What do you really think of the Raspberry Pi?

Update 16 November 2012 The survey has now finished. There will be more news on this soon. Thanks to everyone who took part.


A team of MBA students from the Cambridge Judge Business School is researching the public perception of the Raspberry Pi and have a set up a surveyto help understand what both users and non-users think of it.

We get loads of informal feedback about the Raspberry Pi and it would be fascinating–and useful–to get a more structured opinion. The survey is anonymous and only takes a few minutes (literally–I’ve just completed it myself), so if you’d like to tell the team what you really think of the Raspberry Pi and what you are using it for (or not!) then please wander over and get clicking. Thanks!

Update 1700 GMT.  The MBA team have been in touch and asked me to thank everyone who has taken the time to complete the survey: I’m told that the response has been the fantastic. The team do appreciate that the survey isn’t perfect and that they don’t have the technical expertise that many of you have, but they are working to a very tight deadline so I’m personally going to give them a little slack! The lack of open questions and a comment section, in particular, was intentional because it takes much longer to analyse such data, time they do not have. The survey is still ongoing if you’ve not completed it yet.

From a personal point of view, the Raspberry Pi is lucky to have such an experienced, active and vocal community, so thanks again to everyone who has contributed so far!


Jim Manley avatar

The page which asks to select up to three words associated with the Pi doesn’t accept any pointer clicks to select any words in a Chrome or Internet Explorer browser on Windoze.

Riccardo avatar

Jim try drag and drop

AndrewS avatar

Yeah, took me a while to figure out how to use that particular page too! Not very intuitive :-/

Jim Manley avatar

I definitely tried drag ‘n drop around midnight Friday U.S. West Coast time and it didn’t work, but it works now. Maybe they’re monitoring posts here … maybe they’re monitoring everything we do … maybe they’re right outside our door … maybe … AAAAAAHHHH!!! :D

Robert avatar

“Dave’s not here!”

Scott avatar

I got stuck on the education question. I only have a lowly Batchelors degree and there doesn’t seem to be a category for that. It’s got Masters and Ph.D but no Bachelors so how do I answer the question :-(

Scott avatar

and I can’t even spell Bachelors. There really is no hope for me :-(

Martyn Jones avatar

They used to make nice soup :)

scep avatar

Always a problem with US based survey defaults (well, not a problem in the US of course :)) Choose “4 year college degree” for a UK Bachelor degree

BigNob avatar

Yes, University of Cambridge should really have got that one right. I’d also like to know about “Mac Tablet”. Never seen one of those before.

normal avatar


Genderous avatar

That’s the assumption, but it’s not a mac.

vasi avatar

It’s called a modbook pro, made from honest-to-apple MacBook Pros.


Nev Young avatar

A pretty short sighted and I feel closed survey. e.g. I run one Pi 24/7 as a web server as well as a print server for the household LAN. A second Pi is being set up as a PVR. However, there was no option under “frequency of use” for “constantly”.
For all the language questions; they were dominated by a plethora of modern scripting languages. Amazingly for a linux based machine sh (or bash if you prefer) was missing! C was the only “traditional” language I remember seeing.

Matthew Winn avatar

I’d have liked a “constantly” option too: my Pi was running as an NTP server for the network at work. It’s not a toy you put away when you go to bed. And I also felt the lack of “sh” as a language, as it’s probably the most important language anyone working with a Unix-like system can learn.

imachrismoose avatar

I voted! Wait, that already happened… I took the poll. Is there no graph or anything for people who’ve finished to see? Anyway, I only WISH that I knew some sort of programmaing language! LOL

Ferry avatar

At first, I was expecting some questions about limitations we encounter with the Raspberry Pi and what we would like to see to be improved in the future. I am thinking about the CPU. However, there are no questions on this. Maybe the students aren’t interested in improving the Raspberry Pi, but I feel this is a missed chance to get a complete view on the opinion of all Raspberry Pi users.

Furthermore, I am following a 3 years bachelor programme.

scep avatar

The focus of their survey is on the perception of the product, not the hardware or software. If you want to suggest or discuss potential hardware improvements etc the Feedback and Request forum is the place to be…

Rupert avatar

You put 35 in the same age bucket as 54 year olds? Way to make me feel old!

