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Raspberry Pi Zero W adds WiFi and Bluetooth for only $5 more

Feb 28, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,341 views

Raspberry Pi Trading launched the Raspberry Pi Zero W, a WiFi and Bluetooth version of the Pi Zero selling for $10. There’s also a new case for both Zeros.

In honor of the 5th anniversary of the original Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and its Raspberry Pi Trading hardware unit has launched a wireless version of the stripped-down, $5 and up Raspberry Pi Zero. The Raspberry Pi Zero W is identical to the original except for the addition of the same Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip found on the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, featuring 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Raspberry Pi Zero W alone (left) and as part of an Adafruit Starter Pack
(click images to enlarge)

The Raspberry Pi Zero W enables wireless support without requiring a more expensive USB dongle, and typically a USB hub, as well. This also means you can use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard without requiring a hub. The WiFi and Bluetooth module is supported with a new antenna from Proant.

The SBC appears to have the same 65 x 30mm dimensions as the original Zero. There was no mention of the weight, which may have risen a bit compared to the original 9 grams.


The $10 board offers standard Zero features including the 1GHz ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2836 SoC, 512MB RAM, a mini-HDMI port, microSD slot, and micro-USB OTG and power ports. There’s also a HAT-compatible 40-pin GPIO header, Composite video and reset headers, and a CSI camera connector.

Zero W, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Zero W is being introduced with a new case developed by Kinneir Dufort and T-Zero that also fits the Zero. You can choose from three lids: a blank lid and lids with either a GPIO access aperture or camera mounting point aperture.

Official Zero/Zero W case and three lid options (left) and case with Zero W installed
(click images to enlarge)

The Raspberry Pi Zero W should be available from all Zero distributors today except for Micro Center, which will be ready by the end of the week. In the U.S., Adafruit offers a product page for the $10 Zero W, the $4.75 case, and various bundling packages, but at publication time, they were all tagged as being out of stock.

A $24.50 Basic Pack gives you the Zero with Adafruit’s own Zero enclosure, as well as an 8GB microSD card that can be bought blank or with pre-loaded NOOBS. The $34.50 Budget Pack adds to this a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter, a micro-OTG cable, 2×20 header strip, and a 5V 1A power supply with a micro-USB cable.

The $59.85 Starter Pack adds more male and female headers, as well as a USB Console cable. Other bundles include USB and Ethernet hubs, as well as keyboards, mouse sets, and trackpads.

These bundles are very similar to those offered with the original Zero. Third party vendors have also introduced a number of Pi Zero add-ons. These include Dexter’s $17 GrovePi-Zero IoT expansion board and Pimeroni’s sensor-studded Enviro pHAT, which also works on other Pi models.

According to RPi Trading CEO Eben Upton’s blog post on the Zero W, over 12 million Raspberry Pi units have sold in the last five years. Recent models have included the second-gen, quad-core 64-bit Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which launched in January.

Last fall, Raspberry Pi Trading quietly released version 1.2 of the Raspberry Pi 2. The new model replaces the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Broadcom BCM2836 with the quad-core, Cortex-A53 BCM2837 used on the Raspberry Pi 3. The difference is that the SoC is clocked to only 900MHz instead of 1.2GHz. In addition, the $35 RPi 2 1.2 lacks the RPi 3’s WiFi and Bluetooth module.

Raspberry Pi Zero W video overview

Further information

Raspberry Pi Zero W should be available today from RPi Zero distributors. More information may be found in Eben Upton’s Raspberry Pi W blog post, as well as a variety of RPi distributor product pages including one from Adafruit in the U.S,

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