Celebrating Raspberry Pi’s fifth birthday, the company is expanding its range of super affordable mini-computers, by launching the smallest and cheapest machine available. Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched the successor of the Raspberry Pi Zero, which brings connectivity to its super-cheap computer. While the Raspberry Pi Zero is a computer in its very simplest form, the new Raspberry Pi Zero W expands on the former with features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, specifically 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0. And keeping the promise of being the super-cheap computers, the Zero W costs just $10, which is approximately Rs 700.
While the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is already highly affordable, which is available for about $35, which is about Rs 2,300, the Pi Zero W cuts that price by two thirds. To put in perspective how small the smallest Raspberry Pi machine really is, it is not much bigger than a stick of gum. You can actually call Zero W the Pi 3’s less powerful but more affordable little brother.
Now, you would think that the connectivity features could just be added to the single circuit board of the original Raspberry Pie Zero, which costs just $5, which would be around Rs 300, but you are not the only one to think about that. Raspberry Pi Foundation notes in its Zero W announcement, that “users often end up adding a USB hub to allow them to connect a keyboard, a mouse and a network adapter, and this hub can easily cost more than the Zero itself.”
The base specs of the Zero W are identical to those of the non-wireless Zero, with the same single-core, ARM-based processor as the first-gen Raspberry Pi Model B released back in 2012, but with the processor clock speed has been bumped up to 1GHz. The system memory remains the same as the first-gen Model B, with 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM. The baseboard of the Zero W has one Micro USB port for connecting USB devices via a USB OTG adapter. As opposed to other Pi boards, the Zero W does not feature composite video/stereo audio connection and DSI Display connector.
Having said that, for the ones who are still trying to figure through their read, as to what purpose the Raspberry Pi Zero W would serve, the mini-computer has a potential to power anything from a DIY robot to a media center, thanks to an array of software, strong community support and internet connectivity out of the box. Anyone interested in tinkering with computer software and hardware and who wants a super-low cost piece of kit that is relatively easy to get started with. ALSO READ: Raspberry Pi 3: Everything you wanted to know about the credit card sized computer
The original Raspberry Pi was launched five years ago in February 2012 for $35, and since then, we have seen major improvements in terms of features and hardware in the successive models. The Raspberry Pi Zero was launched in November 2015 for $5, and early last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which is available to purchase in India for Rs 3,100.
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