Raspberry Pi Zero launches for the price of a pint

UPDATE:The Raspberry Pi Zero has all but sold out with nearly all units sold in the 24 hours after its launch.

Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation toldWiredmagazine that every single Zero his organisation has made has been sold.

"People are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven't sold out."

The new model given away free with copies of The MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine, as part of the microcomputer's launch.

10,000 units of the new Raspberry Pi were allotted for inclusion with the mag. It is currently reprinting, with a view to producing a further 10,000 units.

According to the publishers, The MagPi also doubled its print subscriber base within three hours of the latest issue hitting UK stands.

Interestingly for a commercial magazine, The MagPi is both sold in stores and distributed digitally for free. Circulation has skyrocketed for the digital edition as well as print, with the magazine's websites being taken offline six or seven times this morning due to the excessively high demand.

"For us magazine and book publishing is far from over," a spokesperson said, "and offering everything free to the community has done nothing to dissuade paying customers. In fact, the opposite trend is true and what we've done today is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of our plans for the future."

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched its latest computer, the Raspberry Pi Zero, which costs around the same as a pint in the pub.

The tiny computer measures just 65 x 30 x 5mm, and costs 4 ($5). Raspberry Pi described the Zero as a fully-fledged member of its range of hobbyist computers. It sports a Broadcom BCM2835 processor. This 1GHz ARM11 core is 40 per cent faster than that of the original Raspberry Pi.

It also boasts 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, a micro-SD card slot, a mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output and Micro-USB sockets for data and power.

There is also a 40pin GPIO header with an identical pinout to other members of the Raspberry Pi family.

As with its bigger siblings, the Raspberry Pi Zero runs Raspbian operating system and other applications such as Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. As well as running Raspberry Pi operating systems and application, the Pi Zero looks set to be used in a number of projects created by Pi enthusiasts.

The Pi Zero will be available from element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit.

In a blog post, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said the foundation had built "several tens of thousands of units so far and are building more", but warned that demand is expected to "outstrip supply for the next little while".

The Raspberry Pi Zero will also be given away with the organisation's official magazine and cables to connect the device to an HDMI-enabled monitor are available from its revamped online shop.

Earlier in the year, the Zero's bigger sibling, the Raspberry Pi 2 was launched with the device able to run a special version of Windows 10. Soon after launch, the device managed to break the five million sales mark.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.