Choosing the Right Raspberry Pi Kit

Updated 06 February 2017

Show of hands, who loves Raspberry Pi? We all do, and one of the most common questions we get asked is which Raspberry Pi kit is going to best suit my project, which one has the right components in it etc. So today we’re going to be looking at some of our most popular kits for Raspberry Pi, comparing them, and looking and which one is going to be best suited for different projects.

Before you start looking for a kit, it’s important to know what you want to get out of it, and no-one can answer that better than you! If you’re new to Raspberry Pi, check out some of our other Raspberry Pi tutorials to get an idea of what you can do with the Raspberry Pi.

With the exception of the Adventures in Raspberry Pi kit, every kit here will include the very basics you need to get started; Raspberry Pi 3 board, power supply, microSD card, and a sweet case. To use the Raspberry Pi you’ll also need a keyboard, mouse, and screen. So let’s take a look at what’s in each kit then we can decide which one is going to be best.

Pi starter kitRaspberry Pi Starter Kit

This is our basic Raspberry Kit which contains all of the essentials:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Board
  • Official 5V 2.5A Power Supply
  • Official Raspberry Pi Case
  • HDMI Cable
  • microSD Card with NOOBS

If you already have a keyboard, mouse, and display lying around, this kit has everything you need to get started with the world of Raspberry Pi. The NOOBS card has the Raspbian operating system pre-loaded, and this is the ideal kit for someone who wants to get their feet wet with Raspberry Pi, and/or use it primarily as a software environment.

Pi prototyping kitRaspberry Pi Prototyping Kit

Next up we have our Prototyping Kit which contains everything found in the Starter Kit, plus:

  • Solderless Breadboard
  • 75pc Jumper Wires
  • Pi Cobbler (to break out the GPIO pins to your breadboard)

This kit is perfect for those who already have some sensors or other hardware lying around and want to integrate it with their Raspberry Pi and get making. As per the Starter Kit, you’ll need to provide a keyboard, mouse, and display.

Gaming Kit for RetroPie

Gaming kit for retropie

The beauty of Raspberry Pi is that you can do much more with it than just what Raspbian offers, there's many different operating systems out there, and one of our favourites is RetroPie. If you’re not sure what RetroPie is, check out our RetroPie tutorial. This is our gaming kit for RetroPie which contains everything you need to get started with RetroPie:

  • Raspberry Pi Board
  • Pre-loaded RetroPie microSD Card
  • Aluminium Enclosure
  • HDMI Cable
  • Official 5V 2.5A Power Supply
  • 2x USB Game Controllers (SNES Style)

This kit is ideal if you want to use your Raspberry Pi to revisit the golden era of vintage gaming.

Media Centre Kit

Kodi logo

If you're looking for the ultimate lounge room companion, then look no further than our Media Centre Kit which contains everything you need to get started with your very own Kodi based media center. From here you can stream content from local and network sources, browse content online, create photo galleries, and heaps more. The built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality of the Pi 3 makes it the perfect choice for media center applications. The microSD card comes pre-loaded with OpenELEC which is one of the msot popular media centre operating systems available, and it's also supported by NOOBS! The Media Center Kit contains:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Board
  • Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad
  • 2m HDMI Cable
  • Official Raspberry Pi Power Supply
  • Official Raspberry Pi 3 Enclosure
  • microSD card Pre-loaded with OpenELEC

Adventures in Raspberry Pi Book + Parts Kit

This one isn’t a complete kit like the others, it’s more of a hardware goodies bag with a matching project book which walks through a whole bunch of awesome projects for your Raspberry Pi, and is a great add-on to any of our kits, especially the Prototyping Kit to get started with using the GPIO pins on your Raspberry Pi to build awesome things.

Adventures in raspeberry pi kit

Which One is Right For You?

So as you can see, there’s a lot of choice with Raspberry Pi kits, and these are just our most popular. The best thing to do is decide whether you want to use the Raspberry Pi just for software and programming, or for hardware integration, or something completely different like gaming. The choice is yours, if you’ve got ideas for awesome Raspberry Pi kits, let us know in the comments.

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