Mattt avatar

On the other hand way to make me feel young ;o)

Pete avatar

I heard that ! Damn that question doesn’t do me any favours!

Iso9660 avatar

I think raspberry pi is cool, but the Carambola is very cool too.

Homer Hazel avatar

Can you provide some sort of link to what this Carambola is? I searched for it using Google and I got a plant and a Bed and Breakfast (I think) and some other things, but nothing that looked like a computer. I admit to ignorance and I have never heard of this.

Nathan Campos avatar

I didn’t knew about this Carambola board before, but I think he was referring to this: http://www.8devices.com/product/3/carambola

Found it by searching for “Carambola Board” on Google.

Homer hazel avatar

Thanks. I didn’t think of adding board.

LBokkers avatar

When will we be able to see the results of the survey?

Andy avatar

The question on highest education level warrants review. Inclusion of First or Batchelor’s Degree may avoid a bit of confusion for those outwith the Oxbridge or US systems.

Vince avatar

I was a bit surprised by the questions, not sure what value is in that little information.

My advice: Never do any survey without including a free-form text field: “What else would you like to say to us?”

I’d have answered: In addition to asking whether I have a RPi or whether it’s “very likely” that I’ll buy one, add an option: “I’m still waiting for my group order from RS” ;-)

I’d have expected a question: “What are you going to do with it?” – Homeserver (with or without programming on your own) – software-use only – hardware/robotics/embedded systems …

Andy Armstrong avatar

Great survey. Three tiny points. Perl is called “Perl” rather than “PERL”, Ajax isn’t a programming language and Delphi on a Raspberry Pi? Really? I guess it’s possible but it hardly seems likely :)

Thanks for all the hard work. It’s hugely appreciated.

James Klassen avatar

The Ajax bit as a language really bugged me and made me think this is yet another example of what happens when business people try to do tech stuff without asking tech people. I may be a little over sensitive to this as I have experienced this at work a few times and had to live with the very flawed conclusions that resulted from the mis-interpretations of confused surveys. The word association part also had many words that didn’t fit the sentence and therefore didn’t make any sense.

Lazarus is in the repo so Delphi-like is available. Also, continuous use (uptime 29 days and I’m sure others have longer uptimes). When not using it for other things, I have my RPi listening to the local APRS activity. Unlike my desktops, it draws low enough power where I don’t mind leaving it on all the time.

Thanks for all the work. The RPi is great!

Montekuri avatar

I don’t think Delphi or Lazarus as a programming language. Pascal is.

Homer Hazel avatar

I took the survey. I thought it a bit incomplete. It asked if I teach and I retired two years ago so I had to answer no. It asked what I use the Pi for and I don’t use them for anything yet. I plan to use them for home automation and irrigation control and many other things. You can use a $35.00 computer for nearly everything. Even if I never use them for anything, I will still be happy I bought them because I wanted to support the foundation and I applaud their goals of computer education amongst children. I will probably give one of mine to my Grand daughter for her birthday next year. I am still waiting for the buy two (get one, donate one) to come along. I am more than happy to donate $50.00 to the cause if that is the only way.

I read someone’s post about the size of the processor and the amount of RAM. That person should investigate the CUBIEBOARD. It uses a higher number ARM processor and it has a gig of ram plus a SATA port. I am supporting their development because I might need a more powerful alternative to the Pi.

It’s all good. When I was buying accessories for the Pi at Frys, the salesman introduced me to ARDUINO (I think). I have since discovered all of the items they supply.

The survey did not even give us a space to make comments. I would have loved to add comments like the above.

Thank you for the Raspberry Pi.

jan avatar

Well I am still waiting for my Raspi as RS takes 2 more weeks -__-
I am waiting since June. :/

Glen avatar

erm… my Pogoplug is neither desktop, laptop,or tablet, and i daresay many others around here use similar devices as home servers. Then there’s the bit about ajax being a language…

BenJ avatar

I think it’s still very incomplete without a gpu accelerated desktop.

Andrew Cordani avatar

Is it me, did I miss something,or was learning more about Hardware missing from that survey?

