I applaud the Raspberry Pi 2 with ARMv7 quad-core CPU and LPDDR2 RAM release. My opinion on the original Raspberry Pi (non +, model B 256MB and 512MB RAM) boards was fairly sour due to the anemic ARMv6 single core CPU. Generally speaking, the Beaglebone Black and Intel Edison have been substantially better choices for the maker and professional embedded systems designer.
Upon receiving the Raspberry Pi 2 and loading the latest Raspian image, my impressions are far more favorable than the Raspberry Pi 1. Using the LXDE graphical desktop, the Raspberry Pi 2 is useful for basic desktop use. At this time, Firefox is not available for the Raspberry Pi 2, and HTML5 is not fully supported in the GNOME Web browser.
The hacks I saw on the web for Chromium using Pepper didn’t work for me, but I mostly plan to use this as a headless device, so I didn’t pursue it futher.
In short, the painfully and in my opinion uselessly slow desktop graphical environment of the Raspberry Pi 1 has been overcome with the much faster multicore ARMv7 CPU of the Raspberry Pi 2, which is usable as a basic desktop, much like the Beaglebone Black.
The Beaglebone Black has been a much better choice than the Raspberry Pi 1 due in part to the PRU, DDR3L RAM (faster), and ARMv7 CPU.
The Intel Edison has been a much better choice than the Raspberry Pi and in some applications better than the Beaglebone Black due to the Edison’s dual-core x86 CPU, fast RAM, and extremely favorable energy efficiency. Depending on your application, the Edison may run 10x as long or more on battery than the Raspberry Pi (1 or 2) and Beaglebone Black.