Raspberry Pi: Where to buy the hard-to-find latest model and its alternatives

Raspberry Pi (4th gen)

The latest and greatest version of the Raspberry Pi

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Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

This latest main-line generation from the Raspberry Pi Project includes the Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB to 8GB of onboard RAM as well as the Pi 400 and Pi Pico, which we’ll cover in separate sections below. As the latest model, the Pi 4 is among the hardest to find. It launched about two years ago with an MSRP of $35-$70, depending on the amount of RAM included.

More: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B review: A capable, flexible and affordable DIY computing platform

Unfortunately, acquiring a Raspberry Pi 4 as a bare board right now will require a lot of patience, a deep pocket book, or both. The original price range has been impacted by price increases at the Raspberry Pi Project (brought on by increasing chip costs) as well as resellers attempting to exploit the scarcity to hike prices up.

While the Raspberry Pi Project does price control the cost of the units at authorized merchants, those sellers frequently see their stock emptied within minutes of posting new availability, especially now that bots are being applied to the task of buying out boards for later scalping. Reliable outlets like Adafruit (one of the earliest and most trusted sources for Rasperry Pi hardware) have put buying limits and verification technologies in place to prevent being wiped out by bots. But, even then, enough legitimate, human customers remain to drain supplies rapidly.

If you need a Pi 4 board immediately, expect to pay anywhere between $150 and $250, depending on the RAM included. If you must have a main-line Pi 4 board, but simply can’t stomach that level of price gouging, I’d recommend signing up for email notifications at Adafruit or Micro Center. Both companies offer retail prices far closer, if not in line with, the original MSRPs for Pi 4 boards at various memory levels.

More: Raspberry Pi: Why they are so hard to buy right now, and what you can do about it

If you choose to purchase your Raspberry Pi 4 from a seller not listed in this article, please make sure it is a reputable, well-reviewed retailer. The scarcity of Pi boards has led to an explosion in scams surrounding them. If a seller’s price for the board you’re seeking seem too good to be true, it probably is. Try to have patience, or save up some extra cash, and purchase your board through a reputable retailer, or at least from a reseller offering the product via a website that provides buyer protections in the event your order is not delivered, or is not as described.

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