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.
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! Basic recommendations are;
- A good quality 5V power supply
- 4GB+ SD Card with Operating System
- Mini HDMI to HDMI Adapter – to adapt to standard HDMI cables
- USB OTG Cable – to connect USB devices such as WiFi dongles, USB hubs, keyboards, mice, etc.
- USB Console cable – to log in over a serial console for headless operation
- 2×20 Male header strip – solder this in to plug in Pi HATs, GPIO cables, etc as you would into a normal Pi
- 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- 1GHz, single-core CPU
- 512MB RAM
- Mini HDMI® port and micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) port
- Micro USB power
- HAT-compatible 40-pin header
- Composite video and reset headers
- CSI camera connector
x1 unit RPI ZERO W (no pre-soldered header)