The Raspberry Pi Pico is the first microcontroller in the Pi range, which will leave some users with questions about how it compares to products already established in the market, like the Raspberry Pi 4. Though the two products can be used in conjunction with one another, there are many differences between the two.
Below, the major differences between the two products have been outlined, so you can understand how to make the most out of your Pi Pico and Pi 4, as well as understanding what both products can be used for.
Should you wish to get experimental with anything in the Pi range, be sure to get your products from a reputable vendor, like The Pi Hut. Beyond that, get creative with your Pi product.
What is a Raspberry Pi 4?
A Raspberry Pi 4 is a single board computer that has a full Linux operating system, making it similar to a traditional desktop PC. Although it can be used as a standalone computer, it is designed to be integrated into another product, like a TV or development board.
The Pi Pico however, is a microcontroller board and is designed to run a physical computing project, rather than be used as a PC. This is because the entire computer is embedded on a single semiconductor integrated circuit chip.
Image Source: Pixabay
Are there differences in mechanics?
In terms of design, the Pico is completely different from the Pi 4. It doesn’t have a HDMI port whatsoever, while the Pi 4 has two micro HDMI ports, allowing the user to connect two separate screens. Unlike the Pi 4, the Pico has no USB port, meaning you can’t plug in a keyboard or a mouse. Instead, the Pico is designed to be plugged into a computer, or even a Pi 4, to program it for a specific project. Once programmed, the Pico will run the code every time it’s powered up.
What can I use them for?
Both experienced and beginner users can make the most out of the Pi Pico. It is designed to get users to develop their own electromechanical projects, for example, burglar alarms, temperature gauges and reaction games. Above all else however, the Pico is designed for coding. It can use a variety of programming languages, including MicroPython, CircuitPython, C/C++ and Arduino language. The product can even be coded to be used as a mouse or keyboard for your PC. The possibilities are endless.
Similarly, users might be surprised by just how much they can do with the Pi 4. Amateur tech enthusiasts have been known to use the board as a media centre, retro games consoles, and even network-level ad blockers. The Pi 4 can be used to create some of the same products that can be produced with the Pico, though as previously mentioned, the Pi 4 is designed to be integrated into other products.
Hopefully, you now have a greater understanding of the differences between the Raspberry Pi Pico and the Raspberry Pi 4. With this essential information in your arsenal, there is nothing left to do except to get creative with your next project.