computer hardware, raspberry pi

Raspberry Pi Foundation

Whether you just got a Raspberry Pi (or another single-board computer) or you’ve left one sitting in a drawer somewhere, supplemental gear might be the inspiration you need to kickstart a new project. These Pi accessories range from fun to exteremely practical.

A Portable Monitor

computer hardware, raspberry pi


When you need to interact with your Pi’s operating system, you might just connect it to a monitor from your existing workstation or maybe even to an available TV. That isn’t always convenient, though, especially when it means diving into an absolute jungle of cables or losing access to the PC you were using for project instructions. That’s where an affordable and portable monitor can be a huge convenience.

You have a lot of options, including a multi-purpose travel monitor and a minimal touchscreen monitor. If touch is a priority, you can get the official Raspberry Pi Touch Display. Combine that with a monitor case, and you’ve got something approximating an all-in-one PC.

A Keyboard and Touchpad Combo

computer hardware, raspberry pi


If you’re like me, you only occasionally need a keyboard or mouse to interact with your Pi. When the time comes, you have to borrow them from another setup or dig a dedicated keyboard and mouse out of a back closet. You can cover your peripheral needs in one compact unit with a keyboard and touchpad combination unit.

Generic combos are easy to find, but Virlos makes several units with the Pi in mind, including wired and wireless options, plus a mini handheld version. They even sell a keyboard hub meant to give you a single-unit experience like the Pi 400, but with bonuses like battery power and cable storage.

More Storage

computer hardware, raspberry pi

Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Do you plan on any Pi projects that involve storing files? Whether you’re hosting a cloud backup, playing through a huge ROM collection, or running a media server with your Raspberry Pi, extra storage can only be a good thing.

You probably want your setup to stay compact and low-profile, so a small form factor is ideal. Your options don’t get much smaller than a Samsung Fit Plus USB drive. Your storage space is limited, though, to not much more than your SD card might already get you.

To go bigger in terms of disk space, a full-blown external drive might be what you need. The WD Elements Portable HDD, for example, gets you terabytes of storage while maintaining a relatively small form factor. If you prefer to go solid state, the SanDisk Extreme gets even more compact (but at an SSD pricepoint). Or, you could get one or two internal SSDs and set your Pi up with a drive stand as a minimalist NAS build.

Keep in mind that, aside from the 4B, most Pi models only support USB 2.0. That means you won’t be able to take advantage of any benefits brought by USB 3.0 or higher (though you can still certainly use drives that support those standards).

A Handheld Gaming Case

computer hardware, raspberry pi


Gaming, especially retro gaming, is a ubiquitous Pi project genre. Couch play is relatively simple to achieve, with a monitor or TV to plug into, plus a gamepad and storage to hold your ROM collection. You can’t forget a sweet retro case of course. But what if you want to go mobile?

The Retroflag GPi case can take a Pi Zero (or a CM4 with the GPi 2) and turn it into a Gameboy-like handheld mobile unit, complete with battery power and an on/off switch that can be programmed for safe shutdowns. It has built-in speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack, and the IPS screen features adjustable brightness.

Other, larger Pi models are supported by Waveshare’s game HAT handheld that’s built more like a DIY Gameboy Advance. You do have to remember these devices it’s bring-your-own-battery and bring-your-own-ROMs, so they aren’t completely standalone accessories.

A Surge Protector

computer hardware, raspberry pi

Tripp Lite

Running a server or smart home monitor with your Pi means plugging in long-term, which puts your device in harm’s way without a surge protector. It’s a smart investment for almost any device, but protecting your Pi is paramount now with how costly replacing them has become.

A low-profile option like the LVETEK Outlet Extender can offer the protection your Pi needs without draining your wallet. If you have lots of devices to shield, though, you can invest a little more in our favorite surge protector, Tripp Lite TLP1208TELTV. Its twelve outlets will likely cover your whole array, plus its modem and coaxial ports add a ton of versatility and usefulness.

If you want both surge protection and uninterrupted power in the face of blackouts, you’ll want to look into a reliable UPS. They can get pricey, though, and if yours has limited capacity, you’ll likely prioritize other devices like your router and main workstation.

Don’t Forget the Essentials

If you’re brand new to the Pi world, your options for decking out your single-board PC can seem overwhelming, but don’t let that distract you from the bare necessities.

For one, you’ve got to start with a high-quality power supply. An old phone charger can result in a subpar experience that results in glitches and reboots that are hard to troubleshoot. And, it’s especially important when you’ve got accessories that add power drain. You can’t go wrong with the official Raspberry Pi USB-C PSU for the newer models or a well-rated Micro USB charger for the Pi models that still use Micro USB.

A good SD card is also non-negotiable. Booting up a Pi is one of the rare exceptions in storage cards when quality can make or break your experience. Cards like the SanDisk Ultra and Silicon Power 3D NAND microSD are tried and true choices for Pi users.

You also can’t forget the HDMI cable, though you’re generally fine not spending much money here. You can also save yourself some hassle in setting up your Pi’s internet connection by getting an Ethernet cable long enough to reach your router. Take care of those essentials, and you’re ready for any project.


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