The developers behind the upcoming super-cheap Raspberry Pi computer report that it will be available for public consumption next month. Last week the team uploaded images of populated boards from the first run of beta devices which are currently undergoing electrical testing alongside hardware and software testing. Ten of these beta boards may actually be auctioned off sometime this week.
"Once we’re happy that this test run is fine, we’ll be pushing the button immediately on full-scale manufacture in more than one factory," the team reports.
For the uninitiated, Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that can plug directly into a TV via an RCA jack or an HDMI port. Users can also connect a keyboard via its one USB 2.0 port, or connect a wireless mouse/keyboard like Verbatim's Mini Wirless Slim set. Two versions will be offered at launch: the $25 Model A with 128 MB of RAM and the $35 Model B which sports 256 MB of RAM and an additional 10/100 Ethernet port -- Wi-Fi can be added using a standard USB dongle.
As for additional specs, the Raspberry Pi will measure 85.60 x 53.98 x 17-mm, with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. It also weighs around 45g and provides a standard 3.5-mm audio jack, a micro-USB slot for power (it can run on 4xAA batteries too), and an ARM-based Broadcom BCM2835 SoC clocked at 700 MHz. There's no VGA support, but adapters are available. There also isn't a protective cover -- customers will be purchasing a "naked" product with its components exposed.
"Debian, Fedora and ArchLinux will be supported from the start," reads the FAQ. "We hope to see support from other distros later. We will be selling SD cards with the distros preloaded."
The team adds that users can "un-brick" the device by re-flashing the SD card. To learn more about Raspberry Pi, head here. So far there's no indication of when the auction will take place, so keep checking back with the team's development blog.