Six years because the Raspberry Pi launched and the runaway success of the tiny $35 laptop exhibits little signal of slowing down.

Immediately marks the discharge of the brand new flagship within the Pi vary, the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+.

Whereas it is not a generational leap over 2016’s Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B, it delivers a fine addition to the Pi’s pace and Wi-Fi capabilities. This is every thing that you must know.

What is the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+?

The Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+ is presently one of the best Raspberry Pi laptop you should purchase.

Whereas the worth stays at $35, the brand new board one-ups its predecessor in a number of methods, most notably with a quicker processor and Wi-Fi.

The co-creator of the board Eben Upton describes it as mendacity someplace between the 2016 Raspberry Pi three and a future Raspberry Pi 4 when it comes to energy and options.

The enhancements, together with refinements to the Pi three B+’s official Raspbian OS, elevate the board to the standing of a superbly acceptable on a regular basis PC — spectacular for a pc the worth of a restaurant meal.

How is the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+ higher than the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B?

The B+’s important enchancment over the 2016 Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B is a lift to processor pace — whereas the B+ shares the identical quad-core, 64-bit CPU it has been clocked at 1.4GHz, a 15% enhance over the Pi three Mannequin B. This improved efficiency was borne out in TechRepublic assessments, the place common efficiency of the B+ trounced earlier Pi boards.

That additional efficiency does not come at the price of stability, with a brand new heatspreader on prime of the CPU serving to hold temperatures beneath management and lowering situations of throttling in comparison with the Pi three Mannequin B.

SEE: Hardware spotlight: The Raspberry Pi (Tech Professional Analysis)

Connectivity-wise, the board needs to be able to streaming knowledge to and from the board extra quickly. A brand new dual-band Wi-Fi antenna provides assist for two.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. That 802.11ac Wi-Fi guarantees virtually triple the utmost throughput of the 802.11n Wi-Fi on the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B. Sadly, in preliminary testing by TechRepublic, the speeds achieved fell considerably quick, though others have achieved significantly better outcomes.

Wired Ethernet efficiency can also be boosted, with the addition of Gigabit Ethernet over USB, with a most throughput of about 300Mbps, once more considerably greater than the Pi three Mannequin B.

One other small enchancment is the addition of assist for Bluetooth Four.2/BLE, a step up from the Bluetooth Four.1 assist within the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B.

What can the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+ do?

Pi co-creator Eben Upton expects that the extra overhead supplied by the B+ might permit the Pi to hold out duties that have been beforehand simply out of its attain.

For current Raspberry Pi customers the B+ will probably be that little bit higher for a variety of duties: from a media heart capable of play a wider vary of video, as a result of B+’s higher efficiency and up to date assist for hardware-assisted decoding of HDCP-encrypted 1080p H.265 video, to a quicker dwelling server because of the connectivity upgrades.

Maybe the largest plus level for the B+, like the opposite boards within the Pi household, is the flexibility that comes from its software program, in addition to the add-ons that may be hooked as much as the board’s 40-pin header.

Within the six years because the first Pi launched, individuals have discovered makes use of for Raspberry Pi boards starting from media heart to light-weight general-purpose laptop, and from low cost machine for prototyping devices to DIY robotic brains. The list of projects is endless.

In that point the group, working programs, software program and add-ons for the Pi boards have continued to develop, to the purpose the place the Pi is way and away the best single-board laptop to get began with, as a result of stability and breadth of its software program and wealth of user-created tutorials.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

The Pi and its official Raspbian OS excel with regards to instructing customers about computing. The OS is loaded with software program for studying and working towards programming — together with IDEs for the Python and Java programming languages, and for piecing collectively Web of Issues home equipment utilizing Node.js. For rookies there may be the drag and drop coding software Scratch, which offers a easy introduction to programming ideas, akin to assigning values to variables and management circulate, and Minecraft Pi Version, which permits user-written scripts for use to govern the sport.

The B+ has the good thing about sharing these benefits, whereas additionally being essentially the most highly effective Pi thus far.

That is to not say the Pi three Mannequin B+ is essentially the most highly effective board on the market, there are many different extra highly effective single-board computer systems, as an illustration the Odroid XU4, but it surely’s very arduous to discover a board that strikes the identical price-performance steadiness because the Pi.

The B+ will probably be much more versatile than its predecessors, with the board supporting a brand new add-on that gives Energy Over Ethernet (POE) functionality, permitting the board to be powered by the Ethernet cable.

The board can also be more likely to be the final Raspberry Pi improve for a short time, because the Raspberry Pi Four is a while off.

Whereas Upton has beforehand spoken about the potential of a Raspberry Pi Four in 2019, that date could also be pushed again by the arrival of the B+. On the very newest, nevertheless, Upton says he hopes the Pi Four will probably be launched by 2021, and he says the work they’ve already achieved to launch Pi boards — for instance reaching compliance with wi-fi rules — ought to assist streamline the method of releasing future boards.

However he says he has no real interest in dashing out a board that he or his colleagues would not need to purchase themselves, or that will tarnish the Raspberry Pi’s repute.

“You’ll be able to spam merchandise out into the market very simply, however if you wish to put out good merchandise that pack lots right into a small value level and that you just’re positive are going to work it takes time,” he mentioned.

Who should purchase the Raspberry Pi three B+?

With virtually 18 million boards bought, there will probably be no scarcity of Raspberry Pi followers queueing as much as check the newcomer to the Pi household.

