The new Raspberrypi Model 3B+ with the Raspbian OS on the micro SDcard ready to plug in and go...
This gives a fully functional computer with a linux based operating system, straight out of the box. The board, case, power adaptor, microSd, keyboard, mouse, hdmi cable... all for under A$100 - just plug into a screen.
Designed and intended for learning programming and how to use a computer as a microcontroller for many things ... its actually a usable computer for general use - just plug in a keyboard/mouse and HDMI to your TV to browse the internet, check email, watch youtube videos, play movies and music from a USB input...and write your new book.
Its a quality product, made in the UK. Just 1Gb of RAM, built-in wifi and bluetooth, and a powerful graphics chip... all powered by a 5V phone charger.
This latest in the Raspberrypi line of products is a marked improvement on the previous models for general computer tasks. Connectivity is a breeze with the built-in wifi and Ethernet options. I added the "CUPS" print system and it recognised and installed my wireless Canon MG2960 printer. Similarly, it scanned from the Canon to the Pi over wifi and with "gimage reader" I was able to convert a paper document to text using OCR.
The Pi handles the common productivity software - LibreOffice, Gimp, Chromium - I added Xiphos, LXMusic player, and TBOPlayer as a front end to the optimised omxplayer for video playback.
The Pi plays HD video using the optimised omxplayer, but is not so good with the standard mplayer or VLC. Add the Youtube downloader to the TBOPLayer GUI for omxplayer and get smooth playback for YouTube.
Best just to try it yourself...
Up and running using a TV monitor
No monitor or keyboard... using an ethernet cable connection to use the laptop screen and keyboard