The CrowPi L is the third, and significantly more polished, iteration of the CrowPi series of laptop kits tailored for the Raspberry Pi. For a little more than $200, the kit can turn a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B into a cheap laptop serving as a gateway to programming.
What’s Inside the CrowPi L?
Unlike the CrowPi and CrowPi 2 (see our coverage of the CrowPi 2 launch), which were sold through Kickstarter campaigns, the CrowPi L is available as a pre-order directly from Elecrow’s official website. The base kit, which retails for a little more than $200, doesn’t ship with a Raspberry Pi 4B. However, the CrowPi L can be purchased with the 4GB and 8GB variants of the practically unobtainable single-board computer for an extra $150 and $166, respectively.
Like its predecessors, CrowPi L kit is designed to offer STEAM learners a cheap programming machine. The device ships with 96 programming courses and modest specifications to that effect. Each kit includes an 11-inch IPS display sporting a resolution of 1366×768. The inbuilt 5000 mAh battery promises a runtime of up to three hours, which is fair given how it is essentially an actively-cooled shell for a Raspberry Pi 4B.
The rest of the kit specifications, which are uniform between all variants, incorporate essentials such as a standard membrane keyboard, an unusually positioned touchpad, and a 2-megapixel camera unit. The presence of stereo speakers, microphone, and a 3.5mm audio jack also make it a cheap option for telecommuting—especially if you already have a Raspberry Pi 4B lying around.
Tailored for Programming, While Also Being Maker-Friendly
The designers at Elecrow could have made the CrowPi L slimmer and lighter by using the compute unit version of the Raspberry Pi 4. However, this would have taken away the versatility of re-purposing a traditional Pi 4B from existing projects to serve as a laptop.
The latest version is nevertheless a lot slimmer than the first iteration, as seen in our in-depth CrowPi all-in-one kit review.
Not surprisingly, the CrowPi L also allows you to buy an optional $51 expansion kit to use the SBC’s GPIO header for a variety of hardware projects. The optional kit includes a wide array of sensors, servos, LEDs, an expansion shield, and small display to this effect.
The CrowPi L Is Even More User Friendly
The CrowPi L is even more accessible due to its preassembled nature. While the prior iterations warranted some assembly, slapping in a Raspberry Pi 4B through the bottom of the laptop chassis is the only assembly required this time around.
Thereafter, users have the option of running CrowPi’s own front-end tailored for STEAM learning. Alternatively, the installed SBC can always be configured to run any of the popular open-source operating systems. Elecrow estimates the pre-orders to begin shipping on June 30, 2022.