Raspberry Pi 2 hands-on: Is the souped-up board ready to take on the PC?

​Web browsing

Raspberry Pi 2 - Model B

The most widely-used piece of software on PCs is typically the browser, so it's reassuring the Pi 2 can navigate the web with relative ease.

Raspbian's Epiphany web browser took just over five seconds to load initially but afterwards started in a relatively nippy 2.3 seconds.

Opening pages takes only slightly longer than your average laptop, with the BBC homepage taking about 2.35 seconds, and sites such as ZDNet.com not taking much longer, an average of 3.3 seconds.

As you might expect performance is not flawless, you sometimes see a checked pattern when scrolling a page as the content renders. Also opening five tabs caused a noticeable delay when swapping between tabs as the pages loaded back in.

However, overall the Pi 2 proved a comfortable machine for browsing, one that fitted Upton's description as fulfilling a role as a house's second PC.

Raspberry Pi 1 - Model B

The Pi 1 in comparison fared far worse taking 10.5 seconds to load the Epiphany browser initially and six seconds subsequently. Opening pages took about twice as long, five seconds for the BBC homepage, and seven seconds for ZDNet.com

There was very clear lag when scrolling ZDNet, with the checked pattern taking several seconds to disappear as content was rendered. Opening five tabs also slowed page loading to a crawl and as the CPU maxed out.

Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.