As tipped in October, a new Raspberry Pi Model A board just landed—and it’s cheaper and much smaller than its predecessor. On Monday, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton introduced the Model A+. It knocks $5 off the price and drops close to an inch of physical length compared to the regular A board.
Available now, the new Model A+ costs $20, has 256MB RAM, and features the same BCM2835 processor as every other Raspberry Pi board. The A+ also inherits some of the features we saw on the Model B+ introduced in July. Like the B+, the A+ has 40 GPIO pins (up from 26), a new audio circuit with its own low-noise power supply, and a microSD slot with a push-push feel.
But to get that low price of $20 you do have to sacrifice a few things. Just like the Model A, the A+ does not come with an ethernet jack, and it has only one USB port. It does come with HDMI out, and it has the same display and camera hook-ups as the other boards. The A+ measures about 2.56 inches long, making it the most compact Raspberry Pi yet. The Model A, by comparison, measured 3.39 inches in length.
The story behind the story: With the Model A+, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is looking to stir more interest in a super low-priced board. In October, Upton told a crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe that the Model A barely cracked 100,000 unit sales, while the B and B+ already surpassed 4 million. With an even cheaper board and a few B+-style upgrades, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is hoping to encourage even more interest in a basic computing device.
Why would you want one?
If you’re hoping to use a Raspberry Pi as a quick-and-dirty entertainment center, or a miniPC with a bunch of USB ports, then the B+ is probably your better option. But for anyone who wants to use their Raspberry Pi in a hardware project where space is at a premium, the A+ is worth considering.
The Model A+ is just the first of two big announcements we expect to see from the world of Raspberry Pi in the coming months. Also due out is a 7-inch WVGA touch display accessory specifically designed for Raspberry Pi boards.
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Computers and Peripherals
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.
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