Raspberry Pi brings costs down with a $5 PC

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The folks at Raspberry Pi have already done some tremendous things for the hobbyist and educational PC market, what with the $25 PC, but a $5 model? That’s just insane.

It may well be a little crazy, but this week, that’s exactly what Raspberry Pi is unveiling.

Called the “Raspberry Pi Zero”, it’s possibly the cheapest computer you’ll ever see, packing everything a programmer or enthusiast or student or anyone keen to see a budget computer would want in a slim super small form-factor.

Like the old Raspberry Pi, it’s very small, but different to the previous models, this one is even smaller, with all the components on one side of the board, which we’ve heard is partly how the company managed to get everything so tiny.

This isn’t your regular Mac or Windows PC, either, so don’t grab one expecting to replace a computer for a friend.


Built for the tinkerers and engineers, and even those of us keen to learn a little programming, this tiny PC features a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, a microSD slot for your storage (because you’ll need something in there), and then a mini-HDMI for up to 1080p video and then two microUSB ports, one to power the whole thing (think most mobile phone chargers) and one to plug accessories in.

Because this is a little different to regular PCs, tinkerers will find it runs all the regular stuff made for Raspberry Pi, like Linux, RasPlex, and even Minecraft, though it won’t touch Windows… yet.

Earlier in the year, Microsoft did talk up that it was working on a version of Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi devices, but we’ve yet to see a final build. But hey, it’s coming, and it might even work on a $5 PC.

Now the real question you might have is how do you get one.

Image credit: The Pi Hut


Well, in a rather curious set of circumstances, Raspberry Pi is releasing the Zero as a sort of special edition on the cover of a Pi magazine, “The MagPi”, basically as a sort of cover disc, the likes of which local mags PC Authority and APC used to do.

Locally, this is going to be very hard to grab, so of course, a few stores will have it, including Adafruit, The PiHut, and Element 14, but good luck grabbing one.

Even we’re having problems with this, with the $5 PC rounding out to around $15 shipped, or closer to $35 to $50 if you end up decking it out with a case and accessories, and even with them, it’s selling out quick.

If you’re a maker or know someone who loves to tinker, the Raspberry Pi Zero might have just become the hottest holiday present around, and it won’t even cost much, though it will be hard to find.

Just make sure you don’t run over it when you scramble to the tree. It is small, after all.