celebrate the quad-annual arrival of February 29 in two days, take a moment to remember that eight years ago the original Raspberry Pi first went on sale. To commemorate the occasion, its creators have reduced the price of the Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM down to $35, matching the price of the 1GB version.
Oddly, the Raspberry Pi Foundation still intends to sell the 1GB version at its original $35 price as well, but aren’t expecting too many consumers to opt for that version from here on out. And despite the 2GB version’s price drop being the result of falling RAM prices, the 4GB Raspberry Pi 4 will remain priced at $55 for the foreseeable future.
From our own tests the Raspberry Pi 4, which boasts 40 times the processing power, eight times the memory, and 10 times the bandwidth of the original version from eight years ago, can be used to build a very usable desktop PC. Performance will, of course, be optimal with the 4GB version, and you’ll need to factor in the price of requisite accessories like a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, but if you’re looking to put together a highly affordable machine (and are okay with navigating the ins and outs of a Linux based operating system based around Debian 10 Buster) the Raspberry Pi 4 can reliably run Chrome and other less processor-intensive applications such as word processors, email apps, and spreadsheets.
As long as you don’t expect to build a photo or video processing powerhouse for less than $100, there’s now more reason than ever to consider a Raspberry Pi.