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Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ retains the power of the Model B+ in a smaller, cheaper package

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (right) is noticeably smaller than the already tiny Model B+. (Image source: Raspberry Pi Foundation)
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (right) is noticeably smaller than the already tiny Model B+. (Image source: Raspberry Pi Foundation)
The $25 Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is the latest single-board computer from the venerable Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Model A+ boasts the same CPU and wireless connectivity as its bigger brother, the Model B+, but shaves off some I/O for the sake of thinness. Notably missing are three out of four USB ports and the Ethernet jack.

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The Raspberry Pi has been so popular among consumers and educators that the name is now synonymous with the term “single-board computer.” There’s a good reason for that; the microcomputer line has always managed to pack a lot of power and versatility in a relatively small and cheap board. That trend shows no sign of stopping, either; the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ crams many of the same features of the powerful Pi 3 Model B+ in a smaller and cheaper package.

The Pi 3 Model A+ has the same 1.4 GHz 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, the same 802.11ac WiFi, and the same Bluetooth 4.2/Low Energy that made the larger Pi 3 Model B+ so enticing to tinkerers. The big draw for the Model A+ lies in its even more compact size and lower price tag. Compared to the Model B+ (85.6 mm x 56.5 mm), the Model A+ has a noticeably smaller footprint (65 mm x 56.5 mm). The Model A+ is also quite a bit shorter than the Model B+. (We could not find exact measurements for the Model A+’s height at the time of publication.)

Of course, shaving off size always comes with compromise. The Model A+ has half the RAM of the Model B+ (512 MB vs. 1 GB) and much less I/O. The Model A+ loses three of the Model B+’s four USB 2.0 ports and eschews the Ethernet jack. These losses may be deal breakers for some, but other users may find the compact size and the $25 cost more appealing than the relatively bulky $35 Model B+. The model A+ also boasts “improved thermal management” and is better able to boot from a connected USB drive.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is on sale through the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s website now for $25.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ retains the power of the Model B+ in a smaller, cheaper package
Sam Medley, 2018-11-17 (Update: 2018-11-17)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.