You hear about how computer components are getting smaller and smaller all the time, and how a scientific calculator today has more processing power than the computers that first sent astronauts to the moon. But there’s still something a bit jarring about actually seeing a full-fledged computer that’s about the size of a USB thumb drive — or a human thumb, for that matter.

The first project from Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer with an ARM-based processor and USB and HDMI ports for connecting a keyboard and external display. The system runs Ubuntu Linux and the  developers say it could sell for as little as $25.

The specs aren’t going to blow anyone away. The computer has a 700MHz ARM11 processor, 128MB of RAM and an SD card slot. A typical smartphone is more powerful — but much more expensive.

The Raspberry Pi device can handle 1080p HD video, OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics, and basic computing tasks such as running a web browser or office software.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a non-profit that’s working to get the little computer into classrooms where children can learn to use and even program computers. The $25 price tag certainly makes the device accessible — especially if you already have a monitor or TV which you can use as an external display. You’ll still need a keyboard and mouse — or a touchscreen. The computer can be used as the foundation for a low cost tablet.

via BBC

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12 replies on “Raspberry Pi produces a $25 USB thumb drive-sized computer”

  1. I want one…hihi…that is really cool a computer in the size of an USB drive….

  2. With a laptop dock running with AA cells,a new kind of very low cost Emtec Gdium can be built!

  3. With a laptop dock running with AA cells ,a new kind of very low cost Emtec Gdium can be built!

  4. Would love to have one, however expansion cables+storage would make it cost much more making it not so interesting for developed countries. Add docking/expansion to this system to connect mouse, keyboard, external HDD, headphones and microphone+webcam and youre already paying as much as you would for 7″ tablet.
    However, for minimal word processing and web browsing it should be fine.

  5. Love it. Perhaps it will lets us bring our computer with us, and just attach to different I/O devices as needs arises, like plug in keyboard and mouse and monitor for desktop use, or a touchscreen for tablet use.

  6. Sparkfun needs to start selling this. This is potentially the glue for a ubiquitous computing environment, essentially a desktop “arduino”.

    This also has the potential to reduce the “set top box” to a somewhat fat cable. If it can play decent video (which several of my arm11 tablets can), one could simply hook a powered hub and an external drive to it to make a video/music player. Control it with a tablet.

  7. I don’t see mention of power supply or power requirements…which would impose conditions on use.

  8. wow I’m in the US and totally want one hah it’ll be a good replacement for my old pc with a pentium 2 computer

  9. Awesome!

    With Ubuntu you can surf the web, listen to music, use a word processor (OpenOffice/ LibreOffice) etc etc.

    Fantastic Size & price too for this comp!

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