Tech by VICE

You Can Now Get a Computer for the Price of a (Very Fancy) Coffee

Raspberry Pi said that even at $25 their credit card-sized computer wasn't reaching enough people.

by Emiko Jozuka
Nov 26 2015, 12:15pm

The super-dinky Raspberry Pi Zero. Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Gone are the days when you had to fork out mega-bucks for a computer. Now you can buy one for the price of an upmarket latte.

The UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation today announced the Raspberry Pi Zero, a tiny computer which costs just $5, or £4. The first Raspberry Pi computer cost $25 (£16).

In a video, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading Eben Upton said that since the launch of the Raspberry Pi 2, the charitable foundation had been thinking of ways to bring down the cost barriers even further, so that the "last few people could get through the door, and involved in computer programming."

"When we launched Raspberry Pi, we took out a factor of five out of the cost of a typical low-cost computer, but we still met people who said that cost was a barrier to entry," said Upton.

The super-dinky Raspberry Pi Zero is about a quarter the size of a five dollar bill. Its ability to pack a 1GHz central processing unit (CPU) and 512MB SDRAM memory into such a low price point and size is pretty cool. It also runs applications such as Scratch, Minecraft, and Sonic Pi. However, users will still need to supply things like a keyboard, mouse, and screen.

So far, Raspberry Pi has made several tens of thousands of the Raspberry Pi Zero units.

"We really don't think we're going to get any cheaper than this; we've gone from the cost of, let's say four lattes to one latte," Upton, who presumably has expensive taste in coffee, said. "We're not going to go below the cost of one latte in the foreseeable future."