Love tinkering on your Pi, but hate the cumbersome task of hooking it up to a monitor? Is the DukePad just not doing it for you? Well, you’re in luck – this week, the Raspberry Pi Foundation have launched the official Raspberry Pi touch display. Although the 7-inch device was first spoken about by Foundation officials over a year ago, this is the first time it’s been commercially available, enabling easy conversion of the Pi into a tablet or a touch screen console.
Priced at $60, according to the official ‘Pi blog, this product has had a two year journey from conception to release – about a year and a half longer than its makers first anticipated when they decided to create a “simple, embeddable display” for the single cell computer. Progress was also hampered by the need to work on latest releases of the Raspberry Pi device itself – notably, including the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.
The display currently supports HDMI, DPI, DSI, and DBI interfaces. In the production process, the Foundation contacted a number of display manufacturers to guarantee things like colour reproduction, pixel quality, contrast ratio, and viewing angle were to their satisfaction. They also looked into affordability and lifespan for display makers. This last point was a key issue, as if they’d focused on items shortly to be discontinued, the team would have had to start their development process from scratch.
The display is capable of refreshing up to 60 frames per second, and like its pricier predecessors, can support up to 10-finger touch. Although it only offers up a relatively meagre 800×400 resolution (in comparison, the iPad Air 2 has a resolution of 2048×1536), it’s still a bargain for anyone looking for a cheap alternative for their media streaming.
These early screens will be supplied in kit form with a bit of construction required to get started – the Foundation have created this helpful video to guide you through.