The Raspberry Pi line of single-board computers are basically tiny, cheap, low power PCs. But they tend to lack of some of the features you get with a normal desktop computer, like a case… or storage.

You can use a microSD card and/or USB drives for storage and there’s no shortage of third-party cases for Raspberry Pi computers. But the new Pi Desktop kit is one of the nicer looking options I’ve seen.

Sold by Element14, one of the primary distributors of Raspberry Pi hardware, the new Pi Desktop launches June 5th for just under $52.

The kit is designed to work with a Raspberry Pi 3 computer and has cut-outs for the $35 mini computer’s USB, Ethernet, power, AV, and HDMI ports.

There’s also an add-on board that hooks up to the Raspberry Pi’s 40-pin connector and adds a power controller, system clock, and mSATA interface that allows you to add up to 1TB of solid state storage. Since you can boot the computer from that SSD, you should see a bit of a performance boost over what you’d get if you installed Raspbian or a similar operating system to a slower microSD card.

Element14’s Pi Desktop also features a heat sink and comes with a USB adapter and everything else you need… except for the Raspberry Pi 3, which is sold separately.

via PC World





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15 replies on “$52 Pi Desktop kit turns a Raspberry Pi into a (more) complete PC”

  1. Purchased one of these units, and I am somewhat disappointed. Why?

    1) Includes an mSATA interface, but not the cable that is needed to connect the SSD drive .. and NO information on where to obtain the cable!

    2) The SSD will not fit in the case!

    3) NO access to the micro SD card once you assemble the PI into the case.

    Frankly, You can buy a quality case for a Pi for way less than $20 on eBay or Amazon, a USB to SSD adapter for way less than $20. The Real time clock is not as important, since the PI’s OS sets the current time when connected to the Internet.

    Save Your Money!

  2. $52 for case, $40 for Rpi3, $10 for SD card, $8 for power adapter. For an extra $40 you can get a Chromebox. An expensive case really doesn’t make sense.

    1. I think you’re confused about why many people want to buy Raspberry Pis in the first place.

      1. Honestly, he’s kind of right there, I’ve used an older asus chromebox as a main system for about a month and a half, and it’s a decently potent system, that can run linux and Windows, if you don’t mind hacking around with the software. Made for a funny joke when playing League of Legends, as there were some people that loaded slower than I did. Pi’s are pretty awesome little systems, and the power board would probably solve the issue with some USB Power supplies not giving the system enough juice sometimes. Actually wouldn’t mind something like this for my Asus Tinkerboard, but I don’t know if the 40 pin would line up with the proper pins.

      2. I have two RPi2 connected to my TVs without any case (used as kodi front-ends). I have two RPi3 at work that use GPIO and I2C to automate lab testing of cellphone chips (and have $15 zebra cases). I have a Rpi Zero connected to my home alarm system’s UART port that logs events.
        I thought that is why people bought RPi, and it’s got nothing to do with fancy cases or using them as a desktop replacement.

  3. Bonus! When it still does nothing useful, your Pi takes even more space in the junk drawer!

      1. I think they are another scam meant to separate gullible consumers from more cash. Like most of what gets shilled here.

        1. They have a niche usage. Buying one as a home computer in my opinion is kinda silly. For any low power server, tinkering, and even education, it’s $35 plus basic accessories well spent. I have mine setup as a print server among other uses.

    1. Looking at the pictures I’m assuming the top right USB port will be dedicated for the SATA adapter.

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