Best Raspberry Pi Kit Reviews 2016-2017

Which Raspberry Pi to buy is a common question among people who are highly interested in the basics of computer science and looking forward to entering the field. Basically, the best Raspberry Pi has been created for developing countries, and its popularity was not anticipated. Prior to February 2015, more than five million units of the single-board computers have been bought.

As a result, computer savvy people are now asking which Raspberry Pi to get, given it became the best-selling computer in Great Britain. The number of units sold soared to 10 million by September 9, 2016. More and more bundles of it with varying components came out, making the selection more complicated for buyers.

PictureModelEditor RatingsOur Review
CanaKit 32 GB Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit (4.8 / 5)
1578+ Reviews
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Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Basic Starter Kit (4.8 / 5)
1158+ Reviews
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LoveRPi Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (4.7 / 5)
76+ Reviews
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Smraza Raspberry Pi 3 Super Starter Kit (4.8 / 5)
122+ Reviews
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SunFounder Super Starter Raspberry Pi Kit (4.4 / 5)
81+ Reviews
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Best Raspberry Pi Kit Review

CanaKit 32 GB Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit

This could be your best Raspberry Pi 3 kit provided it originated from the United Kingdom, which has been the provider of original models of the small computer. It has a central processing unit (CPU) of 1.2 gigahertz (GHz) and 1 gigabyte (GB) random access memory (RAM). The kit also features Bluetooth connectivity and onboard WiFi.

CanaKit 32 GB Raspberry Pi 3 has a class 10 storage represented by 32 GB microSD. The memory is preinstalled with NOOBS. The package even comes with a USB card reader.

CanaKit also made it possible to complete the kit with 2.5A USB power supply, noise filter, and micro USB cable. The accessories are UL Listed and specially designed for Raspberry Pi 3. Moreover, it comes with a premium-quality case for added protection.

UL listing of the product ensures that it is safe to use. It only implies that CanaKit sent the minicomputer for tests and has passed the stringent standards of the regulator. The certification proves that the product’s wire sizes are correct, board is constructed properly, and the computer can handle the amount of current it claims to hold.

Other significant components found alongside the Raspberry Pi 3 computer have HDMI cable, GPIO quick reference card, dual heat sinks, and full-color instructions. By getting this product, you will have a plug and play computer in no time. You could also install Raspbian the moment you launch NOOBS.

You may also conveniently install other media centers and operating systems into the computer from the menu. Simply connect the computer to a WiFi network.

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Setup is very easy.
  • Useful for gaming.
  • Saves a lot of money on accessories.
  • Professional presentation.

Cons

  • The case may not fit.

Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Basic Starter Kit

Vilros offers the latest or best Raspberry Pi model available today – Raspberry Pi 3. It prepared a basic starter kit for beginners, that comes with a clear case. Different from other products, the kit boasts its transparent case that makes all ports more accessible without compromising protection.

The carrier of latest Pi 3 Model B has a quad-ore 1.2Ghz Cortex-A53 ARMv8 processor. It also has a 1 GB RAM. Moreover, it has a class 10 microSD card with a capacity of 16 GB.

The kit’s storage is preloaded with NOOBS, giving you ease in installing other platforms or operating systems in the future. You could develop projects from scratch using the package. Coding is made easier with retro gaming console, Scratch, Minecraft, ADS-B receiver, and XMBC media center.

Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Basic Starter Kit comes with ports for 3.5 mm analog audio–video jack, HDMI, camera serial interface (CSI), Ethernet, display serial interface (DSI), and USB 2.0. Micro USB power supply 5 ft cord is also included. Additionally, a dual heat sink is part of the kit.

All the major components and accessories included in the kit are covered by warranty. If you are a beginner or professional in electronics or computer science field, this is an ideal starter kit.

Pros

  • Assembly is very easy.
  • Setup instructions are clear.
  • Allows adding many media platforms.
  • Has on-board wireless feature.
  • Plenty of storage.

