Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review

The Raspberry Pi Foundation brings out another almost perfect product!

I admit it. As soon as I saw the official announcement, I wanted some Model A+ Raspberry Pi’s :-)

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review

(Ok, fine, I admit I am enthusiastic about the Raspberry Pi Model A+)

It was really frustrating when the main Canadian distributor kept pushing the availability off, but fortunately after a few days of frustration – and a bit of googling – I found another source – and ordered five A+’s to play with.

I was pretty confident the Model A+ would be a great product. You’ll have to read this article to see if I was right to be confident!

Full disclosure: I purchased all the equipment used in this review, and no one paid me to write it… I am always unbiased.

The Raspberry Pi Model A+ looks really good!

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review

(click on the image for larger version)

The Raspberry Pi Model A+ is essentially a Model B+, with the USB hub and Ethernet jack chopped off.

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review   @ http://Mikronauts.com

(click on the image for larger version)

As you can see above, it fits nicely on top of a B+

I thought it would also be interesting to show how different the layout is between a Model A and a Model A+

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review   @ http://Mikronauts.com

(click on image for larger version)

To me, the A+ has a far more practical layout – have to love the mounting holes and smaller form factor.

The A+ keeps some of the most important aspects of the Model B+

  • 40 pin GPIO header (was 26 pins)
  • one USB 2.0 ports (same as the original Model A)
  • micro SD card socket (was full size SD slot)
  • Switching voltage regulation (was linear)
  • Improved audio quality due to separate audio low noise power supply
  • Improved board layout
    • replaced RCA video connector with combined video/audio 3.5mm 4 signal jack
    • four proper mounting holes in a nice rectangular pattern
    • rounded corners for little fingers

(Did else anyone find the … leak … the Friday before the official announcement, by the same retailer, a bit of a coincidence?)

The A+ is the same size as the ‘HAT’ standard – and it is definitely a cute little board.

Originally, the Model A was aimed at education. The Model A+ really targets the Internet of Things, and embedded projects – as those usage cases you can often get away with only having a single USB port.

Mind you, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from attaching a powered USB hub – which I did, for my testing.

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review   @ http://Mikronauts.com

(click on the image for larger version)

The most amazing part of the Raspberry Price Model A+ is its price of $20USD – beating the original Model A’s already impressive $25USD price.

Feature Comparison

Rpi Model A+ Rpi Model A Rpi Model B Rpi Model B+
Processor BCM2835 BCM2835 BCM2835 BCM2835
ARM version ARMv6 ARMv6 ARMv6 ARMv6
Cores 1 1 1 1
Clock Speed 700Mhz 700Mhz 700Mhz 700Mhz
BogoMips 698 698 698 698
GPU VideoCore IV VideoCore IV VideoCore IV VideoCore IV
Video HW Decode yes yes yes yes
Memory Size 256MB 256MB 512MB 512MB
Memory Speed 400 400 400 400
GPIO pins 40 26+8 26+8 40
I2C 2 2 2 2
SPI 1/2CS 1/2CS 1/2CS 1/2CS
UART 1 1 1 1
Camera Flex Socket CSI CSI CSI CSI
Ethernet 10/100 10/100
Controller LAN9512 LAN9514
Storage uSD SD SD uSD
Video out * YES YES *
3.5mm audio out YES w/video YES YES YES w/video
USB Host 1 1 2 4
Reset Button header header
Mounting holes 4 2 2 4
Size 65mm*56mm 85mm*56mm 85mm*56mm 85mm*56mm

MSRP $20.00 $25.00 $35.00 $35.00

Article Index

  1. Introducing the Raspberry Pi Model A+, Feature Comparison
  2. 40 pin GPIO header, Only ONE USB Port
  3. Switching Power Regulation, Improved Board Layout, Software Compatibility, Hardware Compatibility
  4. Hardware Compatibility (continued)
  5. USB WiFi stick compatibility, Power Consumption
  6. Power Test Results, Conclusion

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