The Raspberry Pi platform is a popular open source development platform based on a credit card sized barebones computer called the Raspberry Pi. The platform is ideal for beginners as well as professionals. For beginners, it provides an easy way to learn electronics through the implementation of simple projects, while for professionals, it provides a stable platform for the development of prototypes and implementation of projects. You need the correct hardware components to get started on the Raspberry Pi platform. So, your first task as a beginner would be finding the Raspberry Pi Starter Kit that is best suited for your needs. This review will help you do that, by familiarising you with the different kits available in the market, and informing you on what to look for when selecting a Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit.
Raspberry Pi 3 Kits are based on the Raspberry Pi 3 model B boards that have Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth low energy capabilities in addition to the other numerous features that the Raspberry Pi platform offers. Each kit comes with a unique set of components that offer different kinds of advantages to different users. Learning about the basic hardware components needed in the Raspberry Pi platform will help you make an informed choice when selecting a kit for your project.
Purchasing the right kit for your project has several advantages. For one, you won’t spend so much time getting started, since the kit will have all the components you need. It also saves you money by reducing the costs that you could incur if you purchased every component separately. Lastly, if you are a beginner, you will have access to the resources you need to guide you on your first project.
The Ultimate starter kit from CanaKit is an all-rounded raspberry pi kit that features the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board. It comes with everything you would need to setup your raspberry pi automation projects. The kit is put together with the aim of serving all kinds of users, ranging from beginners to experts.
The Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Kit is ideal for beginners who would like to explore the Raspberry Pi platform. In addition to the Raspberry Pi 3 B board, it comes with a heatsink, power adapter and a clear case which can be assembled easily. You can use this kit to get acquainted to the Raspberry Pi platform, though you will need some additional components in order to get started.
The NeeGo Raspberry Pi 3 COMPLETE Starter Kit is designed with beginners and professionals in mind. It comes ready to use out of the box, since it has most of the basic components including a micro SD card that is pre-loaded with NOOBs. In addition to this, users can enjoy creating their Raspberry Pi projects with peace of mind, since the kit is fully warrantied.
The Raspberry Pi 3 Official Desktop Starter Kit is made up of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board and a few other accessories, such as a case, a 5.1V 2.5A power supply, and a 16GB micro SD card that has Raspbian OS pre-installed. The kit may not be as friendly to a complete beginner as some of the other kits due to lack of some components and a start-up guide but is quite reliable and versatile.
The Noza Tec Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit comprises of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, a case, 2 heatsinks, thermal grease, a 2.5A power supply and a user guideline. It is a good Kit to use when learning about the Raspberry Pi. You would, however, be required to purchase a HDMI cable and a micro SD card to get started.
There are several important components, without which you cannot use a Raspberry Pi board. They include a micro SD card, power supply, display cable or interface and a keyboard and mouse. Those are the first things you should look out for when comparing Raspberry Pi 3 Starter kits. However, you will notice that most kits do not provide a keyboard and mouse, so you can remove those two from your checklist.
In addition to the basic components there are other hardware parts that are considered secondary, but play a huge role in Raspberry Pi project development. Some of them are heatsinks, cases, user guides, micro-SD cards pre-loaded with NOOBs installer and GPIO breadboard interfaces among several others. These components make the Raspberry Pi easier to use when building projects.
The additional components have several uses. For example, the heatsinks cool down the processor which sometimes gets hot when the Raspberry Pi is running. The case encloses the Raspberry Pi 3 board offering protective covering and a means to mount the board on different surfaces. The GPIO breadboard interface enables you to do easy prototyping using a breadboard and the pre-loaded micro SD card shortens the initial Raspberry Pi setup procedure. You have to evaluate the needs of your project so as to decide what additional components you need in your kit.
The CanaKit Ultimate Starter Kit is an improvement on the CanaKit Stater kit. It comes with more components and guidelines that allow users to explore more features and build more complex projects on the Raspberry Pi 3 B board. One of the additional components that is worth mentioning is the CanaKit GPIO to breadboard interface. It provides the user with an easier way of accessing the GPIO pins of the raspberry pi via a breadboard. This comes in handy when prototyping.
In addition to the extra hardware components, the CanaKit ultimate starter kit has several guides that have step-by-step instructions on how to perform different tasks on the Raspberry Pi. These guides include the Canakit General Guide for Beginners to Electronic Components, the CanaKit General Assembly Guide and the GPIO and Resistor Color Quick Reference Cards. Using these resources, the user is able to build his or her projects faster and easier, without having to go online for reference.
CanaKit ultimate starter kit can be used straight from the box. This is made possible by the 32GB Class 10 MicroSD card that comes pre-loaded with NOOBs. All one needs to do is insert the SD card into the SD card slot on the Raspberry Pi and power it up. This saves time that would have been spent downloading NOOBs, preparing the SD card and installing the operating system.
