Raspberry Pi 3 A+ offers the same 3 B+ performance for $10 less

The new slim version ditches the Ethernet port for an even smaller form factor

Raspberry Pi 3 A+

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has a goal to make computing affordable to everyone, and it's done just that by launching a $25 version of its most powerful mini-PC.

Since 2012, its low-cost microcomputer range has allowed developers, students and those without huge budgets to build impressive projects using a $35 credit-card-sized computer. The organisation has looked to constantly evolve the Raspberry Pi to suit developer needs, and now the company has released a budget version of its microcomputer in the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, featuring a slimmed-down feature set.

This smaller, cheaper model uses the same 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU as the superb $35 Model B+ and has 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, making it easy to use anywhere there's a connection. But, to get this new model down in price, the company has had to shed some specs. According to CEO Eben Upton, that's what the Raspberry Pi Foundation is all about.

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"We've always tried to find ways to bring computing to people at lower prices: we don't want cost to be a barrier to entry," Upton told IT Pro. "Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ represents us bringing our highest-performance platform down to the $25 point that's been our signature since we first announced Raspberry Pi in 2011."

To get that $10 drop in price the Model A+ has removed the Ethernet port - meaning you have to use Wi-Fi - and there is only one USB 2.0 port instead of the normal four. There's also less RAM, dropping from 1GB to 512MB.

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It's a similar formula the organisation adopted for the launch of the A+ model in 2014. The difference this time is that this new version is more capable; the earlier A+ models lacked both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, so they had no onboard way to get an internet connection. With the Pi 3 A+, you have Wi-Fi capabilities straight out of the box.

Raspberry Pi 3A+ next to the B+ model - courtesy of the Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Foundation said it was a "rather poignant" product and that the 3 A+ was about "closing things out in style" as it's the final iteration of the "classic" Raspberry Pi.

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