About Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi, Mini computers are perfect for learning how to code. While you can use them for some computing tasks, they are also excellent educational devices.
Microbit and Raspberry Pi are great minicomputers for different situations. To buy a minicomputer, you may need Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi information.
You can get what each of these devices does when reading this post. Likewise, we will compare them in different aspects. Once you’re done reading the guide, we guarantee you will quickly tell which minicomputer to buy.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Microbit?
- Features of a Microbit
- Features of a Raspberry Pi
- Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi: Should You get a Pi 3 or BBC Microbit?
What Is a Microbit?
A micro bit is quite a tiny computer, about half the size of a credit card. BBC made this device to introduce school children to coding.
Microbit is an entry-level computer. Hence, it’s great for basic tasks and learners. While this board is pretty small, it has incredible features.
Features of a Microbit
A BBC micro bit comes with hardware on both sides. The front includes buttons, an LED display, and a light sensor. Also, there are several GPIO pins. With these, you can connect the minicomputer to headphones and other electronics.
Other things you’ll find on the front side of a micro bit are:
- 3-volt power pin
- A ground pin
- Microphone LED on new models
- Touch logo- also on new models
Microbit with visible pins
You’ll find a radio and Bluetooth antenna on the back side of a micro bit. There is also a processor, which is the brain of this device.
Here are other back features and their functions.
1. Temperature sensor- Measuring the temperature of your surrounding
2. Accelerometer- Measuring forces, you can use the feature to add shake inputs in your games
3. Pins- Powering accessories and things like robots
4. Micro USB Socket- Connecting your Microbit to other devices
5. USB interface chip- Flashing new code to your device
LED lights on a circuit board
What Is a Raspberry Pi?
A Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer that you easily fit in your pockets. It works using an operating system called Linux. Still, the device can run on many other OSes. You can always install any compatible option depending on your preference.
Since Raspberry Pis have advanced features, you can use them for many things.
Some great uses of a Raspberry Pi are:
- Video games
- Hardware projects
Features of a Raspberry Pi
A Raspberry Pi is quite a complex minicomputer. It comes with exciting features to suit many tasks. For example, it has a CPU to process and store data. Besides that, it has an HDMI port, so you enjoy high-quality video and audio transfer.
Other features you’ll get in a Raspberry Pi include:
- An ethernet port
- Graphics processing unit
- 5 LEDs
- An SD card slot
RPi boards have GPIO pins that project upward. The oldest models of this device often come with 26 pins. However, you’ll be lucky to enjoy 40-46 pins on the latest designs.
An HDMI cable
Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi: Should You get a Pi 3 or BBC Microbit?
Raspberry Pi 3 is among the most popular minicomputers. While it has many great features, the powerful CPU is one reason users love it. If you need a new minicomputer, you may want to compare Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi models.
We will discuss several things you should look into before spending your money.
A Raspberry Pi 3 has several features that let you link it to other devices. For instance, you can use the 26 available GPIO pins to connect to a printer or computer. Additionally, the device comes with 4 USB 2 ports.
More connectivity features available on RPi 3 are:
- A CSI camera port- This one connects to a Raspberry Pi camera
- DSI display port- Connects your RPi3 to a touchscreen display
- Bluetooth chipset- Supports Bluetooth connections
Close-up on USB ports on a Raspberry Pi
Another interesting connectivity feature on RPi3 is a Wi-Fi chip. This one lets you connect to a wireless network. You can also use a cable since the device has an ethernet port.
The BBC micro bit has fewer connectivity features compared to Raspberry Pi 3. This device comes with five input-output rings.
Apart from that, it has an edge connector. You can use this part as an output in a circuit connection. Other connectivity features include a micro-USB controller and a compass.
Raspberry Pi 3 beats its counterpart when it comes to connectivity. Despite this, the options available on Microbit match its capabilities.
A micro-USB cable
Raspberry Pi3 can work well with Linux and Windows 10, among other systems. This is because it is a processor-based device.
On the other hand, Microbit is an embedded software tool. Hence, it doesn’t need a complete operating system to work.
When using Raspberry Pi, you can download a different OS but can’t do the same with a micro bit.
Instead of installing an OS, you will program using another computer, then compile it. Luckily, micro bit is compatible with computers using various OSes. Such include:
You can also connect it to Android and iOS mobile phones.
Price is a crucial factor to consider when comparing Microbit vs. Raspberry Pi. Typically, an RPi 3 goes for about $30. On the other hand, a micro bit ranges from $15-$37. The actual price often depends on the vendor and your location.
While Microbit may be more expensive in some regions, it’s free for year seven students. Currently, BBC only donates these devices to students in the UK. You must purchase a micro bit in the US or another country.
BBC micro bit and Raspberry Pi 3 have very different designs. RPi 3 looks like a typical single-board computer. Additionally, it has multiple connections you can quickly identify.
On the other hand, a micro bit resembles a circuit board. This device measures 5 x 4cm and has five basic rings.
The design of a Raspberry Pi 3 is more complex than its counterpart. This is because it has more functions. Above that, it supports far more connections than a BBC micro bit.
A microbot connected to a monitor
Since BBC created Microbit for kids, it’s typically less powerful than Raspberry Pi 3. The latter is ideal for both kids and adults. Companies and developers can also use it for many projects.
Raspberry Pi 3 has an impressive CPU which is a 64-bit quad-core. Contrarily, Microbit comes with a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU. Unlike the first CPU, this one is less powerful. Likewise, it’s pretty tiny and uses much less energy.
Microbit has a relatively small RAM of 16KB, while its counterpart has 1GB RAM. If you want to run large programs, pick a Raspberry Pi 3. Using heavy apps on a micro bit can cause it to lag.
Man exhausted by a slow-loading computer.
Can you connect Microbit to Raspberry Pi?
Yes. You can pair Microbit to any computer, including Raspberry Pi. One way to do this is by pairing the devices using Bluetooth.
When you run the command, you should hold the A+B buttons. After that, press the reset pin on the back side of the Microbit. You may release all buttons once you see a Bluetooth symbol.
Which is better, Microbit or Arduino?
Microbit and Arduino are both great based on what you need. The first option has more processing power. Besides, its LED display can work as a visual screen.
Arduino’s design mainly focuses on input and output. Therefore, it’s a great choice if you need many electronic connections.
Microbit is the best pick for someone wanting to learn basic coding. The device doesn’t support many functions compared to Raspberry, but it’s still impressive.
Apart from that, its price is fair considering you can use it with other complex minicomputers.
Raspberry Pi is a perfect choice for complex programming. Since the device supports many connections, you can explore numerous applications.
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