The latest in an established line of high-power low-cost computers, we’ve been excited to get our hands on a Raspberry Pi for a while now. As the most recent and fully featured of the lineup, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comes with some of the best features of the older models, with the most up-to-date additions which leave it as an incredibly malleable small profile device.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Design
The element which surprises most newly introduced to this device is the small size. At around 10mm X 85mm x 56mm, the base unit is not much larger than a modern cell phone. It also comes without a dedicated cover by default, with the idea being that the highly customized software portion of the device is mirrored by a highly customizable exterior.
As for the actual device specifications:
- Quad-Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
- 1GB RAM
- BCM43438 wireless LAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board
- 100 Base Ethernet
- 40-pin extended GPIO
- 4 USB 2 ports
- 4 Pole stereo output and composite video port
- Full size HDMI
- CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
- DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
- Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
- Upgraded switched Micro USB power source up to 2.5A
Also necessary, but not included in the base package:
- Micro SD card with NOOBS
- Micro USB power supply (2.1 A)
And when using the device as a desktop computer, the user will also require a TV or monitor with an HDMI cable, and a USB mouse and keyboard.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Features
The primary selling point of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comes down to the device’s versatility. Effectively, this is a machine which has been created with varied dedicated singular tasks in mind, and there is a considerable following of talented programmers and designers who have been working to unlock the device’s potential.
While there are a few already built programs which the device excels at, it should be noted that one of the main advantages here is the open environment, which can be customized and shared freely with many different programs over at Github. Don’t be afraid, however – the device is still quite user-friendly and comes with a huge quantity of helpful tutorials.
Most commonly, these can be used as small but powerful media players. Simply connect a hard drive containing media, hook the device up to a screen, connect a mouse or keyboard, and you are ready to go. Relaxing after a long day at work, coming home to enjoy a relaxing game of bingo? You can simply use the browser, check any deals and bonuses with websites like Oddschecker, and then jump straight into the action with sites like Coral and Mecca. Low fuss, and far more streamlined than many traditional computer systems.
Alternatively, the user might consider purchasing a prebuilt and dedicated variant of Rasberry Pi, if they do not feel comfortable starting from scratch themselves. Prebuilt units here can run the gambit, from the mentioned dedicated media player or browser units to the incredibly popular retro gaming emulator named RetroPie, which is one of the best ways to experience thousands of retro video games on a modern setup. This allows the user to enjoy games on modern control devices like the DS4 controller, which have numerous control and ergonomic advantages.
In an age where digital media is king, it is only natural that small task focused devices would eventually find their way into the mainstream. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the result of years of trial, error, and analysis on both the previous iterations of the device and the market as a whole. This directly targeted design, combined with surprisingly powerful specifications, allow it to succeed in a market which we can only see expanding in the future.
The only real limitations of this device as a dedicated task machine come from the growing interest in 4k media, as the device lacks the processor power to output at such a high bitrate. That said, this is a fantastic little device, though your individual appreciation will obviously depend on your reliance on smaller singular tasks, and your imagination.