Raspberry Pi Zero W Review

The new Raspberry Pi Zero W, launched at the end of February 2017, has all the functionality of the original Raspberry Pi Zero but comes with added connectivity such as 802.11 b/g/n WLAN or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and BLE. Priced at £9.60 compared to £4.80 for the original Pi Zero, it is definitely worth it for the added connectivity.
Raspberry Pi Zero W
We purchased one of the Raspberry Pi Zero W from one of the major UK suppliers and it arrived swiftly in an envelope and the Pi Zero W was packed in an anti-static plastic bag.. not in a box.
Raspberry Pi Zero W


Raspberry Pi Zero W Design
Sized at 65mm x 30mm, the Pi Zero still has room for a single-core 1 GHz Broadcom BCM2835 CPU, 512GB of RAM and Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip. With its minuscule size, you should be able to squeeze the Pi Zero W more conveniently into projects you have in mind.

As with the original Pi Zero, the Zero W comes with two micro USB ports; with one used for power, leaving only one usable USB port and a mini HDMI port. You will need a powered USB hub if you need more USB ports. There are no analogue audio but could be added if you are comfortable soldering it yourself. The Pi Zero W has a 40-pin GPIO header but the pins aren’t included or fitted.

The Pi Zero W also comes with an integrated camera interface (CSI) for you to add the official Raspberry Pi camera kit if you wanted.

Getting started with the Pi Zero W

To get started with your Pi Zero W, you need to download the latest version of Raspbian. If you want a graphical user interface (GUI), you need to download Jessie with Pixel but if you are planning to use the Pi for your projects, the minimal image might suffice.

So, proceed to download and install Raspbian Jessie Lite on an SD card, we recommend an SD card of atleast 8GB.

If you wish to connect the Pi Zero W to a monitor, you will need a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable/Adapter or a mini-HDMI to DVI cable. You will also need a USB to Micro USB Male OTG Adapter if you want to connect a USB hub or simply a keyboard to the Pi Zero W.

If you decide to use the Pi Zero W through SSH instead, you can preconfigure the WiFi wpa_supplicant.conf file directly on the SD card on your computer before inserting it in your Pi. See our video tutorial on how to:

Our Verdict

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is a great piece of hardware and cost less than £10! Its small size and connectivity makes it ideal for small projects, without having to attach a whole load of dongles or cables.

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