Raspberry Pi, the $25 Computer Coming in January, 2012

Raspberry Pi, the $25 Computer Coming in January, 2012

Raspberry Pi, possibly the cheapest functional computer that you can buy, will be available this January.

Raspberry Pi is a rather compact — credit-card sized — computer that packs quite a punch despite being just $25. In this small cheap package lies a computer that:

  • Uses the Broadcom BCM2835 chipset
  • Has an ARM11 processor of 700Mhz
  • Has 128MB RAM
  • Can run Linux and the plethora of software available for it
  • Can connect to a TV via RCA or HDMI
  • Can play back audio via 3.5mm audio jack or HDMI
  • Can play videos in HD
  • Supports USB2 devices
  • Is powered by a mere 5V over micro USB

Other than that, being a computer a number of devices, such as a keyboard, mouse, webcam, mic etc can be added via USB. Another model featuring 256MB RAM and an ethernet port is available for just $10 more — for $35.

Note that you cannot run Windows on it, since it is an ARM-based computer, however Raspberry Pi will support a number of Linux distros, which can be run off the an SD card. It is unlikely Windows 8 for ARM will run on it either, considering the specifications of the device. Additionally, you cannot run Windows applications on it via Wine, since Wine is not an emulator but a compatibility layer, and Windows applications are compiled for x86 / x86_64.

Raspberry Pi is a great educational tool and a very cheap way to get into computers. Raspberry Pi will be available worldwide when it launches next month, however the shipping costs to India might just take away a bit from its low-price charm.

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