The credit card-sized Raspberry Pi Model B has finally shipped, with early reviewers praising the device’s responsiveness, value, and tiny form factor.
“Raspberry Pi is just a tiny bit too big to fit in an Altoids tin,” wrote Twitter user @hobbsy.
The Raspberry Pi is a small, inexpensive computer conceived as an educational tool. But the idea caught on among hobbyists and modders as well, sparking unprecedented demand and frustration after a series of manufacturing and certification delays.
The $35 Model B that has finally shipped has an ARM11 processor and a Videocore 4 GPU – processing power and graphics at about the level of a Pentium 2 chip and a first-generation Xbox. That perfect storm of moderate power, price and do-it-yourself appeal resulted in unexpected demand and anticipation.
The unit isn’t quite good to go on its own. You’ll have to buy an SD Card if you want onboard memory, and it needs to be attached to a screen and input devices if you want to interact with it. But reviewers are starting to weigh in, and the verdict has been positive.
LinuxUser’s Gareth Halfacree, who gave the device 5/5 points, wrote that “the Pi is nothing short of a marvel. Booting into a customised build of Debian, compiled for the somewhat outdated ARM11 processor at the heart of the system, is surprisingly quick.”
The lightweight system performs as well as could be expected, he wrote.
“Even loading a graphical user interface, via the lightweight LXDE desktop, is pain-free, although scrolling in the included Midori web-browser can be jerky on the more complex pages,” he wrote.
RS Components, the supplier for the miniature computer, has expressed relief the consumers are finally getting their hands on the product, promising they will work hard to make sure subsequent batches are produced in a timely fashion.
“There has been a huge wave of anticipation and extraordinary levels of demand for Raspberry Pi since it was launched, so we are delighted to be delivering the first boards to initial customers,” said Glenn Jarrett, Head of Electronics Marketing at RS Components, in a press release.
Now that the device has hit the market – thought it will still take some time to get your hands on one if you haven’t pre-ordered it – it’s likely that a cottage industry of Raspberry Pi accessories will mushroom around the community.