Raspberry Pi is becoming more popular nowadays due to a wide range of different reasons that you should know about. While Raspberry Pi was originally designed for basic computer literacy education, it has since been gaining a lot of fans from all sorts of different fields due to its wide range of benefits. However, you should also know that Raspberry Pi also has its own share of disadvantages. So, what are the pros and cons of Raspberry Pi?
As to its pros, Raspberry Pi is cheap, very small, and easy to use. However, Raspberry Pi is limited in terms of what it can do, is slow, isn’t tailored for larger tasks or multi-tasking.
The Raspberry Pi computer has a lot of different advantages that make it a favorite among users that want a computer that is tailored to fit their simple lifestyles. However, if you are someone who is looking to use this computer for larger and more complex tasks, you will find that Raspberry Pi isn’t a suitable replacement for your usual computer.
What are some of the benefits of a Raspberry Pi computer?
When you look at the computer playing field nowadays, there are plenty of large companies that tend to dominate the industry as most people would rather go for a full product that has all of the necessary capabilities and power of an actual computer so that they can do some of the usual things they need to do on a day-to-day basis. This includes writing documents, playing games, streaming videos or programming. But computers can be quite expensive and may even be more than enough for some people who don’t actually use even half the power of a full-blown computer.
Not everyone requires a powerful and large computer that can be expensive and might be too much for their needs. This is where microcomputers come in to help people who prefer to do simple tasks on a relatively affordable computer that can be more than enough for their needs.
One of the most popular single-board computers or microcomputers is the Raspberry Pi, which has its own niche market, especially in the UK because that is where it started out, but not only.
So, let us go into the details of why Raspberry Pi has its own certain advantages:
It is affordable
The very first thing that you need to know about the Raspberry Pi is that it is very affordable. It doesn’t come with the price tag that you usually see in most other computers because of how you can actually get this for an excellent price without paying a premium to be able to do simple tasks with a computer.
We tend to say that the price for the usual Raspberry Pi computer can be bought for as low as $35. It was true with the Raspberry Pi 3B+ (check the current price here), but the recent models are a bit more expensive because they have more memory (here is the typical price you can expect for a Raspberry Pi 4).
However, you would still need to buy certain components such as the SD card. In total, the price can cost you around $100 or sometimes more, but that is still pretty much a good price to pay instead of buying computers that will cost you at least $500.
To make sure you don’t forget anything while ordering your next Raspberry Pi, I highly recommend finding a kit with everything in it, so that you are sure all the accessories are compatible. I currently recommend this one for the Raspberry Pi 4.
Low power consumption
Another reason why a Raspberry Pi computer is pretty popular for a lot of different users is that it doesn’t consume a lot of power. That’s because it is merely a small computer that doesn’t need a lot of electricity to power up its small components. On top of that, this computer is only powered by one single board, which won’t end up eating a ton of power.
So, if you are looking to save money not only on the price of the computer itself but also in terms of its overall effects on your electricity consumption, a Raspberry Pi computer would be perfect for you and your needs.
Of course, one of the reasons why there are some people who prefer to use a Raspberry Pi computer is that it is quite small and can fit any kind of table. So, if you have a particularly small space and if your desk is already full of different stuff, you can take advantage of the Raspberry Pi’s smaller frame.
Also, the fact that the Raspberry Pi is quite small makes it perfect for kids. Originally, this computer was designed for basic computer science education for kids because of how affordable it is. As such, your kids can easily learn basic programming without taking a lot of desk space by using a Raspberry Pi.
Easy to use
One aspect that makes the Raspberry Pi stand out is that it is actually pretty easy to use in comparison to other computers. As mentioned, it was specifically designed to cater to the needs of kids who wanted to learn basic programming at an early age without the risk of bricking or breaking a $2,000 family computer.
As such, Raspberry Pi was specifically designed to be easy to use because of how it was designed for kids or even for people with little to no knowledge and experience regarding programming. So, if you want something that’s simple, a Raspberry Pi computer should be a good choice for you.
If you are still afraid to get started on that kind of specific device, you can always check my video course to help you take your first steps on Raspberry Pi. All the details are on this page.