However Upton believes it’s these fans who have been pushing the Pi three Mannequin B to its limits who will profit essentially the most — as a result of elevated energy and new heatspreader.

“When you nonetheless can when you run a totally insane benchmark, it is a lot more durable to push a Pi three B+ into thermal limits than it’s a Pi three,” says Upton.

Organizations trying to construct the Raspberry Pi into home equipment can also be eager to snap up the B+. The twin-band wi-fi LAN comes with a modular compliance certification, permitting the board to be designed into finish merchandise with considerably diminished wi-fi LAN compliance testing. Upton says this characteristic ought to lower price and time to market when utilizing the Pi three B+ in a product.

Who’re the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B’s opponents?

As talked about it’s totally troublesome to seek out one other single board laptop that hits the price-performance steadiness achieved by the B+ — no less than not with out making sacrifices in different areas.

One doable different is the $25 Orange Pi Lite2, which has related specs to the dearer Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+, with the identical reminiscence, a 64-bit quad-core processor, cheap GPU, 1GB reminiscence, assist for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth assist. It even has some benefits over the Pi three, no less than on paper, akin to a single USB port and assist for Android Nevertheless it trails the Pi in a few respects, with fewer USB ports, and fewer pins for including to the board and lacking Ethernet.

There’s additionally a quite huge draw back, which is that, normally, Orange Pi board reviews are critical of poor driver assist, lacking software program and being caught with unstable variations of older working programs, so solely purchase these boards when you’re ready to spend so much of time making an attempt to get software program to work.

For a similar value because the B+, $35, the Odroid-C1+ gives broadly the identical specs, however provides Gigabit Ethernet.

The C1+ packs a 1.5GHz quad-core Arm-based processor — quicker than the Pi three however based mostly on a barely older structure — 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and the reasonable-for-the-price Mali-450 GPU.

Nevertheless the Odroid does path the Pi three in a single notable respect, lacking that board’s Wi-Fi connectivity.

In case you’re ready to attend and to pay a bit extra money, then Odroid has raised the likelihood it’ll launch the N1 Lite this 12 months, which they anticipate will probably be a $75 board, with a hexacore processor backed up by 2GB of reminiscence, two USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, will run Android 7.1 and Ubuntu 18.04, assist 4K shows by way of HDMI, and 40 has a 40-pin header for connecting .

What are the opposite Raspberry Pi boards?

There have been a number of generations of Raspberry Pi boards launched because the launch of the single-board laptop in 2012.

The principle releases embody the Raspberry Pi Mannequin B+, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. There have been a number of spin off boards, such because the tiny and extremely low cost Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Zero W.

There may be additionally the Raspberry Pi Compute Module three (CM3), which packs the identical 1.2GHz, quad-core Broadcom BCM2837 processor and 1GB reminiscence used on the Pi three onto a slimmer and smaller board.

The CM3’s compact design, the identical measurement as a DDR2 small define twin in-line reminiscence module, is suited to being constructed into digital home equipment. The unique Raspberry Pi Compute Module was used inside varied IoT, dwelling and manufacturing unit automation merchandise, in addition to a media player.

The plus for homeowners of earlier Raspberry Pi boards is that there isn’t any signal of official assist or software program improvement for older boards being dropped for the close to future.

The discharge of the B+ additionally will not end in older boards being taken off sale, or a change of their pricing. The B+ will stay in manufacturing till no less than January 2023.

Will current Raspberry Pi circumstances and add-ons match the B+?

Most add-ons and circumstances for older Pi boards ought to match the B+.

The most important drawback will probably be for these add-ons that conflict with 4 pins on the B+ that add assist for a Energy over Ethernet add-on, though Upton says this could solely have an effect on one or two merchandise.

The most well-liked Pi circumstances that appears like they may wrestle to suit the B+ are the Flirc line, because of urgent down on the highest of the board, however once more most circumstances and all heatsinks needs to be fantastic.

When is the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+ out there?

The board is out there now from CPC, RS Components, Pi Hut, Pimoroni, Pi Supply and ModMyPi within the UK, and Adafruit, Micro Center, element14,, Chicago Electronic Distributors and CanaKit within the US.

For some other international locations, go to this page on the Raspberry Pi Basis web site, and you will be redirected to the suitable shops.

What are the specs for the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+?

Processor: Broadcom BCM2837B0, quad-core A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC @1.4GHz

Reminiscence: 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM

Connectivity: 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac wi-fi LAN, Bluetooth Four.2, BLE. Gigabit Ethernet over USB (most throughput of 300Mbps).

USB: Four x

Expandability: Prolonged 40-pin GPIO header

Video and sound: 1 x full-sized HDMI port, MIPI DSI show port, MIPI CSI digicam port, Four pole stereo output and composite video port.

Multimedia: H.264, MPEG-Four decode (1080p30), H.264 encode (1080p30); OpenGL ES 1.1, graphics

SD card assist: microSD format for OS and knowledge storage

Enter energy: 5V/2.5A DC by way of microUSB connector, 5V DC by way of GPIO header, Energy over Ethernet (PoE)-enabled (requires separate PoE add-on).

Atmosphere: Working temperature zero – 50C

Compliance: Native and regional approvals listed here.

Manufacturing lifetime: Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+ will stay in manufacturing till no less than January 2023.

Learn extra concerning the Raspberry Pi three Mannequin B+

Picture: Raspberry Pi Basis