Despite some global supply-chain challenges, the Raspberry Pi is currently available in a 2GB kit version for $140 [View] and a 4GB keyboard version for $99. [View] The kit version requires a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The keyboard version comes with a mouse and only requires a display.
As a tech support provider, I see the greatest value of Pi computing in the low cost of hardware purchase, software, and tech support.
The low cost of equipment means any computer problem can be solved for $99 by giving someone a replacement computer. There’s no need to pay for a $200 extended warranty when the computer can be replaced for $99.
The internal solid-state system drive is a micro SD card, easily replaced without any special tools or skills for about $10 to $30 depending on the storage capacity you need. [View Drives]
On a traditional laptop or desktop computer, the main system drive is perhaps not even replaceable, or can only be replaced at great cost by paying a consultant. On some computers with non-removable storage, like an Apple laptop computer, a damaged system drive could cost $800 or more to replace out of warranty (by replacing the main system board).
SETUP TIME AND COST
If someone asks me to reinstall Windows and Microsoft Office on a typical laptop or desktop computer, it’s an afternoon project. I lose money by charging for only a fraction of my time. The numerous updates and desirable customizations take time. [Learn More] The subscription to Microsoft 365 is about $105 per year.
If someone asks me to completely reinstall their operating system and office suite of software on a Raspberry Pi computer. I can to that using about 30 seconds of my time. I could probably afford to do the work and give them a new system drive at no cost just as a courtesy. The work could be done in a few minutes while they wait. That’s a huge difference. The software is free and there are no ongoing subscription or service fees.
A similarly simple device for computing would be an Apple iPad which costs about $330. A bluetooth keyboard for about $30 would help make the iPad more like a laptop computer.
TECH LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Using simpler technology requires some simplification of a person’s daily routine and tech demands. People who feel they need expensive powerful computers might want to examine what life changes they could make that would not require such capabilities.
The Raspberry Pi computer or Apple iPad require some changes in computing practices, but generally should serve the needs of most people.
This article relates to the topic of Tech Industry Supply Shortages. [Read More]
PHOTO. The photo at the top of this page is from Kent Park on 5 Aug 2020.