7 Reasons To Get A Raspberry Pi

raspberry pi logo   7 Reasons To Get A Raspberry PiI’m sure you’ve heard of the Raspberry Pi by now. If not, you’re in for a treat. It’s a tiny little computer that’s dirt cheap and incredibly customisable. Here at MakeUseOf, along with most geeky places online, we’ve fallen in love with the Raspberry Pi. Many of us have one or more and have come up with some fantastic ways to use them for play or for work.

If you’re thinking of getting a Raspberry Pi yourself, we’re obviously going to help convince you to go ahead with it. Maybe there’s a few things you didn’t realize it could do – or maybe you don’t yet realize how easy they are to work with. Either way, here’s a list of reasons that should help you part with that minuscule sum of money and get one of the best gadgets developed in recent history.

1. It’s Cheap!

Yes, I said it was a miniscule amount of money. You’re looking at a maximum of US$35 (and postage/taxes) for what is essentially a tiny computer without a case. When it comes to bang-for-buck, you’d be hard pressed to do better. Model A has 256Mb RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet. Model B has 512Mb RAM, 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port. Check out the FAQ for more specs.

Raspberry Pi B Parts   7 Reasons To Get A Raspberry Pi

2. It’s Tiny

The Raspberry Pi is just over credit card sized at 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm, plus a little overhang for the SD card and connectors which stick out over the edge. It weighs only 45g.

raspberrypithumb   7 Reasons To Get A Raspberry Pi

3. The Pi Can Run A Variety Of Operating Systems

Seriously, you can install Linux on this little computer and use it for whatever you like. Android is now officially supported too, plus there are also rumours you can run Windows 8 on it, but apparently it’s too slow to be worth trying.

4. The Raspberry Pi Is Really Versatile

The following items are two of the most popular uses for the Raspberry Pi: the media centre and a gaming machine. However, it was actually built with education in mind, to teach students how to program. Lots of people use Python to code for the Pi, but there are plenty more languages you can use.

For more uses still, this article shows how you can use a Raspberry Pi to be an arcade machine, a carputer, internet radio system, security system or a media centre:

5. Play Video And View Photos With The Pi

It can support 1080p video, which is pretty decent when you’re watching mpg movie files or viewing photos. It’s nearly as simple as plugging in a USB stick of your favourite media and watching. RaspBMC is the recommended software, which even supports Airplay. If you want more information on setting it up, check out these articles:

6. You Can Overclock It

It’s really easy to overclock a Raspberry Pi, so check out the guide we’ve written and get started:

7. You Can Play Games

There’s a growing community of gamers looking to play MAME and SCUMMVM games on the Raspberry Pi, but there are just as many using educational games for kids from software suites such as GCompris.

Get Your Raspberry Pi

Willing to break into the bank account now? Thought so. Go get your Raspberry Pi and peripherals at either of these stores:

Also, you might want to know how to get started, join the community and how to make yourself a cool case for your new Pi:

What was your biggest reason for getting a Raspberry Pi? What do you use it for now?

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

40 Comments -

0 votes

Alex Perkins

I just got given one :-D

0 votes

Anonymous

I want to set one of these up to automate my homebrewing system, homebrewing beer that is.

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

That would be cool!

0 votes

Daniel Escasa

I’ll drink to that.

0 votes

Igor Rizvi?

Idont think its “cheap” ,to order in my country,and btw i live in Croatia…it costs me around 150$ ,shipment bla bla bla,so it kinda fails at the first anwser pointed out.Its maybe cheap in US or where is it from,but it sure isnt for the europe

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

Oh, it’s cheap to post to France (where I am). Maybe check out the delivery cost from Premier Farnell / Element14 as it might be cheaper for you that way. Good luck!

0 votes

Christopher Chen

Where can I get android for the Pi?

0 votes
0 votes

Christopher Chen

I know that there are few version of android compiled for the Pi, some with hardware acceleration but no audio, and some with audio but no hardware accelerartion. Do you mean this project: http://androidpi.wikia.com/wiki/Android_Pi_Wiki ? I only ask because I don’t an incomplete build counts as ‘officially supported’.

0 votes

Timothy Liem

I still have no humaan resources to try it.. :(

0 votes

Tony Gonzaga

i want one. but i was told by my relative in USA that it is out of stock.

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

There was an initial run that ran out quickly, but there’s a steady flow of units being made now. Check the website for your closest store. They should be able to take an order and get one to you fairly soon.

