The latest version of the UK Raspberry Pi has, according to some sources, ‘become the first computer to be given away free with a magazine.’

No, really, it’s true.

The Pi Zero is so cheap that monthly MagPi magazine is giving it away free with the latest edition. As MagPi is  the official magazine of  Raspberry Pi, perhaps that’s not so surprising. But around 10,000  of the Pi Zero computers will be stuck to the front cover of the December issue.

Raspberry Pi Zero

But the Pi Zero isn’t some flash marketing gimmick. The Raspberry Pi Zero is fully operational computer with dimensions so small it fits on top of a $5 note with room to spare.

In fact, the Pi Zero measures a measly 6.5cm x 3cm and is manufactured in Wales in the United Kingdom.

Processing power.

The Pi Zero may be cheap, and it’s definitely small,  but for all that it’s still a fully operational computer capable of carrying out some pretty powerful operations.

In real terms it’s actually powerful enough to play Minecraft. Seriously.

Onboard the single circuit board that the Pi is built on is a 1GHZ processor that is 40 percent faster than the  original Raspberry Pi 1. It also comes with an upgradeable 512 MB of RAM, a Mini HDMI port, microSD card slot, Micro USB ports for ‘data and power,’ and ‘an unpopulated composite video header.’ I’ll be honest with you: I have no idea what that last one is.

This gives the Pi almost the same amount of processing power as early 21st Century desktop PC’s, or as much as the 2011 iPad 2.  

Operating System

All raspberry Pi computers run off their own version of Linux called Raspbian. Raspbian was built specifically for the Pi computer.

The original Raspberry Pi was released back in 2012 and cost a ridiculously hefty $20-30 to own.  

But the Raspberry Pi Zero isn’t just about the creating a cheap computer for the Hell of it. Pi Developers built the original Pi to put a ‘programmable computer within reach of anyone…’

A whole PC for $5?

Well not quite.

For $5 owners will have to supply some things themselves to make it work. Users will ‘have to supply their own power, keyboard, mouse or input device, and screen.’

Considering that Raspberry Pi’s only entered the market 3 years ago, that’s probably a small price to pay.

In its brief history, the Pi has shifted almost ¾ of a million units, and sold over 250,000 in October alone. Believe it or not, but that actually makes the Raspberry Pi the best selling UK made computer in decades.

The idea behind the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is non-profit educational charity whose goal is to advance education for both adults and children, but particularly in the area of computers. Their main way of doing this is by building and selling programmable  Raspberry Pi computers that are are cheap. affordable, yet powerful and flexible enough to encourage their users to ‘Teach, Learn, and Make.’