If you didn't think that the Raspberry Pi Zero could possibly get any better, then boy do we have a pleasant surprise for you! The new Raspberry Pi Zero W offers all the benefits of the Pi Zero v1.3, but with one big difference ? built-in WiFi!
More specifically, this giant upgrade is the addition of a BCM43143 WiFi chip BUILT-IN to your Raspberry Pi Zero ? just like the Pi 3! No more pesky WiFi adapters - this Pi is WiFi ready. There?s also Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board making the Pi an excellent IoT solution (BLE support is still in the works, software-wise).
We also have a basic pack, budget pack and starter pack with all the essentials to get your Zero W up and running.
At first glance, the Pi Zero W looks just like the Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 we know and love. But when we started to think of the added convenience of not having to worry about hooking up a WiFi dongle or Ethernet cable - and what a well-chosen set of accessories could add - we realized the appeal. And then we saw the price...could it be true? Yes!
This is the slimmest, most pared down Raspberry Pi to date. It's kind of like the little cousin to the Pi 3 - with just a micro SD card slot, a mini HDMI port, two micro USB ports (one for power, one for USB), and 512MB of RAM. It has a single-core 1 GHz processor chip, similar to the Pi A+ and B+.
The best part about all this is that the Pi Zero W keeps the same shape, connectors, and mounting holes as the Pi Zero v1.3. 99% of cases and accessories will still be fully compatible with both the Pi Zero W and v1.3 - though if you have a case with a metal top there might be some WiFi chip difficulties.
Please note - even though there's built-in WiFi, the Pi Zero W is quite minimal and requires a few accessories to turn it into a computer! At a minimum we recommend:
- A good quality 5V power supply - Either a 5V 2A with cable or combine a 5V 1A power supply and a Micro B USB cable - this will allow you to power the Zero from a wall adaper. It is not suggested to power the Zero from a computer USB port as the voltage often sags and can cause SD card corruption!
- 4GB+ SD Card with Operating System - You can grab a ready-to-go Raspbian card that has the correct firmware for the Zero here. Or you can pick up an 8G card with NOOBS 2.0. Or use a blank 4G SD card and burn in Raspbian Wheezy and update the firmware. Make sure you have the latest version!
- Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter - Will let you convert the little port on the Zero to a standard sized HDMI jack. You can get 1080P HDMI video + audio out of this little computer!
- USB OTG Cable - Lets you plug in a normal USB device such as WiFi dongle, USB hub, keyboard, mouse, etc into the Zero.
- USB Console cable - if you're not going to stick an HDMI monitor on there, then this is essential, you connect the wires to the GPIO pins and log in over a serial console. Its the easiest & fastest way to get on your Pi
- 2x20 Male header strip - Solder this in to plug in Pi HATs, GPIO cables, etc as you would into a normal Pi. (We also have a 2x20 Female and 2x20 Female right-angle style for more exotic connecting)
To keep the price and size as small as possible, there is a spot on the Zero for a 2x20 pin header. This header is not included or soldered on. Creative individuals can easily solder in a set of 2x20 male header strip so you can plug in any sort of Pi HAT or other plug-in topper. Or, go with a 2x20 female header and plug the Pi Zero directly into an Adafruit Cobbler or T-Cobbler.
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