The first few computers cost thousands of dollars, and were out of the reach of many, and even after the first personal computers were introduced, they were still prohibitively expensive. But over time, any new technology gets commoditized, and the cost of production comes down, leading it to become accessible to more people.
Right now, around 2 billion people have computers of some kind, be it a smartphone or a laptop or anything else. But there are still billions out there without a computer, and these can only be reached with a cheap and accessible computer.
The cheap computer movement took a huge step forward in 2012 with the release of the $35 computer, the Raspberry Pi. After becoming popular in the hands of hobbyists and students, a cheaper but capable version was released.
But today is the culmination of Raspberry Pi’s vision of accessible computer, as the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the Raspberry Pi Zero: a full fledged $5 computer.
It has the same innards as the first Raspberry Pi, that is a 1Ghz Broadcom processor with a GPU capable of outputting 1080p and 512MB RAM. It has a two USB ports, one microHDMI port, a microUSB port and connectors for connecting adaptors to connect composite cables (That’s a handful). There’s also a connector for connecting GPIO headers (upto 40).
It is also the smallest Raspberry Pi yet, and that, combined with its low price means that the Raspberry Pi Zero is a great match for not just people in developing countries, but also for hobbyists on a budget.
To get a handle of the things you could do with the Raspberry Pi, here’s just a small glimpse: You can make a media Server, a NAS, a media-center, a retro-console, a portable Gameboy, a camera, a wireless music system and much, much more with the Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is truly a revolution, and brings computing down to a level where it is affordable for practically anyone. What do you think? Read to order the cheapest computer yet?