The Raspberry Pi 4 is a single-board computer with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, support for up to 8GB of RAM, and a starting price of $35 (for a model with 2GB of RAM).
It’s hardly the most powerful computer money can buy, but it’s got enough horsepower to make it a decent media streamer, retro gaming machine, or even a simple desktop computer (as long as you’re comfortable with the fact that some software may not work).
One limitation though? It uses a microSD card for storage, which can be a limiting factor when it come to speed and storage capacity. But the Raspberry Pi 4 can support a range of accessories including hard drives – and the new DeskPi Pro is basically a PC case for the little computer that makes adding a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD easy. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Actually, calling the DeskPi Pro a case might be a little misleading, because it’s actually more like a system for transforming the single-board computer into something more like a desktop PC.
In addition to the case, there’s a board that connects to the HDMI and USB ports on the Raspberry Pi 4 in order to”
- Replace the two micro HDMI ports with two full-sized HDMI ports.
- Move those ports to the back of the computer, so they’re on the same side as most of the USB ports.
- Add three extra USB ports (two on the front, one on the back).
- Move the microSD card reader to the front.
The 2.5 inch drive bay support comes courtesy of a USB-to-SATA Connector, which allows you to add a laptop-sized storage device.
The DeskPi Pro also comes with a cooling system that offers active or passive cooling thanks to fan speed controls. And it comes with a power supply.
Priced at $55 during pre-orders, the DeskPi Pro costs more than an entry-level Raspberry Pi 4 computer. But it still lets you create a small, low-power desktop computer for around $90 – $130 once you factor in the price of the Raspberry Pi.
Update: Now that pre-orders have ended, the DeskPi Pro is available for purchase from the DeskPi website for $60.
One thing to keep in mind is that this case/system is only compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4. Earlier versions of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s little computer have a different port layout, so they won’t work with the DeskPi Pro’s adapter board.