A Raspberry isn't a cheap berry

Just bought a couple of RPi 3’s for a contract project (more on that later).

They’re great. Really great. But the idea that they’re cheap is not true.

First, the board (35€). Then, a decent sd card (8€). Then, a big enough power source (10-15€). Then a keyboard and mouse (15€). A case. (10-15€). Monitor/LCD (25€ used) and HDMI cable (7€).

You can easily run to 100€-125€ to be able to use a RPi for something. A decent used laptop is that price.

Any opinions? Is RPi really cheap or not?

1 Like

Nope, not for what the hardware is, you’re right, a similar spec laptop would be about the same price.

1 Like

If you get each of all the needed stuff second-hand, maybe you can manage to get the whole under 50 :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Depends on the use, i use this


To run RetroPie, and i am happy with it.

If you’re going to use it as a laptop, yeah.

For a headless server or robotics projects, all you need is a cheap power supply (any phone charger will do) and the SD card. Remote SSH into it.

For emulation: a controller, SD and a better power supply. The graphics card in a Pi is better than the one in many Intel laptops.

1 Like

As someone who has more than a handful and then some, I’d consider them “cheap” for what they are. I already had most of the peripherals laying around, so for me buying just a 35$ board and a 6$ case was pretty good.

But of course, it’s true when you buy bundles and extra gear the price goes up. But, it’s a specialty item to me that I can’t get from a normal laptop, to have the gpio available for extra projects is really valuable. So, for that end, I’d consider it pretty cheap.


the are one of the better cheap well supported micro computers
they range from 6 to 35 euro’s depending on model
there others aswell but usualy not very well suported with exeption to the asus tinkerboard

but lets face it its a stripped down last generation phone chip with io pins, its use is mostly for embedded applications and the likes of low power home server nas, chomecast type tv thing and robotics
just to defend it atleast a little agains say a old laptop is it has a upgrade path you dont need to buy everything again and again and some aplications dont need a screen or keyboard

i also feel like putting a new product against an used product isnt right, that laptop still costed 500 or more and your lucky people trowing out pentium towers for free

1 Like

They originally pushed the idea as something that you buy while re-using the other items that you already have!

Video output was both A/V and HDMI, hence you could use your tv and wouldn’t need a dedicated monitor (PC heresy, right?)

SD-Card…ok not every one has them just sat around the house but they aren’t expensive.

OS - free

mse / kbd - up cycled from an old pc etc…

It just meant that the main board was cheap enough to buy for pocket money and not SO expensive that it would be a high financial risk if you accidentally fried it when experimenting with hardware hacking etc.

It was designed to be low cost / low risk.


Yep, that’s the typical use case in my view, and that’s how I use it. Basically let it run a small server or something without the need of monitor/keyboard – you can either temporarily plug some in when you need to operate it, or better just connect remotely.


If you don’t need direct access to the Raspberry Pi but want the GUI, you can avoid the cost of keyboard, mouse and monitor by accessing via remote desktop. RealVNC server is part of the Raspbian build by default now, but an even more flexible remote access method is novnc which you can install as described here. novnc allows you to access the remote desktop from a browser with no software to install on the client side.

Add to that a power supply (USD7 ea in qty 4) an SD card (USD6) and a cheap ebay case (USD$1.3) and you’ve got my version of an inexpensive system. The case is actually designed for the Model 2, but you can file the SD card notch a bit to make access on the Model 3 reasonable.

1 Like

X window allows remote GUI by design, no need to install anything, just do ssh -X ... :slight_smile:

1 Like

I absolutely have to have a GUI :slightly_smiling_face:
Can not stand using command lines unless I have no choice.

I know that it’s heresy in techie circles but I really don’t care…I got fed up with commands lines back in the Vic20 BBC B era, managed to avoid it as best I could with the Speccy +2 and then along came the Amiga and made it all better :wink:

Thanks for the tips though. I have two or three un-used Raspi’s atm and I really ought to be doing something with them. I’m considering making a BrewPi setup as I’ll be doing a different kind of Homebrew soon o_0!

Less hacking, and a bit more tasting! (blatantly just drinking :joy: But obviously it’s not big and it’s not clever, right kids?! ) :open_mouth:

1 Like