The latest budget-priced computer by British company Raspberry Pi is being given away for free on the cover of a £5.99 magazine. Called the Raspberry Pi Zero, it has a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, can play Full HD video over an HDMI connection, and has a USB port and SD card slot.
Simply put, it is a fully fledged computer that can be plugged into your existing hardware, given over 100GB of internal storage, and can be programmed however you like. The new model is 40% faster than the original Raspberry Pi, which launched in early 2012 for £20, and bought without the magazine costs just £4.
Eben Upton, chief executive of Raspberry Pi Trading, introduced the Zero in a video on the company website. To demonstrate how cheap the Zero is, he compares it to two computers from his childhood, the BBC Micro from 1989 and the Commodore Amiga from 1992, both of which cost around £200 and were vastly expensive purchases at the time.
Upton said: "We really don't think we're going to be able to get any cheaper than this. We've gone from [the price of] four lattes to one latte; we're not going to go below the cost of one latte, I think in the foreseeable future... we really hope this is going to get those last few people [who saw £20 as a barrier to entry] in the door and involved in computer programming."
Upton revealed 10,000 of the new Zero computers would be stuck to the front of the December issue of MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine. Just hours after it went on sale, it had sold out online, with buyers now forced to hunt copies down on UK high streets.
Launching in 2012, Raspberry Pi wants to get as many people as possible – especially children –into coding and computer programming. This saw the company launch a £20 computer aimed to be as simple and cheap as it could possibly be. The second edition arrived in February. Over three million Raspberry Pi computers have been sold to date.