Raspberry Pi 4 is the latest version of the most popular development board to hit the market. It is a small computer, which includes all the components it needs to function, on a board that just exceeds the dimensions of a credit card. This opens up countless possibilities of use. In this article we will talk about the 5 most interesting uses that you can give to the new Raspberry Pi 4 .
A mini desktop PC
Converting a Raspberry Pi 4 into a small mini desktop PC is the main use that is often given to this development board. The new model includes a much more powerful processor than the previous ones, thanks to the Cortex A72 cores, and the possibility of choosing a version with up to 4 GB of RAM.
This means that you can have a fairly powerful mini desktop PC, for a price that barely reaches € 60, in the most powerful configuration of this small development board. The newly assembled processor is more than enough to perform tasks such as browsing the web , writing documents, completing spreadsheets, creating Powerpoint presentations, checking email, listening to music, watching YouTube videos, and much more.
Thanks to the 4 USB ports included in the new Raspberry Pi 4, you can connect all the peripherals you need to use the device as a mini PC. This means that we can connect without problem is a keyboard, a mouse, even a webcam and a printer if you wish. In addition, its two mini HDMI outputs will allow you to connect up to two monitors to the board.
Raspbian is the official operating system for the Raspberry Pi 4. This operating system is based on the popular Linux distribution known as Debian. Raspbian allows you to install all the applications that exist for Linux, so you will not have any limitations when using it as a mini PC based on this operating system.
Raspberry Pi as Media Center
Another very common use that has been given to all existing versions of the Raspberry Pi is to use them as a small Media Center device. The possibility of installing Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 4 makes it an excellent option for users who want to have a very compact multimedia center, where you can enjoy all their movies, series, and other audiovisual content.
The processor included in the Raspberry Pi 4 is capable of processing video at a resolution of up to 4K and a maximum speed of 60 frames per second . This means that practically no video format will be choked, and you will be able to see all your content with great sharpness and fluidity.
Remember that Kodi has a lot of extensions and add-ons, which you can install in a very simple way, to improve their functions, and further increase the possibilities of using your new Raspberry Pi 4
Create your own NAS system
A NAS is a small computer designed to store files, and that is continuously connected to the router . This will allow us to access all the content of the NAS from any other device, with the capacity to connect to the Internet network of our home.
NAS are ideal for storing movies, series, anime and all kinds of multimedia content . These systems have the disadvantage that they are quite expensive, with prices that easily exceed € 100, to which we have to add the price of hard drives, which are not included in practically any case.
The Raspberry Pi is the cheapest alternative we can find, to mount a home NAS, in which we can store all our multimedia files. We can even take advantage of an old laptop hard drive that we have at home, we will only need a small adapter from the SATA interface to a USB port.
XigmaNAS is a free and open source operating system, which allows us to transform the Raspberry Pi into a home NAS in a very simple way. This system offers us practically all the functions that we can find in the most commercial ones. It will also help us to recycle an old hard drive that we keep at home.
Build a retro arcade machine
The last use that we propose for the new Raspberry Pi 4, is the construction of a retro video game machine. Retropie and Recalbox are the main operating systems that we can install on the Raspberry Pi, to turn it into a video console, capable of emulating old platforms. We recently published an article talking about how to turn the Raspberri Pi 4 into a retro console.
The previous versions of Raspberry Pi were in power cuts to emulate the games of the most demanding consoles, such as the Sega Dreamcast and the Nintendo 64. Thanks to its new processor with cores based on the most powerful Cortex A72 architecture, the Raspberry Pi 4 can offer 2-3 times the performance of its predecessor . This will be enough to greatly improve the gaming experience on these demanding platforms.
There have even been users who have been able to create their own home and portable game consoles thanks to the Raspberry Pi. Imagine being able to have in the palm of your hand a retro console in the style of the legendary Nintendo GameBoy, but with the possibility of playing most of the console games of old generations.
Home music streaming system
We end up with the possibility of using the new Raspberry Pi 4 as a small home music streaming system . For this we will take advantage of the 3.5 mm jack connector, which includes the Raspberry Pi 4, and which allows us to connect it to some speakers that we have at home.
To add the streaming functionality, we will use the Pi MusicBox operating system , which is completely free and can be downloaded very easily from the project's official website. This operating system is compatible with the DLNA and AirPlay transmission protocols , and allows you to work with the most popular streaming applications such as Spotify, Google Music and SoundCloud.
Once you have everything set up, you can now send music, podcasts, and even radio shows from your smartphone to the Raspberry Pi 4.
These are the 5 most interesting uses for the new Raspberry Pi 4. Have you already had the chance to test one of these development boards? We want to know your opinion, you can leave your experience of use in a comment to help other users.