Martyn Jones avatar

I wasn’t too impressed with the survey if they want to know what we really think – it was too closed and limited in scope. You’d need to have some questions with ‘free text’ answers – I know they can’t be easily turned into stats by a computer but at least one section like this would give us somewhere to express ourselves.

I also found it strange that the Arduino was not one of the alternatives to consider for programming physical computing applications as I see it as a serious competitor to the RPi in this particular area, especially when looking at the low cost of breadboarded versions such as the ‘Shrimp’ (www.shrimping.it) which can be built for less than £5. Indeed, many RPi hardware ‘projects’ about on the net just seem to be rehashed Arduino ones. I know the RPi is a totally different animal and can do a lot more than an Arduino, but it also costs a lot more too. My RPi is currently being used as an excellent Raspbmc Media Player and even though I have a PiFace buffer board, I’ve moved over to experimenting with computer control with the Shrimp Arduino clone, which I think satisfies many of the Foundation’s educational aims. Just my two penn’orth which I couldn’t put in the survey anywhere.

Jim Manley avatar

Arduinos aren’t in the same class as the Pi – you can program an Arduino with a Pi, but not the other way around. You can use a Pi for simple tasks an Arduino can do if you ignore virtually all of the Pi features – but the same would be true if you were using a massively-parallel high-performance supercomputer to turn LEDs on and off.

With a lot of expense (relative to the cost of an Arduino device), you can piecemeal add things like USB, Ethernet, video, etc., but by that time, it’s way beyond the cost of a Pi, and you don’t get in any current or planned Arduino anything like 1080p HD video, 24 GFLOPS 3-D graphics, or 40 million shaded polygons per second contained in every Pi.

Branden avatar

Just bought a raspberry pi, when it gets here I am going to build a lego case for it.

I do wonder, what is the next product going to be.

Penthux avatar

Hmm… Raspberry Pi² and after that a Raspberry Pi³ ? :D

Branden avatar

Your most likely right, but I was wondering the hardware. I should have specified.

Rob avatar

They might say that the surveys not perfect but I have seen far worse.
Will the results of the survey be published?

Ronster033 avatar

What do you really think of the Raspberry Pi?

-Love it

SiriusHardware avatar

I couldn’t get the ‘three words to describe..’ bit to work either. When asked the question of whether I would recommend / gift the Pi to anyone else I had to answer in the neutral because as it stands right now it is not entirely finished (with outstanding issues like the need for accelerated ‘X’ still being worked on), and so can not really be treated like a fully finished consumer product. I have no doubt that the Pi with its final firmware / linux distribution will be a brilliant product, and I would have liked the opportunity to make that distinction clear.

MuddyDogs avatar

Hello, my name is Jamie and I have a problem.

When it came to that question about how many computers do you have in your home, I got to “More than 4” just by counting the number on or under my desk, never mind in the rest of the house.

One Raspberry Pi (obviously), one MacBook Air, two Window machines (home built) and a Mac Mini Server.

Oh dear :-)

Andrew avatar

Yes, I wished they had a ‘more than 15’ option personally so I can point it out to my wife – see honey? it’s perfectly normal.

Lucas avatar

Wainting mine for 16 weeks now.
“What do you really think of the Raspberry Pi” -> On paper, the specs looks great for the price!

Simon avatar

Not impressed by the survey. It did not work with Firefox (perhaps something I blocked?). I have 2 PC desktops, one runs Linux and one runs Windows!

No doubt they will be going for publicity when they publish the results. Can you push for the raw data to be made available so we can check their conclusions? Has anyone saved the survey pages for the rebuttal if required?

Puffy avatar

Could have done with more options in the 3 words part. I would have liked;



Leia avatar

Some of those discussing the questions themselves seem to have forgotten these are STUDENTS writing them – and writing good questions in a survey is a learned skill and not nearly as easy as it looks, and they’re not going to get right first time. Constructive feedback yes – but some of the comments are very brusque! Not the normal supportive Pi community feel at all.
And speaking of students, I’d love to get hold of the raw data from the results of this and the other survey for mine to play with as part of their Application of Number course. Any chance?

Anonymous avatar

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