Perhaps most importantly, the Pi now has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities built into it, freeing up its USB slots for other uses. It also sports a 64-bit 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53 chip. All available Pi operating systems at the moment are 32-bit, and there are no current plans to upgrade, but the A53 will also serve as a better 32-bit processor than the old 32-bit ARM A7.
As these computers get more and more capable, the potential uses for them expand. I have a friend who’s combined one with a 3D-printed case and 7” display to make a sort of do-it-yourself tablet—much bulkier than an ordinary manufactured tablet, of course, but with the advantage of complete hardware and software openness. And the form factor will undoubtedly improve over time. Who knows—perhaps given a few years, everyone will be slapping their own tablet together from parts rather than buying them pre-made from the store.
The credit-card-sized computer motherboard is now on sale for $35 or £30 from Raspberry Pi’s resellers, such as Element14, Think Allied, and RS Components, depending on whether the Atlantic is east or west of you.