Fans of the original ultra-cheap, amazingly dinky, let’s-get-kids-coding Raspberry Pi Model B computer will be glad to hear that its successor has officially been revealed. We’ll let you guess its name.
The second generation Raspberry Pi Model B is claimed to be around six times more powerful than the original, having upped its processing power from a dual-core to a quad-core ARM Cortex A7-based Broadcom BCM2836 CPU, which is also clocked to run 200MHz faster than before (900MHz vs the 700MHz of the original model).
The RAM has also doubled from 512MB to 1GB, although unlike the recently announced (and more expensive) Imagination Technologies Creator CI-20 board, there’s still no on-board flash memory – users will still need a microSD card loaded up with an operating system if they want to actually get anything done with the miniature PC. Along with a keyboard, mouse and HDMI cable of course.
Other specs include four USB ports, Ethernet and the provision of a 40-pin GPIO interface to allow it to chat to other hardware devices. There’s no built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, although both can be added with USB accessories.
The really key thing is that Pi 2 will work with all existing Pi projects and software. Rather than dramatically changing functionality, it’s merely set to offer a better experience, and it’ll even fit in the box you bought for your original Model B+ (the third version of the v1 edition). The boosted specs should result in smoother video streaming and improved performance in other graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming (dynamite explosions in Minecraft are supposed to be a whole lot better), and it can be yours from today for around R500 (but you’ll be ordering from overseas so expect a little extra tax).
While the Pi 2 can run Linux straight out of the box, it will also support Windows 10 at some point in the future. The Raspberry Pi 2 version of Windows 10 will be available to customers for free when it’s eventually released, but kids can jump still in and start tinkering from day one, with bundled programming software.