In the next iteration of the Model B line, Raspberry Pi has given us the very powerful Model B 4 with the goal of the credit card sized development platform becoming a full desktop experience. The 2GB DDR4 RAM version of this board has the ability to run two 4k monitors at once via two micro HDMI ports and features the long-asked-for, true Gigabit Ethernet. This creates a much higher-performing multimedia experience with the new Pi! In addition to two USB2 ports, the Raspberry Pi 4 also has two USB 3 ports making data transfers that much quicker over USB.
The Raspberry Pi Model B line is a desktop computer in a package the size of a credit card. All you need to do is plug in a monitor, keyboard, mouse and load the latest Raspbian image onto a MicroSD Card and you have a full desktop computer solution. Projects like Tensorflow, PiHole, Minecraft, and Kodi make it an excellent tool for a multitude of uses.
The RPi4 retains a lot of the features of the RPi3 B+ including the pin-out for the 40 pin header. Wireless is still available on the 4 in the form of dual-band 2.4/5.0 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. A new feature on the 4 is the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector for power delivery replacing the Mini-B connector.
The Raspberry Pi 4 does have the ability to consume more power than the Pi 3 B+, so a proper power supply will be needed. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is available with the use of the PoE HAT (see related products). Those looking to use third party power supplies and cables or to run more intensive programs on the Pi; a proper source of power and heat dissipation measures are recommended.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 2 ratings:
Used this to replace an old computer that was setup for monitoring doors and motion sensors. Much smaller and less power usage than the old computer, and this Pi is faster and has more memory - all for $50. Great buy.
Here is a Raspberry Pi that boots fast, builds and runs software fast, and has enough memory to do several things at once. Right now mine is streaming music out the audio port, hosting 8 cameras with MotionEye, a 9th local camera on the CSI port, 2 servos for pan/tilt, and PiHole ad blocking for my local network. Task manager shows 20% memory and ~25% cpu. Active use of the cameras pushes the cpu up near 80%. It used to run close to the thermal limit and the red thermometer icon would flash, so over 80C. Added the heat sink case ( https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15895 ) and now it stays around 50C.
Overall a great addition to the R-Pi lineup. Definitely get one if you do any software development on the Pi, you will love the speed.