0 votes

Jon Beige

I got both of mine from MCM Electronics. They seem to ship faster than other outlets. Here’s a link for your convenience:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14421

I had to RMA one before, and they were simple to deal with. Good luck!

0 votes

Félix S. De Jesús

I want one hehehehe ;)

0 votes

Carter Brainerd

I’ll stick to my full desktop computer. and my laptop for other things. I don’t see any use for this (for myself anyway)

0 votes

Natsirt Arcega

I hope MUO will make it as a “Reward” item for their “Hardware” category. Such a cool gadget! Two thumbs up!

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

One day maybe!

0 votes

Madhusudan Sk

its awesome for ppl looking to to play with robots and other microcontroller based projects/prototypes using linux…..

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

True. It would be perfect for that!

0 votes

Alba Spam

Got one, it’s okay.

0 votes

vineed gangadharan

sweet gadget hmmmm

0 votes

gpvprasad

Thanks for info.
But who are using it for what?

0 votes

Arron Walker

For gaming, you could also emulate some older consoles, and any of the Gameboys. It’s an excellent piece of kit, and what I’m going to be buying for my nephew when he’s a bit older.

0 votes

Iambeaker

Please, Please put together a quick tutorial on how to load some emulators (specifically NES) on the Pi. I tried other websites and they are hard to follow, unlike MakeUseOf’s great tutorials.

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

Nice idea. I’ll forward it to the team and see if someone wants to write it. :)

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I’ve never seen one at stores. Had it not because of MUO, How-to-Geek, and Lifehacker, I’d never heard of it.
Can you tell me how it’s different from Arduino? Sorry, I’m not too knowledgeable when it comes to hardware.

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

I’ve personally never played with Arduino, so I can’t really explain it to you. Maybe you could ask this one on MakeUseOf Answers:
http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/ask

0 votes

Daniel Escasa

In brief, the Arduino is a microcontroller, meaning it’s designed to control its environment. E.g., you can build a home automation system around an Arduino, or a weather monitoring system. You can also use a Raspberry, but it’s something of an overkill. The Raspberry is more of a general-purpose computer.

As to software, the Arduino isn’t likely to run Linux, as you can have only 32K. The Raspberry, on the other hand, does have Debian available.

0 votes

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Ok, I understand…kinda.
Thank you for the explanation. Might be worth the time researching these fancy items.

0 votes

Márcio Guerra

For what I know, Arduino is a small interface, that you use to interact (??) with the end user, like for example, you create a code that will be used on an art instalation. Lets assume a corredor with art picture both sides with lamps that will go on when you pass by them. With Arduino you can set the code on your pc/mac, then connect to the board all the LEDs, all the sonars, whatever you use, and it will run there…. Or a printer that will print some stuff created random, or whatever… It is nice, but then you use one or two languages to operate the boards… Never did, only seen one of my teachers doing…

Cheers!

P.s.- If needed I can try to get you some links, but nothing that Google won’t do better!

0 votes

Nicholas Green

Got one to use as a HTPC. The composite video output was the deal sealer for me as most other devices only offer digital (read hdmi) output.
Loaded up Rasbmc and had things working nicely for about a week until an about a month ago when an automatic update broke it. I have not been able to get Rasbmc running consistently correctly since then.
I switched to OpenElec and now have the Hulu, Amazon, iPlayer and You Tube plugins all running. Plus of course I can stream from my home network.
Next i look forward to playing with both Risc OS and Android.
Something that I quickly found is I have probably spent more on SD cards for the Pi than I spent on the Pi itself.,

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

Heh, I’ve bought rather a lot of SD cards just for the Pi too. :)

0 votes

Jon Smith

The Pi is absolutely really cool but I feel that there is a lot of other competition in this market now

0 votes

Márcio Guerra

Like I’ve said in another post, I’m only getting to know Raspberry Pi, although I find it appealing, I’m more into tablets at the moment… And like it was said below (above) I reminded me Arduino the first time I’ve knew about RP…

Nice one. I’ll try to figure out more and see if I follow under this one’s charmings!

Cheers!

Márcio Guerra

0 votes

Nicole ?

Are they being sold in the UK???

0 votes
0 votes

Shmuel Mendelsohn

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to technology – there is always new and improved!

0 votes

Sean A

My dad has just received one but will not let me touch it…

0 votes

Danial Nasirullah

I’m really interested in seeing if I could work it out as a carputer. Definitely something that I would be proud to show off. :)