The fatal flaw with Raspberry Pi Zero's
While the Raspberry Pi foundation has produce some real knock out products, including the Raspberry Pi, Pi 2, and now the Pi 3, the Pi Zero simply isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Touted as the $5 SBC (Single Board Computer) The raspberry Pi Zero hit the market with much fanfare, and media hype. However as consumers began to get past the hurdle of even finding one, they found that it leaves a lot to be desired. I am one such person, and here's my review...
With the form factor being very very small, I realize that there are some features that simply can't fit onto the pi zero, such as the large connectors for USB, Ethernet, and such, and in most instances, this is taken into consideration when reviewing an SBC. However, the Pi Zero has several features that most certainly could have fit, and quite frankly, should have.
1) CPU - The Pi Zero was launched AFTER the raspberry pi 2 model B. This means the pi foundation had access to a much faster CPU than what is on the Pi Zero. With a single core, at such a low clock, the pi zero falls short of the pi 2's multicore CPU's speed, and being only a single core, this makes it almost 8x slower than the pi 2, and much much slower than the pi 3!
2) USB Fail -
With two USB micro connectors on the Zero, one would think you could use them both for data. This however is NOT the case. One USB micro connector is ONLY FOR POWER!!. I find this extremely odd, as there appears to be surface pads on the underside just a bit away from the power USB port, that they simply could have extended the traces to.
3) The REAL cost -
While the Pi zero is sold for $5, most places simply refuse to carry them in stock, but opt instead to sell the "kits" and "bundles" where they pile the rest of the stuff needed into a package,that sells for much more than the board alone, and usually at a substantial markup. This is to be expected from businesses trying to make a buck, and i can't really fault them for the practice. However, this does highlight the second flaw with the pi zero. The overhead costs of getting it up and running. Like other pI's, you'll need power, and micro SD, but unlike other pi's, you'll also need to spend on a mini-hdmi adapter, or hdmi - mini hdmi cable. You'll need to buy a USB hub if you plan on using in a keyboard, mouse, and WIFI, so that will also need a power plug, and a USB to USB-micro adapter / cable. I say "if you plan" on using keyboard and mouse, when in all reality you will HAVE to use these, as there's no on board Ethernet, and using the OTG method means you have no way of testing, and using the wireless module you'll need as well.
At the end of the day, yes, the SBC will cost you 5$, you'll then spend a 10$ - 15$ on a decent power supply, 5$ - 10$ on HDMI adaptation devices, 5$ - 10$ on wireless ethernet module, and 15$ - 20$ on a reliable powered USB hub, simply to get to the point where you can even use the device.
All said and done, you'll spend more on accessories required to use the device comfortably, than if you were to just buy a raspberry pi 3.
If you absolutely MUST HAVE the small form factor for your projects, then by all means, get a zero, and all the required accessories, if you don't have to have the small size, then save your self some time, effort, and headaches, and just purchase a raspberry pi 3.
This review in NO means reflect upon ebay, or the seller i dealt with, they were fast, precise, and were a pleasure to do business with. This review solely focuses on the pitfalls, and drawbacks of the pi zero itself.Read full review
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: New