The Raspberry Pi company is best known for its main eponymous product line, now in its fourth incarnation (and also getting a little pricier, at least temporarily). But there are all sorts of variations on the inexpensive single-board computers, including ones that go even smaller and less powerful, for the tiniest of custom projects and industrial builds. The latest is a sequel to the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, the Pi Zero 2 W.
At the moment there’s no such thing as a Pi Zero 2, sans W. Unlike the original, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is coming out of the gate packing wireless powers. The new design includes both Bluetooth 4.2 (a minor upgrade) and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. But the biggest improvement over the older model is a new 64-bit, quad-core ARM processor quoted as “five times faster” than the single-core CPU in the original Pi Zero. Other enhancements include better wireless RF compliance and an upgraded CSI-2 camera connection.
Despite the upgrades, the Pi Zero 2 W keeps a lot of the essential hardware intact. That includes Micro USB connections for power and OTG data, a Mini HDMI port with support for up to 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, 512 megabytes of memory, and the HAT-compatible 40-pin connector. Crucially, it has the exact same 65mm x 30mm dimensions, port layout, and mounting points as the Pi Zero introduced way back in 2015. That means that you should be able to slide the new Pi Zero 2 W into cases and other accessories designed for the original with minimal fuss.
With dramatically boosted power and more flexible wireless options, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W looks like it’ll be a hit with the maker crowd, even if it is a little more expensive. Listings are up now at retailers like PiShop, Adafruit, and MicroCenter for $15, though some aren’t ready to ship just yet. The Pi Zero 2 W is also being introduced in the UK, EU, Canada, and Hong Kong, with sales in Australia and New Zealand expected next month.
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Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.