Cons

  • Does not have dedicated on/off switch.

LoveRPi Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

This kit is a great choice if you want to replace your initially deemed best Raspberry Pi 2 kit. It is obviously an upgrade from the previous release of LoveRPi, starting with its powerful Next Generation Quad-Core Broadcom BCM2837 64-bit processor. The processing speed of the computer was also increased to 1.2 GHz from 900 Mhz.

The package includes BCM43438 onboard WiFi. Connectivity also features Bluetooth low energy. It could even power more devices via USB ports with upgraded 2.5-ampere source.

LoveRPi Raspberry Pi 3 Model B has four USB 2.0 ports. The extended GPIO ports are 40 pins. Moreover, there is four-pole media output and port.

You may also connect a camera to the computer using the CSI port, whereas the touch screen display may also be set up using DSI port. Storing information and loading your operating system will be easier using the microSD port. The location of its on-board LEDs is changed with the kit.

Its 8 GB microSD card is pre-installed with the latest version of Raspbian operating system. The little computer even boasts its overheating protection with the help of 5 mm LAN heat sink and 100 mm straight fin high-profile CPU heat sink. The case coming with the computer is durable and transparent, making your access to ports and pins easier.

Pros

  • MicroSD card has useful programs.
  • Does not heat up during continuous operation.
  • High-quality materials.
  • Faster operation.
  • Sturdy build.

Cons

  • The power supply has no on/off switch.

Smraza Raspberry Pi 3 Super Starter Kit

This is a four-in-one beginner’s kit, which is suitable for both Raspberry Pi 2 and Pi 3 models. This is a great choice if you design special circuitry without purchasing components separately. Smraza Raspberry Pi 3 Super Starter Kit includes three pieces of heat sinks, a 5V 2.5A power adapter, a micro USB cable with on/off switch, and a clear case.

The upgraded USB cable enables you to conveniently turn on and off your small computer. However, it must not be used for data transfer. Smraza Raspberry Pi 3 Super Starter Kit has a regulated power output of 100–240 volts for alternating current.

There is also great heat radiation in the computer. Prevention of overheating is enforced since there is sufficient allowance for more heat sinks. Proper air circulation is also sustained with the ventilation design for the computer’s bottom area.

The materials making up the computer are tested for impact and temperature resistance. Even if you put excess pressure on the case, no crack will develop. You do not have to remove the computer from its container every now and then since it has an easy access design for the top panel.

Pros

  • Standby heat sink is included.
  • Very easy to install.
  • Convenient power supply on/off switch.
  • Includes screws for securing the computer.
  • Cheaper than its counterparts.

Cons

  • Shutoff button is in the middle of power

SunFounder Super Starter Raspberry Pi Kit

This kit is a totally different product that you will find since it literally does not contain Raspberry Pi computer board. In other words, it assumes that you have already bought a Pi board or will purchase one alongside its package.

The components of SunFounder Super Starter Raspberry Pi Kit are made compatible with Raspberry Pi A, B, and B+ models. Besides almost all sorts of computer components, it includes a 49-page manual. Unfortunately, it does not have an HDMI cable.

SunFounder Super Starter Raspberry Pi Kit is designed for beginners and professionals in Raspberry Pi use. Included in the manual are datasheets, code for Python and C, 15 projects, and Fritzing images, among others. Despite not having the exact Pi board, it includes the 40 pins for GPIO extension.

The manual is almost similar to a handbook in the electronics field. While using the components included in the package, you will learn how to blink LED, control LED using a button, create a buzzer, develop a 555 timer, and control LED using the web, among others.

Its well-designed case is segregated in eight grids. Among its components are resistors of various types, accelerometer, pin header, optocoupler, LED lights, rotary encoder, capacitors, and breadboard, among others.

