The Pi Zero W has a successor: say hello to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. As always, the Pi Zeros are the cheapest Raspberry Pi computers you can buy. As such, they’re not as powerful as the regular Pi series. But they have their uses.
In the following we describe all the important details of the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, such as its hardware features, what distinguishes it from its predecessor, some possible use cases and whether you should get one.
The brand new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
The new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W takes over the Zero W, which came onto the market in 2017. The Pi Zero 2 W costs $ 15, which is $ 10 more than the original Pi Zero. It features a quad-core 64-bit Broadcom BCM2710A1 SoC chip, similar to the one in the original Raspberry Pi 3, but with a few tweaks to make it affordable. For example, the ARM Cortex-A53 cores were clocked down to 1 GHz and paired with 512 MB LPDDR2-SDRAM.
Unlike the original Pi Zero W, the Raspberry Foundation bundled the RAM and SoC into a single RP3A0 package. Such an arrangement is referred to as a system-in-package (SiP).
The performance is higher from the original zero, but the exact numbers vary depending on the workload. For example, you can achieve five times higher performance for a multi-threaded Sysbench, according to the foundation.
In terms of pins and ports, the Pi Zero 2 W has a 40-pin General Purpose Input-Output (GPIO) header, two micro USB ports (one for power supply and the other is a USB 2.0 interface with OTG ), a MicroSD card slot, a mini HDMI port and a CSI-2 camera port. On top of it is a solder joint for composite video.
For wireless communication, the Pi Zero 2 W has Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 with BLE.
Despite the improved specs, the Pi Zero 2 W is packaged in a similar form factor to the original Pi Zero. This means that not only can you continue to use your old case on the Pi Zero 2 W, but also your accessories. With its backward compatibility, if you decide to upgrade to the Pi Zero 2 W, you’ll be up and running in minutes.
You can operate the Pi Zero 2 W with the company’s own Raspberry Pi Zero power supply, which is compatible with all Raspberry Pi Zero models. It costs only $ 8 and is similar to the Raspberry Pi 4 power supply, but without a USB-C port. Instead, it uses a USB Micro-B connector with a 2.5 A tip.
What can you use a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W for?
You can use the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W in a variety of DIY projects. The most basic requirement is of course to take into account the performance limitations of the quad-core CPU of the Zero 2 W.
You can use it as a desktop computer, a handheld console for playing retro games, a smart speaker, a remote time-lapse camera, a Wi-Fi powered CCTV camera, a smart alarm clock, and various IoT projects and prototypes use .
There are many use cases, and it all depends on your creativity to take full advantage of the additional processing power of the Pi Zero 2W.
Should you buy the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W?
Although the Pi Zero 2 W is slightly more expensive than its predecessor, it still offers an impressive price-performance ratio due to the obvious increase in performance. If you run your projects on the original Pi Zero, you’ll appreciate the performance boost. However, whether or not you should buy it depends on what you plan to use the Pi Zero 2W for.
If you use the older Pi Zero because of its low power consumption, you should stick with it. While the increase in performance is a plus, the Pi Zero uses 2W more power, making it less ideal for projects that require longer battery life, like a portable console.
And if you’re a programmer, the Pi Zero 2 W is a major update as it uses the widely supported ARMv7 processor. For general desktop use, you should probably use a Raspberry Pi 4 or 400, which cost more but are more convenient.
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