The original Raspberry Pi Zero was a tremendously compact little computer. It was released when we still thought the original Raspberry Pi was almost comically small. Still, aside from lingering supply issues (namely it was never in stock anywhere thanks to its $5 price), it was almost more of a sketch of a computer than a complete one. Getting any kind of connectivity required either a breakout board, or a USB adapter, either of which would ruin its svelte profile.
But the Raspberry Pi Foundation solved that with the release today of the Raspberry Pi Zero W. While the addition of Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi doubles the price to a wallet busting $10(!), it makes it an eminently more functional SoC. Even more so than the recently updated Compute Module, the RPZW seems ideally suited for the home IoT tinkerer.
It seems like the Raspberry Pi Foundation has no problem putting out a different version of their computing platform for anyone’s given hardware needs. While the added connectivity is really nice for a computer at this size and price, I have to wonder. How long until we see a Pi with better overall I/O capabilities? Maybe there’s some PCI Express in the platform’s future?
Ars Technica comments:
The “Raspberry Pi Zero W” is an updated version of the Raspberry Pi Zero. While it lacks some niceties, like Ethernet and a full-sized USB-A ports, it’s smaller than the flagship Pi and a fraction of the cost. The original Raspberry Pi Zero was released in November 2015 at a price of just $5/£4. The new Pi Zero W is almost identical to the original, but doubles the price to $10 and adds a wireless chip that supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz-only) and Bluetooth 4.0.
Read more at: New $10 Raspberry Pi Zero comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth