Elecrow CrowPi L: The Greatest Raspberry Pi Laptop computer But (However Is It Sufficient?)

Whereas it could be the most effective Raspberry Pi laptop computer we have seen but, you’d get a greater gadget by putting in Linux on a second-hand laptop computer off eBay. By separating the electronics studying equipment from the laptop computer, it is misplaced among the magic that the CrowPi 2 had. Nonetheless, if you would like an digital studying equipment primarily based on the Raspberry Pi, and should have it in a laptop computer format, that is the best choice right this moment.

Specs
  • Model: Elecrow
  • Storage: microSD card (dual-boot switching board offered)
  • CPU: (from Raspberry Pi 4 fitted)
  • Reminiscence: (from Raspberry Pi 4 fitted)
  • Working System: Raspbian
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Digital camera: 2MP
  • Show (Measurement, Decision): 11.6″, 1366 x 768px
  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Community: Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Energy: USB-C (12V 2A adaptor included)
Professionals
  • An excellent studying package deal (if you would like it in a laptop computer format)
  • Straightforward to dual-boot from two microSD playing cards
Cons
  • Costly when you consider the price of a Raspberry Pi 4
  • Tiny trackpad and plastic-feeling keyboard
  • Small display screen makes multitasking difficult
Purchase This Product

Whereas it could be the most effective Raspberry Pi laptop computer we have seen but, you’d get a greater gadget by putting in Linux on a second-hand laptop computer off eBay. By separating the electronics studying equipment from the laptop computer, it is misplaced among the magic that the CrowPi 2 had.

Nonetheless, if you would like an digital studying equipment primarily based on the Raspberry Pi, and should have it in a laptop computer format, that is the best choice right this moment.

Specs
  • Model: Elecrow
  • Storage: microSD card (dual-boot switching board offered)
  • CPU: (from Raspberry Pi 4 fitted)
  • Reminiscence: (from Raspberry Pi 4 fitted)
  • Working System: Raspbian
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Digital camera: 2MP
  • Show (Measurement, Decision): 11.6″, 1366 x 768px
  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Community: Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Energy: USB-C (12V 2A adaptor included)
Professionals
  • A competant Raspberry Pi laptop computer (if that is what you are after)
  • Good lesson construction for studying Scratch or Python with CrowTail sensor equipment
  • Twin-boot microSD card attachment lets you simply change between two OSes
Cons
  • Costly when you consider the price of a Raspberry Pi 4 (relying on native costs)
  • The laptop computer format appears uneccessary
  • Tiny trackpad and plasticky keyboard
Purchase This Product

The CrowPi L from Elecrow is essentially the most competent Raspberry Pi laptop computer but, and comes preloaded with Python and Scratch tutorials to simply study {hardware} programming with the CrowTails sensor equipment. However did it must be a laptop computer in any respect, and do you want actually desire a Raspberry Pi-powered laptop computer?

CrowPi L Worth and Packages

The CrowPi L prices round $200 by itself, however that’s only a shell and doesn’t embody a Raspberry Pi 4, which is important for this to work. If you wish to add a Raspberry Pi to your Elecrow order, it prices at the very least one other $120 for the 4GB mannequin equipment ($150 for 8GB). Nevertheless, you possibly can supply one domestically if you will get it cheaper; there isn’t any have to buy from Elecrow. You do not want one other case or energy provide, because the CrowPi Li equipment consists of every thing you want aside from a Pi board:

  • Laptop computer physique
  • Wi-fi mouse
  • CrowTail connector board
  • Preloaded SD card
  • USB-C energy provide

As well as, it is nicely price choosing up the Superior equipment, for an extra $50, which features a full CrowTail Starter electronics sensor equipment, consisting of:

  • Base protect (not used along with the CrowPi L, however helpful if you wish to use it later with a naked board)
  • 22 modules (LEDs, change, moisture sensor, motor, RGB LED, vary sensor and so on)
  • CrowTail cables


CrowPi L {Hardware} and Set up

Since most of the technical specs of a Raspberry Pi laptop computer are going to come back from the board mannequin you slot in, we cannot cowl these. Each the 4GB and 8GB fashions are suitable, and if a brand new Raspberry Pi 4 is launched with the identical footprint, it ought to work superb too.

The CrowPi L display screen is a compact 11.6-inch, working at 1366 x 768. That is low by any normal and does considerably restrict your use of the OS to a single software at a time. It is not one thing you’d need to watch media on, but it surely’s superb for the supposed function or common net shopping.

The keyboard is kind of natty and plasticky, with brief key journey. It is useful, however I made much more errors whereas coding than I am comfy with, and I definitely would not need to use this to get any actual work completed. Whereas there’s technically a trackpad, it is completely tiny and buried within the high proper of the keyboard. You will virtually definitely need to use the included exterior mouse, which takes up one of many USB ports with its wi-fi dongle.


