Single cell computer Raspberry Pi has been a shining star of the independent maker movement for over three years now. Designed to further the cause of computer science in schools, it’s gone a lot further than the classroom – from protecting rhinos in Kenya to logging data in outer space. With the original model priced at a very reasonable $35, its arrival signalled a new a epoch in home computing for members of the maker movement. Today though, the Raspberry Pi Foundation have raised the bar to accessible computing once again with the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero, which comes in at a staggering $5. So cheap, it’s being given away for free with monthly magazine MagPi.
— Steve Dixon (@steveldixon) November 26, 2015
That’s right – we’re officially in the age where you can pop down to the corner shop for a packet of crisps and casually pick up a computer while you’re at it.
It’s this impetus towards throwing computing wide open to everyone which has driven the evolution of the Pi Zero. The Foundation explains, “Even in the developed world, a programmable computer is a luxury item for a lot of people, and every extra dollar that we ask someone to spend decreases the chance that they’ll choose to get involved.” Having started work on the project at the beginning of the year, this release is a “fully fledged” member of the Pi family, and runs on Raspbian, the Pi specific Linux OS. It’s capable of running classic user favourites like Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. Full specs are as follows:
- A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
- 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
- 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
- A micro-SD card slot
- A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
- Micro-USB sockets for data and power
- An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
- Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
- An unpopulated composite video header
- Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
You can purchase a mini-HDMI and a micro-USB adapter from the Foundation for just $6, or alternatively subscribe to MagPi (which we have a feeling may have just smashed its circulation record this month) and nab them for free.