Picking hardware
We support a number of different hardware platforms, ranging in power and price to suit your needs. They are ordered here starting with the cheapest through to the most expensive:
We provide a Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 image for those who already have the hardware. We do not recommend buying a Pi 2 or 3 however, but to instead buy the Pi 4 due to its improved features at around the same cost, which is why the Pi 2 and 3 are not included in this documentation.
While there are lots to distinguish between the hardware, here is an overview of what we deem to be particularly noteworthy:
Known Issues
Approximate cost (before shipping)
Unable to use 5GHz networks
Equivalent to the Raspberry Pi 3. Suitable for those on a budget and looking for a small device.
Incredibly low cost, for those really needing to cut costs
Good distribution, but limited in the quantities you can order at once
Provides the bare minimum needed to run the Block, no USB ports and no Ethernet
Tried and tested, produced by a reliable manufacturer
Built in Wi-Fi, but with no aerial impacts the range
SD Card
Issues with the Wi-Fi chip and firmware can occasionally prevent connecting, particularly on older releases of the device.
Its Quad-Core processer makes this a significant improvement over the Raspberry Pi Zero W. The 1GB model for a little more money will provide the ability to run more applications from the App Store.
Excellent value for money, although more per unit than the Raspberry Pi Zero 2
Shipping from China means this may take longer to arrive. But it will post to a wide range of countries making the availability good.
An Ethernet Port and USB Port make this a feature rich piece of hardware which expands the possibilities of your Learner's Block
Runs a little hotter than other units, that may result in slowdowns if in extreme heats and direct sunlight.
An included aerial gives the Wi-Fi range a healthy boost
SD Card
A powerful system which is a significant step up from the others. Provides a good basis for running multiple applications from the App Store.
A step up from the Orange Pi Zero LTS may feel worth the splurge, but will begin to add up if buying a large number of units
Good distribution, but limited in the quantities you can order at once
Quad-Core processor, 2GB of RAM (no need to go higher) and a Gigabit Ethernet port means this hardware could be plugged into a school network to handle larger numbers. it does mean a larger form factor that won't fit in your pocket like the others.
Tried and tested, produced by a reliable manufacturer
No aerial, but the newer hardware and technologies provide a good range. Ethernet connectivity will allow for more users, but Wi-Fi is unlikely to support more users than the Orange Pi Zero LTS 512MB.
SD Card
An industrial powerhouse, designed for professional use in high-end manufacturer. Very few will benefit from this sort of power.
Unlikely that the majority of users will need what this offers.
Supports large orders, but distribution overseas more limited that the others as units will often come from the US.
Ethernet and USB Ports
Among the best in class
Designed for Internet of Things devices, Wi-Fi connectivity is central to its design
Built in 8/16/32/64 GB options.
$200USD+ (will require additional hardware on top of this cost)
You can find places to buy each by clicking on the links above which will take you to the manufacturer's website.
While 512mb of memory is sufficient to run the Learner's Block platform, if you are planning to run several applications or demanding applications it would be better to opt for devices with 1gb of more.
Last modified 10d ago
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