updated 10:25 pm EST, Tue December 27, 2011
Launch date still unclear.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that its tiny PCs are finally nearing full production. The group is showing off the Raspberry Pi populated PCBs that are currently being used as the first run of beta devices, as project team members continue to test the hardware and software ahead of a public launch.
If all the boards from this batch perform well in testing, we'll be auctioning ten of them off," said Raspberry Pi volunteer Liz Upton. "I can tell you that so far, they've been as solid as a rock, but we're not counting our chickens before they've been hatched and inspected in very great detail to make sure that they are not mutant lizards."
The project aims to produce a PC that is approximately the size of a thumb drive, connected via USB and HDMI. The creator envisions the small computers as great for educational use, enabling students to engage in programming experiments.
The hardware centers around a 700MHz ARM11 processor paired with 128MB of RAM and a Linux-based operating system. Customers will also be able to purchase an upgraded version with an additional USB port, an Ethernet port, and double the RAM.
A solid launch date for the Raspberry Pi PCs has yet to be announced. The group suggests the prices will start at $25 for the basic model.