If you are looking for the bare minimum hardware to get started on the Raspberry Pi platform, the Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Kit may be right for you. However, you will have to purchase some extra components since the kit lacks some essentials, such as an SD card and HDMI cable. Therefore, it is advisable to check all the components offered in this Kit so that you can know what extra components you need to buy depending on the requirements of your project.
Just as the name suggests, Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 kit is based on the Rasberry Pi 3 model B board. It has a Quick Start Guide that has instructions on how to get started in the Raspberry Pi platform. This comes in handy, especially for beginners. The clear case provided in this kit allows you to easily access all ports including the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi. In addition to this, the case has mounting holes that allow you to fix it on a vertical surface, such as a wall.
It is important to note that the Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 kit is not plug and play, since it lacks an SD card. Therefore, you have to purchase an SD card and load it with an operating system image before you can get started. The Quick Start Guide should provide information on how to do that.
NeeGo has several Raspberry Pi starter kits is designed for all kinds of Raspberry Pi users. The Raspberry Pi 3 COMPLETE starter kit is one of their kits that is centered on the Raspberry Pi 3. It comprises of a Raspberry Pi 3 model B board and a premium high-quality Raspberry Pi 3 case that you can use to enclose your board, making your setup more presentable and easy to mount on surfaces. The case provides access to all the ports and GPIO pins and has enough space to accommodate the heatsinks.
The kit has a 2.5A micro USB power supply. Using it, you can provide adequate power to your Raspberry Pi board for simple as well as complex projects. Moreover, the power adapter has a 6-foot long cable. This gives you flexibility in terms of where you get to mount your board since you are no longer restricted to mounting it next to the power outlet.
There is a 6-foot long v1.4 high-speed HDMI cable in this kit. The cable is compatible with 3D as well as 4K displays and has a high refresh rate of 120Hz. Therefore, you are able to connect your Raspberry Pi 3 board to almost all kinds of displays.
To make it easy for beginners to start their first project, this NeeGo Raspberry Pi Kit comes with a 16GB micro SD card with a pre-loaded Raspberry Pi NOOBs image. So, you do not have to spend time setting up the Micro SD card after unboxing your Raspberry Pi. This, coupled with the Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide that comes with the kit, makes the beginners initial tutorial projects a walk in the park.
With the Raspberry Pi 3 Official desktop Starter Kit, you are able to access the latest Raspberry Pi features such as WiFi and Bluetooth Capabilities, thanks to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B that it is built upon. The Kit comes with a Raspberry Pi 3 HAT compatible case that has enough space to fit a raspberry pi board and Raspberry Pi HAT. Therefore, you can comfortably add more features to your Raspberry Pi project without worrying about space constraints.
A 16GB class 10 micro SD card is also included in the kit. It comes with the Raspbian OS and NOOBs installer pre-loaded. This shortens the initial setup time, enabling you to concentrate on building your project instead.
The kit also has an official black Raspberry Pi 5.1V 2.5A power supply. The power supply is compatible with most common types of power sockets which include UK, USA, EU and Australia. So you can use this kit wherever you are, regardless of the type of power outlets available.
Despite being a versatile kit, the Raspberry Pi 3 Official desktop Starter Kit lacks some important components such as a HDMI cable, heat sinks, jumper cables, discrete components and a quick start guide. Therefore, it might not be ideal for a complete beginner, since starting off will require purchasing extra components and lots of online research.
Apart from the Raspberry Pi 3 model B, the Noza Tec Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit also has other components that are essential in Raspberry Pi project development. One component of interest is thermal grease, which is not common in most Raspberry Pi kits. The thermal grease is used together with heatsinks to reduce the CPU and LAN temperature, especially when the Raspberry Pi is working in enclosed areas or when the CPU is overclocked.
The Noza Tec kit comes with a 2.5A micro USB power supply. The power supply is UL listed and has noise filtering that is specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi. So, you are assured of clean power supply that will not damage your Raspberry Pi board.
A clear Raspberry Pi 3 case is also included in the Kit. The case provides access to all ports and since it is transparent you can monitor the Raspberry Pi without opening it. In addition to this, the case has an innovative integrated camera support.
If it is your first time using a Raspberry Pi you will find the User guidelines, provided in this kit, quite helpful. However, before you can start using your Raspberry Pi board you will have to purchase a 16GB class 10 Micro SD card and mount the NOOBs installer on it. You will probably also need a HDMI cable if you are using a display that supports HDMI input.
Of all the Raspberry Pi Starter Kits reviewed here, the Cana Kit Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate Starter Kit is our number one pick. It comes with all the basic components a Raspberry Pi Starter kit requires. In addition to that, it has a breadboard and a GPIO to breadboard interface, which all the other kits lack. The inclusion of a general assembly guide and discrete components such as resistors and LEDs is also an added bonus. All these features and additional components make it ideal for all kinds of users and allow the user to fully exploit all features of the Raspberry Pi 3 model B. Therefore, if you are interested in delving into the Raspberry Pi platform, grab yourself the Cana Kit Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate Starter Kit and get started.