The Raspberry Pi Foundation has today announced the latest version of its popular mini-computer. Known as the Model A+, the new system brings improvements introduced with the Model B+, while slimming down both the size and price tag of the board.
The most striking difference between the older Raspberry Pi boards and the new model is its size. The new version cuts the mini-computer’s length down from 86 mm (3.4 in) to just 65 mm (2.6 in). Like the Model B+, the new release makes use of microSD storage over full-size cards, and a low-noise power supply for better integrated audio.
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It also carries over the same, larger GPIO header, with 40 pins compared to the 26 found on the original board, allowing for compatibility with the company’s HAT standard for add-on boards. Like the original Model A, the A+ only features a single USB port, meaning you’ll have to pick up a USB hub if you’re intending to plug multiple devices into the tiny computer, and there’s no Ethernet port on board. There is a plus side to those omissions, with the new model using less power than the original Model A.
In light of those changes, it’s clear that the Model A+ is designed to sit alongside existing B+ rather than serve as an outright replacement for older boards. The latest Pi packs the same 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Model B+, and offers 256 MB RAM, meaning that its small form-factor and low-powered nature are its biggest draws.
Aside from the even tinier build, the biggest headline here is the price tag. Raspberry Pi boards have never been expensive pieces of kit, but the new version is the most affordable yet, lowering the asking price to just US$20. The refreshed mini-computer is built in the same South Wales Sony factory as the Model B+, and is available for purchase today from MCM in the US and Farnell in the UK, where it retails for £20.
Source: Raspberry Pi FoundationView gallery - 2 images