Great for smaller tasks
If you are using a computer for simple tasks that don’t require a ton of power such as typing word documents, you are in luck because Raspberry Pi should be more than enough for your needs as it has the capabilities and free software that will allow you to create word documents. This makes it quite useful for those who only use their computers for smaller tasks.
On top of that, let’s face it, not all people and businesses need large computers for complex processes. This makes the Raspberry Pi a perfect substitute for those who are merely using computers for simple tasks in their jobs or their businesses. It’s cheap, easy to use, and capable enough to handle the smaller and simpler tasks that don’t require a more powerful processing power from a computer.
What are the disadvantages of a Raspberry Pi computer?
As useful as a Raspberry Pi computer may be, it still has some disadvantages that may be enough to make it less ideal to use for certain people regardless of what they may want to use it for. Here are some of the reasons why a Raspberry Pi might not be for you:
Limited in its functions
Let’s face the fact that something as small as a Raspberry Pi computer has plenty of limits in terms of what it can do. After all, it is only a single-board computer that was made and designed for children and for basic computer literacy. It will be great for basic tasks like programming, office work and web browsing, but not much more.
So, if you want a computer that is capable of doing more tasks such as playing recent games and doing heavy tasks, then a Raspberry Pi computer shouldn’t be your first choice.
You can’t expect a single-board computer to have lightning-fast speeds. That said, Raspberry Pi computers generally have slower processing speeds compared to the actual and more expensive computers in the market.
In that sense, you shouldn’t expect a Raspberry Pi to deliver you quick results if you are in a hurry or if you are doing plenty of different tasks that would easily eat up its memory and make it work slower.
As already said, it’s totally fine on basic tasks but don’t expect too much of a $35 computer.
Bad for larger tasks and for bigger businesses
If you are using your computer for your job or your business, there might be some instances that a Raspberry Pi would be useful especially if you are only using computers for simple tasks and processes that don’t necessarily require a powerful computer (here are a few ideas).
However, if you are already doing larger and more complex tasks or if you are running a bigger business, a Raspberry Pi computer won’t be useful because it doesn’t have the power and the capacity to help you in any of those due to its limited capacity and capabilities.
Bad for multitasking
We live in a fast-paced world that can sometimes demand us to do plenty of different things at the same time. And most jobs require us to do several tasks on one computer. As such, we need something that can help us multitask.
Sadly, a Raspberry Pi computer isn’t powerful enough to help you handle multiple tasks on a single computer. So, for those who are looking to multi-task frequently, a Raspberry Pi wouldn’t be the best choice because it mainly has the capabilities to handle simple tasks.
The recent models have better processor, with quad-core CPU in general, so that it’s less an issue as before. Yet, it doesn’t compete with any traditional desktop computer.
Should you go for Raspberry Pi?
Now that you know the different pros and cons of using a Raspberry Pi computer, you might be wondering by now if whether or not it is actually worth it. After all, it might be better to spend a thousand dollars on a real computer than to buy something cheap but isn’t quite useful. So, should you go for a Raspberry Pi computer?
It depends on what you are going to use it for and if you think that buying a computer that is less than $100 is going to be a good investment. Frankly, there are some (including me) who actually use their Raspberry Pi to play older computer games on ancient videogame consoles, but there are those who also use it for actual computing tasks that are simple. In that sense, it becomes a good investment for the price you are going to pay for it.
I think it’s also a great investment as a first computer for your kids.
However, if you are expecting the Raspberry Pi to be a miracle worker at $50 or so dollars, then you probably shouldn’t buy one. It might be cheap but, if you are always doing heavier tasks with your computer, then there is no reason for you to buy a Raspberry Pi which might only end up accumulating dust on your desk.
So, for me, it can be a good investment if you are willing to shell out less than a hundred bucks for a pretty capable small machine. But, if every dollar counts for you, and you are looking to make use of a computer for a lot of different complex tasks, then you shouldn’t bother buying a Raspberry Pi or a microcomputer, for that matter.
|Affordable (price starting at $35)||Limited functions|
|Low power consumption||Not ideal for multitasking|
|Great for small tasks and limited goals||Bad for larger tasks|
|Easy to use|
Not yet decided? Here are a few other articles that might help you to better understand the Raspberry Pi universe:
- 15 projects you can do on a Raspberry Pi as a beginner
- Is Raspberry Pi easy to learn?
- Raspberry Pi Buying Guide