WHALES, UK – The British Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released in the U.K. and the U.S. the cheapest computer in the world.
The stick-of-chewing-gum seized Raspberry Pi Zero, made in Whales, has the cost of just one latte, according to a video published Thursday by founder Eben Upton. The $5 Zero comes after the Raspberry Pi A, B and two computers, which cost $20 to $35.
“Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming, but we still meet people for whom cost remains a barrier to entry. At the start of this year, we began work on an even cheaper Raspberry Pi to help these people take the plunge”, Upton wrote in a blog post.
Upton said the tiny computer can be ordered either online from Adafruit or at Micro Center in the United States, whereas customers in the United Kingdom can get it for free by purchasing a copy of MagPi Magazine, as the Rasberry Pi Zero comes attached to it.
The new computer, as well as the previous models, has been designed not only to help programmers who are aiming to have fun by creating new projects, but it also comes in handy for students learning about computer science in the classroom. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs will as well be attracted to the Raspberry Pi Zero, since it gives them the chance to build lower cost hardware and therefore they will be able to offer more affordable devices to developing countries.
Zero’s hardware starts working by connecting it to a monitor and keyboard with a USB cable, which is not included. It has an HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output so it can be plugged into modern televisions.
The main features include a half gigabyte of RAM, a microSD memory card reader and micro USB ports for data and power, which allows Internet connection with a WiFi dongle. Despite its surprisingly low cost, with its 1GHz ARM11 core the latest computer runs around 40 percent faster than the Raspberry Pi 1.
Among the endless possibilities that Raspberry Pi Zero offers to creators, with included applications such as Sonic Pi they can play with code in order to produce new sounds. Moreover, the programming language Scratch allows users to create their own games, stories and animations. The computer also includes the Minecraft app.
The previous Model B+, launched three years ago, was created to offer low-cost computers, but Upton commented that people still said the price was a barrier. Compared to the $5 dolar computer, Model B+ has extra memory, a quad-core processor and three additional USB ports. Besides, it includes direct connections for a camera.