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Raspberry Pi Model B+ review

An updated offering with more I/O and more compact design
Wed Jul 30 2014, 08:30

Product Raspberry Pi Model B+
Website www.raspberrypi.org
Specifications Broadcom BCM2835 SoC processor with 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S core, 512MB RAM, Videocore 4 GPU supports up to 1920x1200 resolution, microSD card slot, 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, 4 x USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, audio/video jack, GPIO header, microUSB power port, DSI and CSI ports, 85.6x56mm
Price £25


THE RASPBERRY PI FOUNDATION unveiled the Raspberry Pi Model B+ earlier this month, boasting a new style and updated hardware over the previous Model B, which users welcomed with open arms.

Although not touted as Raspberry Pi Two but rather "the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi", the firm has tailored the Model B+ to include all of the additions that Raspberry Pi users requested.

raspberrypibplus

While the layout has seen a slight shift around, most things haven't changed and the general shape of the board remains the same.

Design
The updated Raspberry Pi Model B+ has the same layout as the original device but has been given a slight redesign with a low-noise power input, double the number of USB ports at four, a 40-pin GPIO header that replaces a 26-pin GPIO header, a click-in microSD slot that puts the card neatly into the side of the unit, and a general shuffling of content on the board so that it now presents a more standard rectangle shape.

While the SoC is still the same ARM-based Broadcom BCM2835 of the original, the chip has been subtly upgraded since our original review and now has 512MB of memory mounted with the CPU inside the chip package instead of 256MB.

Raspberry PI Model B Plus

However, these are just the most noticeable changes. Something you won't observe on first glance is that the Model B+ circuit board now has four mounting holes for securing in an enclosure or whatever else its buyers or potential inventors want to create. The headphone jack remains but with better audio and video, meaning that the composite RCA socket, which would be redundant, has been removed.

Raspberry Pi Model B Plus

For those who were frustrated that the original board wouldn't support high capacity storage, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has also redesigned the on-board power regulator to make the Model B+ more power efficient, so there's now enough current to power peripherals such as external hard drives via the USB ports. This is still restricted to a maximum of 1.2A shared across all four of the USB ports on the Model B+, and it requires a power supply capable of delivering 2A to the Raspberry Pi itself.

Raspberry Pi model B plus versus Model B

The best thing about the new design, though, is that most of the connectors now fit flush with the edge of the board rather than sticking out as with the previous models, which makes it appear much neater and allows the board to fit into smaller cases, and thus makes it easier to mount.

Below is a video we captured at the launch event comparing the main differences of the new Model B+ and the older Model B boards.

Next: Setup.

 

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