Raspberry Pi’s new DIY computer is smaller and still inexpensive

Small computers can make a big difference to people’s lives, and if you think you have the next Steve Wozniak or Bill Gates living under your roof, it might be time to show them something to get their hooks into.

This week, a new tiny computer is on its way to hobbyist stores across the world, as well as online stores, aimed at helping out enthusiasts, budding programmers, and people with ideas who just need a tiny computer to get their project off the ground.

It’s not the sort of thing you’re looking for to do your work or even play many games on, but it will provide a starting point for neat projects or new programmers, because that’s pretty much what the project was designed to do.

The new computer is from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a group that created a small computer in a size not so different from that of a few credit cards stacked together, with the hope that the tiny computer would be used by kids and students around the world and get them better associated with computer science and programming.

Called the Model A+, its hardware is produced by Element14, which has taken the reigns of this particular board, while other Raspberry Pi models are handled by other companies, such as RS Components.

We’ve covered previous incarnations of the Raspberry Pi and have found that its low cos of entry makes the concept a good entry point for people curious about programming and building solutions.

GadgetGuy has even built a few things with them ourselves: seriously, there’s an arcade stick in the GadgetGuy offices with a Raspberry Pi computer thrown underneath which we’ll show you soon enough.

The GadgetGuy Raspberry Pi test system consists of an old arcade stick with a Raspberry Pi Model B+ underneath. We'll show you more just as soon as we iron out some of the bugs.

This week, though, the attention is on Raspberry Pi’s Model A+ board, bringing a tiny computer to a cost of $20 USD and providing a cut down in size thanks to the use of a microSD card slot for storage instead of an SD slot. Power is also looked at, which we understand helps the A+ utilise less power and offer some “improved power management” in comparison to Raspberry Pi’s other boards.

The specs for the board won’t sound as high-end as many of the specs you see for phones and computers these days, but with a 700MHz processor and 256MB RAM, as well as two USB 2.0 ports, sound, HDMI, and a microUSB port for supplying power, it’s a good starting point for students and inventors with an idea and some passion.

Locally, the Raspberry Pi computers can be a little hard to find, though various tech and hobby stores may have versions of them. Online will likely be the best place to find the board, however, with the $20USD price translating with not too much of an additional cost for locals.

That’s without the case, though, so if you’re thinking of grabbing one for someone who wants to learn more about computer science, it might be an idea to grab one, too, or have them make one themselves.