CrowPi L is a $200 laptop shell for Raspberry Pi 4

Two years ago, we reviewed CrowPi 2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop designed for STEM education with embedded electronics modules and Letscode software with step-by-step tutorials to learn Scratch and Python programming.

I found it quite good, but many people were mostly interested in having a Raspberry Pi 4 laptop, and the price tag was a bit high at the time. That’s probably why Elecrow has now designed for CrowPi L laptop shell for Raspberry Pi 4 based on the CrowPi 2 but without all the electronics modules, and with a built-in battery to operate more like an actual laptop.

CrowPi L laptop shell specifications:

  • Compatible SBC’s – Raspberry Pi 4 Model B only
  • Storage – Full-size SD card slot
  • Display – 11.6-inch 1366×768 IPS screen (CrowPi 2 was 1920×1080)
  • Video Output – HDMI output for external monitor
  • Camera – 2MP camera
  • Audio – Built-in microphone and stereo speaker; 3.5mm audio jack
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi 5 + Bluetooth 5.0 module, all from the Raspberry Pi 4 board
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 2.0 port from Raspberry Pi 4. The other USB port is used by the keyboard
  • Keyboard – Built-in USB keyboard (QWERTY only) with touchpad (CrowPi 2 had a wireless keyboard giving access to the electronics modules)
  • Expansion – 40-pin GPIO header
  • Power Supply
    • 5,000 mAh battery
    • 9V to 12V DC via USB Type-C port
  • Dimensions – 291 x 190 x 46 mm
  • Weight – 1.1 kg (CrowdPi was 1.3 kg)

The laptop will ship with a customized OS with educational software, but the company provides a long list of operating systems with Raspberry Pi OS, Ubuntu, CentOS, Windows IoT, Kail, Pidora, ArchLinux, FreeBSD, Kodi, OpenWrt, RISC OS, RetroPie, LAKKA, Recalbox, LibreELEC, and OSMC. Basically, any OS working on Raspberry Pi 4 should work with the laptop. You’ll still be able to access the 96 programming courses for beginners to learn Python, and this time electronics modules are not offered by default, but only as part of an advanced kit.

The Basic Kit comes with the laptop shell, a 2.4GHz wireless mouse with a receiver, a 12V/2A USB-C power supply, a GPIO adapter with fan, a 32GB SD card preload with software, a user manual, and other accessories required to install the Raspberry Pi 4 in CrowPi L.

The Advanced Kit builds upon the Basic Kit, but adds the CrowPi L Base Shield providing a board with Grove connector and a ribbon cable to connect to the 40-pin GPIO header fo the Raspberry Pi, and a Crowtail Starter Kit with plenty of modules (sensors, LDC display, buttons, LEDs, servo, etc…) to learn electronics.

You can purchase the CrowPi L from two websites: Elecrow.com and Crowpi.cc. The prices are quite different with the Basic Kit going for $203.15, the Advanced Kit for $254.15 on the former, but $251.10 and $314.10 on the latter because the shipping fee is included, both without Raspberry Pi 4. You’d better bring your own as adding a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB increases the price by $150. I was asked whether I wanted to review CrowPi L a couple of weeks ago, and I agreed as long as a Raspberry Pi 4 was included, but last week, I was told to wait as they did not have any spare Raspberry Pi 4 in the office, so even companies are struggling with supplies and high prices…

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6 Replies to “CrowPi L is a $200 laptop shell for Raspberry Pi 4”

  1. This is something that i would love to have for fun, to be able to just code something on Pi4 just because i like it, or to use emulators on it, but the price is a no-go.

  2. Raspberry Pi 4 4GB increases the price by $150

    You can get a Raspberry Pi 400 with 4gb and built in keyboard for $70. Someone needs to make a screen and battery combo for it.

  3. I bought one. Assembly documentation is poor. Diagrams and pictures do not show details. For example, there is no text and only one poor image showing how to mate the connectors on two boards. It is not clear whether a cable is needed or not.

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