The Raspberry Pi line of mini computers -- including the all-new Pi Zero W -- are wonderful devices for what they are. Quite frankly, they have inspired many young people to learn about programming, while helping makers to create some really cool projects. With that said, the Pi computers are not the only System on a Chip solutions on the market.
Actually, there are more powerful ARM-based offerings available. The problem? They are often radically more expensive than Raspberry Pi.
However, there is a new Raspberry Pi competitor that is quite affordable. In fact, some folks may view it as a Pi-killer. The $30 FriendlyElec NanoPi M1 Plus has an arguably superior design and layout, plus important integrated features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It even has an IR receiver, onboard microphone, 8GB storage, and both power and reset buttons. Best of all? It is ready to run Debian, Ubuntu Core, and Ubuntu Mate from the start.