Review of the Raspberry Pi Zero

I was extremely excited to learn of the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a trimmed down version of wildly popular the Raspberry Pi, and one designed for embedded operation. In getting the Pi Zero I was really impressed with its small size and low cost. It has a small HDMI output, and two micro-usb inputs (one is OTG).  The Pi Zero is about the size of a stick of gum, and is priced at $5. While I was impressed with just about everything associated with the Pi Zero, in my mind it has one fatal flaw. It has neither an Ethernet Port, nor on board Wifi. To really use the Pi Zero for any of the applications I would be interested in, Wifi or an Ethernet connection would have to be added. Making this more difficult is the issue of the Micro USB connection. I am not aware of any micro-USB wifi units. Hence, we must buy a cable that goes from micro-USB to USB, and then get a USB Wifi Dongle. The cost of the cable alone will likely be more than the Pi Zero itself, and destroys the small form factor provided by the Zero.

So, as much as I love the Pi 3, and as much as I wanted to love the Pi zero, I am going to have to give it the thumbs down. I understand when you make something small and cheap, you have to give up things. But, I with they would have dropped the HDMI output and one of the USB connectors, and provided on board Wifi.  I am hopeful they will at some point release an upgraded Pi Zero with on board Wifi. Then I would pursue development on this platform.

3 thoughts on “Review of the Raspberry Pi Zero”

  1. I never knew the Pi Zero didn’t have some sort of wifi connection!

    I agree that they should update the Pi Zero, by taking out some parts and adding onboard wifi.

    Also, do you have a link to buy a Pi Zero for $5?
    I could never find one for $5, oddly!

  2. You a really a great teacher honestly. I just recently came across your videos on youtube on arduino and you just solve my understanding on arduino fast. Thumbs up! Keep up the great teachings.

  3. Paul,

    Great work on your series of videos. They have gotten me further along faster than any book or other YouTube.

    Sorry to go off-topic, but I have a problem and cannot find any solution: TightVNC on BBB fails to open the desktop correctly about 75% of the time. It sometimes works just like you demonstrated, but I often get a blank grey screen without the bar along the bottom, so cannot access applications. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

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