Raspberry pi 2 processing capability?

Hearing the announcement of the new latest and greatest Raspberry Pi 2, now a backwards compatible computer with a 0.9GHz ARM Cortex-A7 quad core processor and 1GB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, I was wondering of the feasibility of using it as a very cheap and basic solution for a simple computer for my lab.

Currently, I am using a compaq presario C700 Pentium Dual-Core laptop, that has been maxed out with 2GB 800MHz kingston RAM, and is running Kubuntu. I should also not the HDD has been replaced with a 120GB one from an old and broken Xbox. I do not like it much anymore, because although the performance of it is acceptable, the screen is a bit low res, at 1280x800, it's pretty dark (or at least until it 'warms up' to full brightness), it had a major scratch on the screen, (no idea how it got there) and after buffing it out with many methods, including with an eraser, the area has became discolored, like a portion of the screen has higher gamut and brightness, and lower black levels. :( Oh well. The main killer for it is that it's form factor. It is too big, heavy, the screen is too small, and it is very cumbersome to use far away in the corner of my workbench. Of course being a laptop, the 'base' of it is fixed to the screen, and to move it closer to me takes away lots of valuable space on my really messy bench.

I mostly use it to research part numbers, get schematics off of google, watch YT videos, log data from serial ports (including my UNI-T multimeter with basic data-logging capabilities), and stuff like that. I may have as many as 20 tabs open at a time, which did tax my old compaq C700 when it had 1GB of RAM, but that was likely due to a memory leak issue with chrome, since I have the SAME issue with my main desktop, with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. If the video by MAKE is anything to judge, it looks just as powerful, as this embedded video is large!

My hope is to replace it with a raspberry pi, and be able to use it for these basic operations w/ a old cheap LCD monitor which can be picked up off of craigslist for cheap. Generally old 4:3 monitors go for next to nothing. Maybe I can even find one in the dump :P. Maybe I can configure the GPIO pins to be COM ports, w/ clock and everything else! That way an external FTDI chip and using the limited number of USBs is not an issue. Is that possible?

-max- (author) 2 years ago

umm video did not umbbed properly. (instuctables bug I guess.) Link is there anyway.

-max- (author)  -max-2 years ago

Also, I will add LTspice simulator, or equivalent. Will that be possible? It runs on windows, but installs and works in wine perfectly too. I do not, however, know how well it will work for the ARM processor architecture. It is not a deal breaker if it does not work, but I would really hope it does work.