Pros

  • Abundant components selection.
  • Plenty of projects included.
  • Allows building customized projects.
  • Ideal for people with no electronics experience.
  • Includes DVD for simplified instructions.

Cons

  • Poor customer service.

Types of Raspberry Pi Kit

Included in the selection of raspberry pi kit for beginners is learning its different types or models. In spite of the generally considered construction of the kit, there are more alterations released. Changes vary on performance, accessories, and features of the board.

  • Raspberry Pi A – It has a central processing unit (CPU) of single-core 700 megahertz (MHz) BCM2835. It has a 256 megabyte (MB) random access memory (RAM). Moreover, it does not have a local area network (LAN).

It has 26 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) ports. Also, it has a single universal serial bus (USB) port but does not have a USB hot-plug. Its extra storage is based on secure digital (SD) memory card.

Moreover, it features composite video baseband signal (CVBS) video using the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) connector. The computer board has a linear regulator with 3.3 voltage of power.

  • Raspberry Pi B – The second model also has a CPU of single-Core 700Mhz BCM2835. It has 512 MB RAM. Different from the first, it has a LAN port.

The model has 26 GPIO pins and dual USB ports. There is still no USB hot-plug included in the board. The SD data storage remains in the type of kit.

RCA connector is still being used for CVBS video, whereas a linear regulator is present for the 3.3V power.

  • Raspberry Pi A+ – The upgraded kit retains the type of CPU used in previous Raspberry Pi models. It has a RAM of only 256 MB. Moreover, it does not have any LAN connection.

The number of GPIO pins is increased to 40. However, it only has a single USB port. Unlike other models, it has a USB hot-plug. Storage is upgraded to microSD.

The CVBS video connector is now the four-pole 3.5 mm jack. A switching converter is also used for the 3.3V power.

  • Raspberry Pi B+ – The same CPU is used for the computer word with a RAM capacity of 512 MB. It has LAN connection. Moreover, its GPIO ports are also 40.

Additionally, B+ model has four USB ports and a hot-plug. The storage is also based on microSD. The CVBS video and 3.3V power connectors of A+ are retained in this kit.

  • Raspberry Pi 2 – The model B of this kit features a quad-core 900 MHz BCM2836 CPU. There is also a larger RAM at 1 gigabyte (GB). LAN port and 40 GPIO ports also remain.

There are four USB ports and a hot-plug in the model. The storage is also based on microSD. The four-pole 3.5 mm jack is used for the CVBS video, whereas a switching converter is utilized for 3.3V power.

  • Raspberry Pi 3 – The newest Raspberry Kit features 1.2 gigahertz (GHz) 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU. Moreover, it has an 802.11n wireless LAN. Different from its predecessors, it features a Bluetooth 4.1 connection.

Similar to Pi 2, it has four USB ports, 1 GB of RAM, and 40 GPIO ports. It also has Ethernet and full HDMI ports. Its ports for composite video and 3.5 mm audio jack are combined.

Instead of the push–push microSD card slot, it features a push-pull mechanism. The upgraded graphics core is VideoCore IV 3D. Generally, the mode has a full compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1 and 2.

What to Look For When Buying

In spite of looking for Raspberry Pi kit for kids, you still have guidelines to consider. At present, you may be confused on various bundles and releases of the computer board. If you are a beginner in buying the product, you have to find one that best fits your needs.

  • Widen Your Choices – There are various distributors and suppliers of the product. You do not have to settle with the official seller in your country. There are other third-party providers that offer models A and B at considerably cost-effective prices.

Take note that estimation of Raspberry Pi kit prices may only pertain to the computer only. It means exclusion refers to the keyboard, power supply, case, screen, and mouse.

  • Consider Bundles as a Beginner – The best Raspberry Pi starter kit for you is the bundle type, especially if you are beginning from scratch. Most cases, cheap packages include the computer alone. Alternatively, the bundle type can guarantee pre-installation of the operating system and SD card.
  • Suitability of Models Available – The choice of model will depend on personal preference. For instance, you may consider model B if you are a Raspberry Pi hobbyist. It has more Ethernet ports and storage.

