Tinkerers, makers and fans of baked goods rejoice! Okay, only the first two, really. The third version of the massively popular Raspberry Pi microcomputer is now available locally. RS Components, the same company that’s brought in earlier versions of the device, now has stock of the new unit and is selling them for R732 (once you add the R89 VAT to the R642 base price) a pop. That’s a small price to pay for a media player, or a remote controlled couch, or whatever else it is you plan to build with the diminutive Pi 3.
So, what’s changed? Well, the Pi 3 offers 64-bit support, built-in wireless LAN connectivity (that’s a biggie, no only because you don’t have to buy a Wi-Fi dongle or similar, but because you needn’t sacrifice a precious USB port for it), built-in Bluetooth (potentially another USB port saved) and generally speedier performance.
Both Bluetooth Classic and Low Energy standards are supported, which makes the Pi 3 ideal for home automation or Internet of Things applications. For those who want the full specs, they’re available here.
Like its forebears, the Raspberry Pi 3 users a microSD card to boot and uses the delightfully named NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) installation manager. Yes, we see what they did there. The dimensions are the same as earlier Pis, which means existing cases or other Pi accessories should work just fine. As you’d expect if you owned the last Pi, there are four USB ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microUSB port for power.
What are you waiting for? Get ordering and fiddling. That time machine with a built-in smoothie maker isn’t going to build itself.