As manufacturing costs fell and the Pi gained more and more attention, they were able to increase the hardware specs of the device significantly while keep the cost the same–eventually unifying all models with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 2 in 2015 and the Raspberry Pi 3 in 2016.Put another way: the best Raspberry Pi available at any given time has always cost .You cannot run Windows on it (at least not the traditional version of Windows you know), although you can run many distributions of Linux—including distributions with desktop environments, web browsers, and other elements you would expect in a desktop computer.The Raspberry Pi , however, an astoundingly versatile device that packs a lot of hardware into a very inexpensive body and is perfect for hobby electronics, DIY projects, setting up an inexpensive computer forprogramming lessons and experiments, and other endeavors.In the early years of the Pi foundation, the Raspberry Pi came in two versions at two different price points: the Model A () and Model B ().If you needed less hardware (the Model A had one less USB port, no Ethernet port, and half the RAM) you could save ten bucks.In fact, we’ve bought all our Pi units from Amazon for the last few years without issue.There are multiple versions of the Pi, but if you’re just getting started, you should absolutely buy the most current generation of the device–the Raspberry Pi 3.
Here’s the other stuff you’ll need to buy (if you don’t already have it lying around).
The Raspberry Pi comes with a set of 26 exposed vertical pins on the board.
These pins are a General Purpose Input/Output interface that is purposely not linked to any specific native function on the Raspberry Pi board.
A stable power source: The Raspberry Pi draws its power from a micro USB port and requires a micro USB-to-AC adapter.
Because the Pi is a micro computer and not simply a cellphone getting a battery topped off, you need to use a high quality charger with stable power delivery that provides a consistent 5v with at least 700m A minimum output for older model units and 2.5A for the Pi 3.
Although we will not be using the GPIO header in today’s “getting started” tutorial, we do take advantage of it in other tutorials, like our Raspberry Pi LED indicator build that uses an LED breakout board attached to the GPIO header.