A British company, Raspberry Pi foundation, developed a series of small credit-card-sized circuit boards that have all the basic hardware components of a computer (i.e. memory, processor, etc.) and other features (i.e. HDMI, video, sound, USB, etc.).
With the wide availability and portability of Raspberry Pi, many people started using their Raspberry Pis to power their laptops and other computing devices. They serve as hard drives with an integrated Central Processing Unit (CPU). There are many DIY projects and all-in-one Raspberry Pi laptop kits available for you.
In this guide, we have listed down the top 10 professional or DIY Raspberry Pi laptops that you can build or buy.
List of Best Kits and Projects of Raspberry Pi 2021
|Raspberry Pi 400||Low|
|ELECROW CrowPi 2||Low|
|Piper Computer Kit||Low|
|Waveshare Slim Laptop||Medium|
|Pi Top 3||Low|
|Nano Pi 2 UMPC||High|
|Raspberry Pi & Arduino Laptop||High|
Raspberry Pi 400
Raspberry Pi offered a single-board computer in November 2020 known as Raspberry Pi 400. It is designed in the form of a keyboard with a purpose-built powerful processor, Raspberry 4. It is easy to use and portable.
The kit costs $100 and includes a mouse, power supply, SD card with Raspberry Pi OS already installed, micro HDMI, HDMI cable, and a beginners guide.
- It is ideal for educational purposes, home use, and basic office use. It is great for learning programming, networking, and IoT.
- You can hook it into any display screen. If you have an extra screen at home or office, then this kit will be perfect for you.
- It offers a quad-core 64-bit processor, wireless networking, 4GB of RAM, dual-display output, 4K video playback, and a 40-pin GPIO header.
- Plug and play
- Better cooling system
- Few wires
- Fast processors
- Compatible with a wide range of languages
- Lacks CSI and DSI connector, and thus, you cannot use RPi Camera and touch screens
- Not as smooth as a modern laptop
ELECROW CrowPi 2
ELECROW CrowPi 2 is a portable laptop with a Raspberry Pi 4 hidden within its chassis. This plug-and-play device comes with a power supply, an integrated electronics workshop board, dual game controllers, and several components for Stem learning.
There are two versions of CrowPi 2. The basic kit costs $330 whereas the professional one costs $470.
- The basic version is ideal for students and young tinkers and the professional one is best for experienced programmers.
- The laptop offers an inbuilt 11.6-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, microphone, 2-MP camera, and stereo output.
- The magnetic keyboard is easy to detach that enables you to easily access the modules and 22 different sensors hidden below it.
- It comes with great software with 20 creative projects, 76 lessons, and 18 games that enable you to learn everything from programming languages, such as Python, to AI via an engaging dialogue teaching mode, face and speech recognition.
- All in One board
- Instructional videos available
- Excellent build quality
- Promotes stem education
- Poor quality keyboard
Piper Computer Kit
Another portable laptop kit on our list is Piper’s computer kit that comes with a laser-cut wooden case. It encloses a 9 inches LCD screen, a speaker, mouse, and a rechargeable 5V power supply. All the switches, wires, and LEDs are also included in the kit.
Piper computer runs on Raspberry Pi 3 A+. It uses a simple and direct language, is based on Minecraft, and uses a Scratch-like visual coding system known as Pipercode. It will cost you around $250.
- It is a great educational kit and promotes Stem learning. It is a great teaching tool and aimed at children of age 8 and above. Kids can build their own portable computers.
- The blueprint instructions and clearly labeled tools make it easy to assemble them.
- It promotes creativity and helps children to master building their own tech.
- It teaches both electronics and coding in multisensory ways.
- Enables you to use it as a fully functioning computer for Minecraft, homework, and browsing.
- Various tutorials available
- Safe and easy to assemble
- Small parts and electronics can be damaged if mishandled
- The battery needs to be changed often
- No allocated space for a keyboard or trackpad
Waveshare Slim Laptop
Waveshare Raspberry Pi laptop is a lightweight and thin laptop that runs by a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. It is also compatible with other versions of computing modules.
These include CM3, CM3 Lite, and CM3+ Lite. It has a 15.6 inches large LCD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 Pixels.
The laptop resembles a modern laptop available in the market. It has a solid power battery that can easily run for five to seven hours.
It supports a bunch of Raspberry Pi expansion HATs through the 40 PIN GPIO adapter. It costs $320.
The company offers technical support post-purchase. Rich resources manual and demo are available to guide you through setting up the laptop.
- It is a dedicated laptop for kids, enthusiasts, and students to learn to program.
- It is portable due to its slim shining body that weighs 1.75 kg
- It provides eight common peripheral ports that enable you to meet the daily use requirements.
- Also offers multi indicators & dual microphones that are located above the keyboard.
- A 2MP front camera is ideal for image identification, all facial recognition, and so on.
- Low price
- Supports dual cameras
- Magnetic acrylic covers
- Hardcore LED matrix and keys
- Slim body
- Supports Raspberry Pi only.