Alongside the oddly small trackpad, you’ll discover a GPIO pin diagram. Dissapointly it would not gentle as much as point out when a pin is lively excessive or low, which might have been nice for debugging. As a substitute, it is actually only a reference sheet between the varied pin numbering methods that the Raspberry Pi makes use of. It is a helpful reference nonetheless however may have been rather more.

After all, it would not be a laptop computer with out a battery. 5000mAh supplies sufficient energy for round three hours of use, which is not dangerous in any respect. It expenses over USB-C.

The CrowPi L contains a magnetic latching system which supposedly makes it simpler to push match the Raspberry Pi into the gadget. Nevertheless, you continue to have to screw some components onto the Pi to make it connect to the magnets, so I overlook how that is truly helpful in comparison with simply screwing the Pi straight in.

Truly becoming the Pi into the CrowPi L is kind of fiddly as a result of numerous breakout boards that the CrowPi L consists of. Firstly, there’s the HDMI passthrough to the laptop computer monitor, in addition to the second monitor HDMI port on the facet. This board plugs into the facet of the Pi, in addition to taking on a USB port, and there is a small ribbon cable to delicately connect.

Then there is a neat twin boot SD card interface. Though solely a single preloaded SD card is equipped, you possibly can match your individual to the second slot and change between the 2 with a easy slider.

Lastly, there is a fan and GPIO passthrough, in addition to one other unknown wider ribbon cable that is not talked about within the guide, but it surely’s apparent the place it ought to go.

Set up is easy sufficient then, however a fiddly course of that you just would not entrust your baby to do.

CrowPi OS and Studying System

Upon startup, you are greeted by a straightforward menu system from which to navigate the lesson construction. There are two {hardware} paths to comply with, both utilizing Let’sCode (Elecrow’s personal Scratch-based drag-and-drop visible programming language); or Python.

The Let’sCode classes are easy sufficient, however would require supervision. Every lesson introduces the broader context of the know-how used, however the textual content may do with being simplified for the supposed viewers. Fortunately, the teachings do not strictly examine your work or the top outcomes, and solely act as a information, so we have been ready to make use of ideas like for-loops sooner than supposed to attain the identical outcome.

You are free to experiment as you’re employed via them, and will not be scolded for doing it in a unique order. Every tutorial additionally has a problem part on the finish with much less steerage, to check your understanding. The one slight frustration I discovered was the display screen measurement. A number of the textual components of the interface (just like the Let’sCode debug terminal) are far too small to learn, and there is not sufficient display screen actual property to have each the lesson window and this system open on the similar time.


Typically, the teachings I attempted have been compelling, and I got here out realizing greater than I did moving into. As a studying system, it really works (I nonetheless do not like Python although).

CrowPi L vs CrowPi 2

The CrowPi is not Elecrow’s first try at a Raspberry Pi Laptop computer studying system. After I reviewed the CrowPi 2 again in 2020, I liked the modern method you had an entire electronics equipment embedded beneath the keyboard. It was a real all-in-one gadget, packed filled with studying adventures—even when the Bluetooth keyboard was annoying.

Maybe it was simply nostalgia for the all-in-one electronics kits from my very own childhood although. From a laptop computer perspective, it clearly makes extra sense for the keyboard to be hardwired. However within the transition to an everyday laptop computer plus electronics equipment hooked up on the facet, I really feel like among the magic has been misplaced.

Is This The Raspberry Pi Laptop computer for You?

As an electronics studying system the CrowPi L is is a superb package deal, however solely if you would like one thing particularly in a laptop computer format. The lesson construction is simple to comply with for each LetsCode or Python tutorials, and the CrowTail sensor package deal provides you a very good headstart with {hardware} programming. There’s undoubtedly one thing to be mentioned for the tactile nature of really plugging issues in, moderately than a ready-made gadget the place you simply have to decide on the suitable pin in code.

However if you summary out the electronics half from the laptop computer, it does name into query the entire laptop computer format. The CrowPi 2 was primarily an electronics equipment constructed right into a laptop computer for comfort. The CrowPi L is only a laptop computer working on a Raspberry Pi, which you’ll plug an electronics equipment into. Sure—it is the most effective Raspberry Pi laptop computer we have seen but, however within the broader computing sense, it is nonetheless not an excellent laptop computer.

For $200, you may purchase get one thing second-hand that is larger and extra highly effective, throw Linux on it, then add within the means to make use of GPIO with Arduino or comparable. The one factor you would not get is the Raspberry Pi OS and lesson construction (although you do get a separate printed e book of classes with the CrowTail sensor equipment anyway).

For those who’re shopping for this for classroom use and even at house, you do not actually need a battery. And also you most likely have already got an outdated monitor to hook up. You may as nicely add a much bigger, extra comfy keyboard when you’re at it, and also you’re already utilizing an exterior mouse with CrowPi L. Do you see the place I am going with this? At that time, you do not want the laptop computer a part of the equation.

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