You could use model B in order to stream music or surf the web. It could be the best buddy in jump-starting projects, such as those that require an internet connection.

Alternatively, if your project demands regulated consumption of energy, model A is an ideal selection. The kit version is also considerable if there is no involvement of network connection.

  • Do Not Forget the Case – No matter how you protect the computer board, there will always be a risk without putting in a case. The container of the kit is very affordable, giving you no reason to take it for granted. You may use the cases available for almost all models since the dimensions are generally maintained despite upgrades.

If you select a case, prevent those that will generate more heat to your computer board. It is also best not to purchase plastic-made cases. Remember, Raspberry Pi has no heat sink or a cooling fan.

  • More Memory Requirement – Steer away from older models of Raspberry Pi if your projects involve high memory requirement. Newer kits normally include at least 512 MB of RAM.
  • Eliminate a Setup Phase – You should look for a microSD or SD card that has a pre-installed operating system in it. This saves you a step to carry out.
  • Avoid Insufficient Power – Although you may use USB hubs to power up your Raspberry Pi using your computer, you still need an alternative. This means you also have to consider having spare micro-USB power adapters. Ensuring your board has enough power is maintaining it for longer use.

Using/ Safety Tips

The amazing features of your best buy Raspberry Pi would not be reaped unless you know how to. As a beginner or first-time owner of the computer board, you still have a lot to learn. To give you a refresher, here are useful tips in operating the little device:

  • Complete the Accessories You Need – The board may be a computer already, but it does not mean it will function instantly. You still need other devices to make it work. You have to consider here a monitor, composite video cable, card reader, mouse, Ethernet cable, keyboard, mouse, and audio cable, among others.
  • Memorizing Commands – It is not necessary to memorize commands, long paths, or file names in order to obtain what you are searching for. You simply have to type in the first few letters. Afterward, hitting tab will allow the computer to complete the rest.

In case you need more than one possibility from the few letters you have typed, you may hit tab again. Normally, bash, which is the shell or command interpreter, keeps the history of commands you have typed. Hitting the up key will provide you a view of the most recent commands.

If you have typed the command mistakenly, you may jump to the start by hitting both control and A keys. Alternatively, control and E keys will take you to the end of the command.

  • Multitasking – You could perform multiple tasks using your small computer. You simply have to press ALT and F1 through F6 keys. By doing so, you could work between terminal screens.
  • Logging In Remotely – You may also log in the small computer remotely by performing different strategies. You simply have to launch command prompt and type “sudo.” Next, you have to select the option of enabling SSH.

Afterward, you need to get your computer’s IP by typing in “ipconfig.” If you are on Windows, you may use PuTTY. Linux or OS X computers would require typing in “ssh pi@[ip address]” to establish Pi connection.

  • Increasing USB’s default current – It is imperative to maintain sufficient power current for Raspberry Pi to function properly. In order to increase the USB’s standard current by 200 percent, you need to enable the parameter at /boot/config.txt.

You could do this by launching the prompt. Type in “sudo nano /boot/config.txt.” Next, you add the line “max_usb_current=1.” Lastly, you save the revision and reboot your computer.

Conclusion

Based on the reviews given, CanaKit 32 GB Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit appears to be the winner of the roundup. Besides having the basic features of Raspberry Pi kit, it has more storage and even comes with an HDMI cable.

Otherwise, simply get a kit that best matches your preferences and start learning. Consider the given guidelines in maximizing the advantages of the small yet robust computer, and you would soon be personalizing your electronic hardware projects.

Even if you are a beginner in using Raspberry Pi, you should not be hesitant in trying out projects. According to reports, even schoolchildren were able to make excellent utilization of Pi. You will never know if you are the next person to be featured with the most ingenious idea using the minicomputer.