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Raspberry Pi Zero is a $5 computer, and here’s what you need to know about it

Raspberry Pi Zero is a $5 computer, and here’s what you need to know about it

by AshwinNovember 26, 2015

Raspberry Pi computers, are very popular thanks to their ultra-affordable price tags which usually range below $25 to $35.

Raspberry Pi Zero

What if we tell you, there is one that costs less than a quarter of that price? Meet the Raspberry Pi Zero.

This is the new computer from the Raspberry Foundation, and costs a mere $5. No we’re not kidding. That is the ral price of this little PC.

The Raspberry Pi Zero features a Broadcom BCM2835 processor, which has a single core (ARM 1)1 CPU, clocked at 1GHz/ Yet this PC boasts an incredible processing speed, in that the OEM says it is 40% faster than the first gen Raspberry Pi. The computer houses a single chip of 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM, and comes with a microSD card slot for expandable storage, surely you must have one of these lying around? Now, that can serve as your new PC’s hard drive.

Have an Android phone? Then you are likely to have a micro-USB charger, and one which also doubles as a data cable (unplugs from the adapter part). If so, you will be glad to know that the Raspberry Pi Zero comes with a Micro-USB port, which serves as its power source. It also has one for transferring data using using the USB OTG (On-The-Go) technology.

A mini-HDMI socket is available on the Pi Zero, for plugging in your display, which supports monitors upto 1080p Full HD resolutions, and is capable of rendering videos at 60 fps (frames per second). The mini computer also comes with a 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header, and a composite video header, both of which are unpopulated.

The Raspberry Pi Zero is the smallest device from the company and measures at just 65 x 30 x 5 mm. This is actually just half the size of a Raspberry Pi A+. The Pi zero runs on the free Raspbian OS, which is derived from the popular Linux distro, Debian. Yet it can run the free open-source programming tools such as Scratch, Sonic Pi, and even the free Minecraft Pi game.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, is giving away a free Raspberry Pi Zero with every December issue of its magazine, The MagPi, for buyers in the UK.

If you however want to buy the Pi Zero in the UK, you can do so from element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni. People in the US can buy the $5 computer from Adafruit and from Micro Center.

It would be interesting to see how the Raspberry Pi Zero will handle Windows 10 Core IoT.