Raspberry Pi Model A+ board is smaller, cheaper than Model A predecessor

The new version includes many of the improvements from the more powerful B+ board, but costs just $20.


The Raspberry Pi Foundation has been a crucial part of a revolution in low-cost Linux computing since it introduced its original board back in 2012 for a mere $35. Since then, it's released a number of improved boards, including the brawnier  Pi B+ model last summer that retained that original price. The result has been sales of around four million Raspberry Pi boards , along with competition from the likes of Arduino (which actually released its first ARM-based board months before Raspberry Pi debuted) and the more powerful, pricier Banana Pi .

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With the Raspberry Pi Model A , the foundation went cheaper and more energy efficient, dropping the price to $25. Now with the just-announced Model A+, Raspberry Pi has gone cheaper still, lowering the price another $5 while retaining some of the improvements from the B+.

The A+ still retains the same chipset (Broadcom BCM2835), processor (ARM1176JZ-F), and amount of RAM (256MB) as the Model A, but is 20mm smaller and slurps even less power. Like the B+, it now offers a microSD slot instead of a standard-size SD slot, improved audio quality, and an increase in GPIO pins to 40. It still only has a single USB port, however, whereas the B+ includes four, and lacks the Ethernet port that the B+ comes with.

Of course, the $20 price tag only gets you the Model A+ board (available in the US through MCM Electronics). You need to house it in something, which can be a point of consternation . One of the Raspberry Pi's cool features, however, is that there are  a variety of ways the board can be used, from smartphones to tablets to wearables and more. In fact, the lower power requirements of the Model A+ should make it even better suited than its predecessors for mobile applications.