What is it?

Basic teaching PC

How will it change my life?

The raspberry pi foundation released the pi computer three years ago to scepticism due to its limited application and even fewer instructional resources. These misgivings were quickly forgotten with educational institutions and techy home-brewers driving sales of over five million, making it one of the most successful British computers. Known as a single board PC, there are no fancy graphics cards or even a case. The upgraded pi 2 offers the chance to get familiar with how our world revolves through technology in its most simple form. Its tiny size provides countless opportunities to downsize everyday gadgets or integrate into existing hardware with a little perseverance.

If you ever thought about creating your own games console, smartphone or radio then the pi is the platform on which to start. It also provides a foundation for the programming beginner to get their feet wet without having to get to grips with complex machine assembly code. This teaching revolution is closing the scientific gap created by government cuts thanks to its affordability and availability.

Good points?

Costing little more than a Brendan O'Carroll ticket (and infinitely more entertaining), the pi 2 is available to anyone with a willingness to learn. The technical specifications are impressive with a Quad Core processor running at 900MHz and 1GB of RAM. I purchased a similarly kitted out desktop computer in 2002 for over £700 and wasn't half as fun.

You can also buy add-on accessories such as SDcard readers for storage, funky-looking cases and a whole host of other components to help get the next Wozniak or Gates coming through.

Bad points?

The learning curve can be extreme so it's best to start small and seek help from more experienced hardware gurus. Getting assistance is easy as the internet is full of resources and people willing to pass on wisdom.

Best for ...

Those with an inquisitive nature and a little imagination.

Avoid if ...

You're looking for a little hobby to supplement your lazy Sunday mornings.

Score: 9/10

Raspberry pi 2, £28.99 (amazon.com)