Pi Top DIY Laptop
It is a great option for those who want to gently escape from the traditional computing world to the world of Pi. It resembles a typical laptop in the market a lot with a 13.3-inch HD TFT LCD, detachable keyboard, and up to 8 hours battery life.
The pi-top has been available for the past many years. The latest version works great with the Raspberry Pi Model 3B+. It has a lime green and black color body that makes it aesthetically stand out.
The laptop costs $320.
- It is designed specifically for the education and maker communities.
- The laptop kit comes with an 8 GB SD card that is preloaded with the Pi-Top OS software. It includes all the projects and applications to help users to perform several tasks ranging from novices to competent tinkerers.
- You can also attach other devices, such as a breadboard.
- It is an ‘Inventor’s Kit’ that is designed to run and test various cool electronic projects quickly.
- All in One
- Familiar clamshell design
- Keyboard and trackpad
- 10-hour battery life
- The quality is not on par as all parts are 3D printed.
Nano Pi 2 UMPC
If you are looking for a pocket-size Raspberry Pi laptop, then the Nano Pi 2 UMPC project is a great option to be considered. It combines a mini-computer with Raspberry Pi 2. Its structures resemble early smartphones or Personal digital assistants (PDAs) a lot.
You will require a 4-inch display screen, Raspberry Pi 2, Adafruit Powerboost 1000, a battery, and a 3D printer to build this mini Raspberry Pi-powered laptop. All the detailed instructions, 3D print files, and general assembly process are available on the Thingiverse Nano Pi 2 project web page.
It costs $10 for blueprints and $100 for parts that include Raspberry Pi 2.
- Enables users to access various laptop functionalities in the palm of their hand
- If you do not have a 3D printer then you can get parts professionally printed through various vendors.
- Highly Portable
- Comes into your pocket
- Difficult to build
- Lack Wi-Fi
- Weak power
- No sound system
LaPpi by SB Components is a distinctive DIP laptop kit that comes in 5 and 7 inches screen variants with various accessories. These include a QWERTY keyboard, trackpad, camera, speakers, and a Li-Ion rechargeable power bank. You can also choose between five different colors (red, yellow, blue, black, and no color).
The LaPpi has a transparent acrylic case that encloses all the accessories. The kit costs between $200 and $250. You can buy the kit with or without Raspberry Pi.
- It can work with any model of the Raspberry Pi such as A+, 3B+, 3B, 2B, B+, 4B Zero, and Zero.
- It is a hand-held flexible device with all the ports, programs, and processing powers that are required to run at full capacity.
- It is a great laptop that you can easily build, assemble and run by yourself.
- All its components can be attached and removed at any time depending upon your needs and usability.
- Easily configurable
- Battery operated
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Multi colors options
- Not all kits include Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi & Arduino Laptop
Another second community-made Raspberry Pi laptop on our list is the Arduino laptop. It differs greatly from the laptop by the NanoPi community as its body is made out of cardboard. Though the cardboard is not very durable, you can 3D print your own case.
The original project uses a Raspberry Pi 3 but you can swap it with a Raspberry Pi Model 3B+ to build it. All the detailed instructions, 3D print files, and general assembly process are available on the Instructables webpage. It will cost you around $100 to build your own laptop with cardboard.
- It supports STEM-based learning and is designed for all age groups. It enables you to learn computing, programming, and how computer hardware is built. Thus, it is ideal for schools and learning institutes.
- You will also learn how to connect a charger, build the battery pack, extend a USB port and boost converter to improve accessibility.
- Great for STEM learning
- Highly cost-effective
- Detailed instructions
- Need a little technical knowledge
PiBook Pro is a modern-looking laptop that enables you to unleash the potential of your Raspberry Pi 3B+ or 4. It has an 11.6-inch IPS display screen with a backlit QWERTY keyboard, a multitouch trackpad, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that lasts up to 6 hours.
The laptop comes in four different colors (gold, black, silver, and navy. It costs $80 only.
- If you already own a Raspberry Pi, then it is a great option for you.
- The keyboard with an adjustable backlight enables users to easily work in dim light.
- A single USB connectivity enables you to attach other input devices to it.
- Easy to use
- Fun to set it up
- No storage space for Raspberry Pi
Another Pi-Top product on our list is the Pi-Top Ceed. It comes with a 14 inches HD screen. You will need a mouse and keyboard to operate it. In addition, there is no battery pack, so you need to plug it in for use.
You can choose between two colors; grey and green. It costs $ 115.
- It is ideal for Computer Science and STEAM-based learning.
- If you already own a Raspberry Pi, then it is a great option for you.
- Its setup is straightforward and requires no prior Raspberry Pi experience.
- Adjustable viewing angle
- Modular components
- No built-in power battery
- Need to buy a Raspberry Pi separately
There are numerous DIY Raspberry Pi laptop kits and projects available in the market. Each one has its pros and cons. It is difficult to choose the best one. One should consider always consider the following things when selecting a kit or project:
- Battery Life
- Professional skills
- Sensors and modules
Choosing the best DIY Raspberry Pi laptop kit or project might be challenging. By reading this guide, we hope you were able to choose one that best fits your goals.