Now anybody can bag themselves a BBC Micro Bit

BBC Micro Bit box

After previously only being made available to school kids (in Year 7) for free, the BBC's Raspberry Pi-alike mini-computer can now be pre-ordered by anyone who wants one of the devices.

The Micro Bit is up for grabs with a number of online retailers, many of whose names will be familiar to Raspberry Pi fans, including: Element 14, Kitronik, Pimoroni, Premier Farnell, Science Scope, Technology Will Save Us and The Pi Hut.

Over at Kitronik, the price for the board alone will start at £12.98 including VAT. You can splash out a little more for the starter pack at £14.99, and this comes with a USB cable, battery enclosure and a pair of AAA batteries.

That's the basic starter pack, and there are several variations such as one which throws in a MI:pro protector case (this runs to £20.39 in total), and another that does away with the batteries and comes with a MI:power board (with 3V coin cell) instead (£19.79).

Inventor's Kit

Or you could go the whole hog and order the Inventor's Kit which is the basic starter pack along with a load of extra bits and pieces – LEDs, resistors, capacitors and so forth – you need to complete 10 different experiments with the device. You also get a tutorial book detailing those experiments.

Remember that this is just pre-ordering at this point – stock is expected to start shipping in early August (or possibly late July if you're lucky).

A million of the boards were given out to schoolchildren, with the aim being to encourage those kids to get into coding at an early age, offering various projects to get stuck into with plenty of resources and tutorials provided by the BBC online

The device can be used to code basic games or programs, and it's possible to pull off nifty little tricks like hooking the Micro Bit up to a smartphone and then using a button on the board as a remote control to trigger the handset's camera (to take selfies, for example).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).