Beta Raspberry Pi PCs Draw Big Bids On eBay

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The pint-sized Raspberry Pi computer is due to hit doorsteps and developing markets any time now, but that hasn’t stopped some ardent fans from igniting an eBay bidding war over some pre-production units.

So far, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has put four pre-production models on eBay, and all of them command a pretty hefty premium over the vaunted $35 price tag that their mass-produced brethren will sport.

At time of writing, the first Raspberry Pi to be put up for auction (number 10 of 10) has attracted bids as high as £1,750 ($2714). Subsequent models haven’t garnered quite as much attention, but even the most recent addition to the auction block has netted an impressive £565 ($875) bid.

If you’ve managed to miss our coverage of the Raspberry Pi, it’s a lilliputian computer that sports some decidedly last-decade specs — think 700 MHz processor and either 128 or 256 MB of RAM. All of the beta units currently up for auction are the slightly flashier “B” variant, which sports double the RAM of the base version, along with a 10/100 wired ethernet connection.

It certainly won’t replace your typical desktop, but the vision behind the project is to get this into the hands of clever children and enthusiasts the world over. And hey, it’s more than powerful enough to introduce a whole new generation of children to the joys of Quake III.

The auction will continue for another week or so, until all ten beta units have been sold. Here’s hoping that these big bids continue to roll in — all proceeds from the auction will go toward the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s goal of promoting computer science education in schools.