Why every tech enthusiast should get a Raspberry Pi


Pei Zhao, Reporter

What is it?

Imagine holding a computer that fits in the palm of your hand. That is the Raspberry Pi 4. Despite being released in 2019, this small device has never stopped being a center of conversation among programmers and hobbyists. In fact, it is widely believed to be one of the major players in the digital learning age alongside the Arduino. While it will not replace any of the computers you might be using right now, this small device is definitely not something to be underestimated. Sporting a quad-core Cortex-A72 CPU and two micro HDMI slots, it is capable of running dual monitors at 4k video and up to 60 Hz refresh rate. However, the biggest selling point of this device is not its capability as a computer, but as a flexible brain for a multitude of DIY projects, many of which include a degree of hacking. 

How do I use it?

Operating a Raspberry Pi is fairly simple as it only requires a couple of parts to get running. The parts needed are the SD card, power supply, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. These will allow you to build a simple PC that can surf the internet, run code, and host servers amongst other things. If you want more of a challenge, you could use the GPIO pins to control external parts, such as LED lights, motors, and robots. There are also numerous helpful guides to various projects posted over the internet that will aid you in the learning process.

Why get one?

Why would someone ever want a cheaper and less powerful computer, you might ask? While it is true that you wouldn’t be using this to play modern video games or streaming videos, that was not its intended purpose anyway. The appeal of the Raspberry Pi is more closely tied to the hobby that it belongs to, playing a role by enabling people to bring experimental and innovative designs to life. Users of the Pi have developed working smart cameras, trackers, AI, and routers amongst other software-related electronics. The limit of a Raspberry Pi is boundless, and just a bit of creativity will allow you to create more than you thought was possible. If you love tinkering around, then this may just be the perfect fit for you.

Where can I get one?

The Raspberry Pi 4 is currently the latest model and the most recommended. It sits at roughly $35, $55, and $75 for 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB respectively. However, it is worth noting that purchasing a kit may be more worthwhile than simply getting the Raspberry Pi. After all, you still need other parts in order to make it work. If you are starting as a beginner, a kit gives you more value in terms of parts and help, while someone with more experience or already having all the parts may opt to buy the device on its own. If you are an enthusiast or think you may eventually become one, be warned that a single Raspberry Pi might not satiate your hunger.