The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released an updated A model Pi, and has even slashed the price of the board by a few dollars just for good measure.
Improvements to the Model A board, now called the A+, include more general purpose input/output (GPIO), a microSD card slot replacing the prior gen SD slot, and better audio. The A+ is also reportedly smaller in dimension, and consumes less energy than its predecessor. Like the previous board, the A+ still only has one USB port, 256MB of RAM, and no Ethernet.
While the A+ is an upgrade in most respect, it doesn’t mean people have to pay more for the board. It’s quite the opposite, actually. The Pi foundation decided to shave off $5, making the board just $20.
So where does the A+ come in to play relative to its beefier counterpart—the B/B+?
The maker of the board believes that people should give the A+ a chance, because it’s a perfect fit for projects that don’t require a lot of compute power and built-in Ethernet networking. DIY projects such as simple robotics are perfect examples.
“I feel like some people missed out on why the lower-power model like the Model A can make sense. If you’re building something with robotics, or essentially any project that doesn’t need Ethernet networking, it’s a great fit,” said Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton.
The A+ board’s $20 tag is tempting, but most people interested in a Pi are often more than willing to cough up another $10 for the more powerful B model.
Enthusiasts aside, the Pi boards are also gaining a foothold in the education sector. Google recently dropped $1 million grant into the foundation’s bucket to provide UK schools with Pi boards so they can learn to code.