I have heard many opinions about the Raspberry Pi 4 recently and would like to share my own. I have split this comment into some categories for you to skip between uninteresting parts. DISCLAIMER: I am a Raspberry Pi fanboy with 2 3Bs, 1 3B+ and a Pi Zero on my desk (more around the house).
With the Raspberry Pi 4, the RPi foundation is making a move into different markets meaning that it can grow as a company. It has added features to please all wanted markets (education, home use and makers) but has needed to make some tradeoffs to please others. In sections where I think different opinions could be held, I have inserted my take on it.
Micro HDMI I believe was not the best move for the RPi foundation, however, not the worst for the following reasons. Adapters are offered by all retailers as an add-on for very cheap which would be inconsequential considering the savings made on going with a Raspberry Pi. The Home users market probably see this as a great feature to be able to connect 2 displays. The education market probably doesn’t care other than the added cost for an adapter (but they buy in bulk so who knows) and makers probably see this as a nuisance, but can expand the number of uses for their Raspberry Pi (as @rv6502 mentioned, running multiple displays should be now possible with more ports and faster decoding). Some better alternatives could have been HDMI over USB-C, stacked connectors or changing the 1GB (2GB as well?) SKU to a single normal HDMI port.
USB-C for power delivery is an odd move, however one which I strongly agree with. USB-C allows for higher power delivery, of which seems to be needed over the requests on their website for a 15watt power brick. It is also more durable than Micro-USB which is good because it will be the most used port. I have managed to break the Micro-USB power connector on my P iZero. Now it is also standard on modern android smartphones which helps for cheaper after-market power supplies and cables.
The other changes in connectivity are very much welcomed by me. Full Gigabit ethernet not on a USB-3 bus? Sign me up. USB-3 ports? Great.
Performance improvements are always welcome, here are my thoughts. Having 3x the performance of the predecessor and 15x the performance of the original will mean that it is adequate for many more uses. Here is a thought: With 4GB of RAM, a quad core 1.5GHZ processor and low power consumption, maybe someone will come out. with a Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module powered Chromebook competitor.
While there are some gripes about the RPi 4, it is a great little computer which has enough power to be a main PC in some people’s homes. The marketing and placement of the RPi 4 backs this up too… The selling of official keyboard and mice as well as a “Desktop Kit” show a change in direction.
For those angry with the new release I have 3 points for you:
- You are a power user. Many people disagree with your opinions and will buy this product as home PC for lack of needing something better.
- I challenge you to build a $35 personal computer of this calibre, it’s hard.
- The Raspberry Pi foundation has continued producing and selling all previous Raspberry Pis, back to the original B+ model
Graphics encoding and decoding as well as drivers should be much better because of the Hardware H.265 4K60 decoding and the open source, up to date OpenGL driver being used by default. (see https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/buster-the-new-version-of-raspbian/)
Two final things:
I get it, they got the copyright or developed or whatever in2018 but as a foundation/charity wouldn’t they tell the public about something in development and not lie that “no Raspberry Pi 4 will be here anytime soon” (I’m pretty sure Eben said that in 2018).
What is that blue eye makeup below the eye???