A faster Raspberry Pi 2 computer is now shipping without a rise in price, and for the first time it will support Microsoft's Windows 10 OS for the development of smart devices and appliances.

At £26.52, €31.15 or US$35, the new computer has managed to retain the low-cost appeal of the original Raspberry Pi, which has sold more than 4 million units and been used to create interactive projects from postcard-playing audio hardware to a machine that turns your thoughts into a burst of flames – plus more sensible things such as cheap experiential campaigns that can be rolled out to stores across the country for minimal cost. Raspberry Pi 2 is also six times faster than the original computer.

Raspberry Pi 2 – which ships today – is an uncased computer that could be held in one hand, with all the important components on one board. The new computer is the same size as its predecessor, which spawned the development of robots, electronics, gadgets and even a Bitcoin ATM.

The Raspberry Pi 2 has a faster CPU and more memory than its predecessor, which could make it a true PC replacement, said Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi Foundation.

"This is obviously fantastic news for Raspberry Pi – in terms of performance it takes us over the line into being a 'real' PC you could use for web browsing and productivity applications," Eben said.

The faster performance will also bring new applications like computer vision to robots, smart devices, drones and other electronics. For example, the extra horsepower will allow the Pi 2 to comprehend images from attached 3D cameras, which was not possible on Pi 1.

Next Page »