Category: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi: The smart person’s guide

The Raspberry Pi’s success defied expectations. Conceived as an affordable computer for getting kids to learn how to code, its creators thought they’d sell 1,000. They’ve sold more than eight million. Here’s why.

Executive summary

  • What it is: A credit card-sized computer that costs as little as $5 that spawned a community of millions of home makers and programmers.
  • What it does: A lot. Despite its low-cost, the Pi can be run as no frills PC, a pocketable coding computer, a hub for homemade hardware and more.
  • Why it matters: The Pi is a great machine for stoking interest in programming among schoolchildren worldwide and helping create the next generation of developers.
  • Who it affects: Anyone with the inclination to pick up a Pi and start tinkering.
  • When is this happening: Right now. More than eight million Pi boards have sold since the machine’s launch in 2012 and demand was reinvigorated by the recent release of the Raspberry Pi 3.
  • Where is this happening: All over the world, with the Pi’s official forums supporting a community of more than 150,000 active users.
  • Who is making it happen: A not for profit charity on a mission to get the world interested in how computers work.
  • How to get it: Online from Premier Farnell and RS Components, if you’re based in the UK, or from Allied Electronics or Newark, if you’re in the US.


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Photos: Building a Raspberry Pi laptop

Box of delights

This is the Pi-Top – a laptop in a box that you build yourself.

Assembling a laptop sounds daunting but in reality the Pi-Top is about as easy to put together as a piece of flat-pack furniture. No soldering is required, as the parts just slot together, and with some patience it can be pieced together in an afternoon.

Here’s how it’s done.

Read our full review of the $299 Raspberry Pi 3-based kit.

Photo directory of building 

Pi-Top review: A Raspberry Pi laptop for tinkering on the go

The Raspberry Pi 3 may fit in your pocket but in its simplest form it’s not a computer you can use on the move.

However, the Pi is nothing if not flexible and the Pi-Top kit gives you everything you need to turn the $35 computer into a laptop.

At $299 – including the Pi 3 – the build-your-own-laptop kit obviously adds to the cost of board. However, beyond just turning the Pi a mobile computer, the Pi-Top is designed to ease the novice user into tinkering with software and hardware. This user-friendly ethos is evident throughout the Pi-Top, in both its customised OS and its simple to slot together components.

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