Raspberry Pi Zero

It seems slightly surreal to be alive at a time when a computer the size of a credit card can be bought for less than £5. But that's exactly what the UK's fastest growing tech company have delivered with their latest release, the Raspberry Pi Zero.

If first impressions really are as important as they say, then this computer is probably going to come up short. Instead of slick colour schemes and rounded edges, the Raspberry Pi Zero appears to tap into that same mindset that compels us to buy typewriters and record players, sacrificing style for stripped back simplicity (although at £5, nobody's going to be complaining about the looks too much).

It's also not really fair to draw paralels with hipster fads, because despite its dated appearance, the Raspberry Pi Zero is not so much a relic from a bygone era but a window into the present technological age. The pocket-sized device is aimed at helping people learn the science behind computers. Although the mission statement is admirably focused on extending education opportunities to children and those in the developed world - Raspberry Pi are strictly non-for-profit - it's essentially suitable for all ages and ability levels, whether you're a bonafide tech geek with a penchant for collecting computers, or a curious novice.

In terms of functionality, the device admittedly appears a little one-dimensional to the untrained eye, but you'd be surprised at how much it can do; imagine trying to find space on your debit card for USB and HDMI ports. That's the good news: you won't have to use a magnifying glass to view a tiny screen, or get some tweezers out to operate a keyboard, because you can simply hook this thing up to a standard PC monitor and keyboard (using cables provided free in the box no less).

Practically speaking, the geeks at Raspberry Pi claim their new super computer can help people learn the basics of programming, and have helpfully set it up so that it is compatible with several different program languages - meaning you can tailor it to your needs as you become more and more familiar with the world of computer science.

It can also be used as an instrument for, among other things, browsing the web, imputting data into spreadsheets and completing word processing assignments. Although there is no built-in Wi-Fi, you are free to plug in a Dongle, or you can hook up an etherrnet cable and link it directly to your hub.

There are those who will have reservations about the performance of a computer so tiny, and one of its limitations is that it does not support any additional memory. But it's still a mightily impressive piece of kit, capable of generating graphics 'roughly equivalent to the original Xbox'.

Many will purchase their Raspberry Pi Zero for the novelty value; many more will buy one to help set up their children for a career in computer programming. If you're still not convinced, consider this: every penny you give to Raspberry Pi supports the company in their quest to help children the world over learn about computers.