The Raspberry Pi is one of the most versatile and understated computing platforms you can find. Priced at around $38 for the basic board, this credit-card-sized piece of tech can be outfitted and turned into a low-budget media center PC, a classic gaming station, or an Internet of Things (IoT) base station for your smart home.
As an improvement over the Raspberry Pi 2, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B packs a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU paired with 1GB of RAM. There’s also onboard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a MicroSD slot, four USB ports, and a full-size HDMI port. Overall, it provides a solid foundation for all types of do-it-yourself projects for any tinkerer out there.
Below, we rounded up a few deals on different Raspberry Pi Model B computers, Raspberry Pi 3 bundles, and Raspberry Pi kits. Whether you’re looking to build your own retro gaming console, want a Raspberry Pi-based coding machine, or are looking for Christmas gift ideas for a techie you know, we have something for everyone.
CanaKit’s complete Raspberry Pi 3 B starter kit remains the top-selling Raspberry Pi bundle, and it’s easy to see why. This package comes with the latest Raspberry Pi computer kit, a power supply, and a 32GB MicroSD card preloaded with NOOBS software to get you started right out of the box. That SD card should provide you with enough memory for small projects, but if you’re trying to do something bigger, you can easily use another one of your SD cards with more GB.
Also included are a 2.5-amp Micro USB power supply, GPIO quick reference card, an HDMI cable, two heat sinks to keep your board running cool, and a sleek black enclosure that protects your Raspberry Pi and gives you access to its ports. Amazon is offering this excellent starter bundle (including step-by-step instructions) for just $75. Make sure to check out the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews if you need some convincing on this Pi 3 kit. There is also CanaKit’s $50 clear case edition option for those who want to see how this starter kit fits together.
Relive the days of side-scrolling platform games with the Raspberry Pi 3 Gaming Kit. This is similar to the aforementioned bundle, with the main difference being that this kit includes a 32GB Samsung MicroSD card preloaded with RetroPie gaming software along with two classic SNES-style USB game controllers. You also get two heat sinks, a power supply, and an adapter HDMI cable.
RetroPie lets you turn your Raspberry Pi into an all-in-one arcade console by emulating such consoles as the Apple II, Dreamcast, Game Boy, Neo Geo, Nintendo Entertainment System, SNES, and Atari Jaguar, among others. Amazon offers this bundle for $80, and it now comes with an NES-style housing (a $15 value) to complete your retro gaming starter kit. If building a console is one of your Raspberry Pi projects, a Raspberry operating system like RetroPie is a great place to begin.
If you already have a spare HDMI cable lying around and just need a basic kit to get started, then this Raspberry Pi 3 add-on board is perfect for you. Like most kits, this officially licensed starter bundle includes the Raspberry Pi 3 B, a 16GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian and NOOBS, a 2.5-amp power supply, and an attractive black plastic case. Available for $80, this new bundle is the most affordable Raspberry Pi 3 kit on this list. Being that it’s a less expensive starter kit, you may want to think about upgrading the SD card if you’re planning on tackling larger projects.
For a nearly complete computer setup and a great project for kids and students, check out the Kano Raspberry Pi 3 Computer Kit. Along with the Raspberry Pi computer and enclosure, this bundle includes HDMI and USB cables, an 8GB MicroSD card, and a wireless keyboard with built-in touchpad for the Kano OS.
Assemble the computer and hook it up to an HDMI display, and you’re ready to dig into the pre-installed games, coding apps, and learning software. The 2017 edition of the Kano Computer Kit is a great holiday gift for teachers, home-schoolers, computer clubs, and young tech enthusiasts looking to learn how an operating system works, and is currently available for $99 from Amazon.
If you love DIY projects like the Kano computer but robots are more up your alley, check out the Picar-S robot kit from Sunfounder. You’ll need to buy the Raspberry Pi computer separately, but this add-on package includes everything else necessary to construct your own little rover that you can control via your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The Picar-S represents an improvement over the Picar-V thanks to its three built-in sensors that allow it to intelligently navigate obstacles, move toward light, or follow a programmed route.
The Picar-S kit normally runs for $120, but a $22 discount brings it down to $98 from Amazon.
In the market for an inexpensive tablet? Why not build one yourself instead? This bundle from NeeGo is the ultimate Raspberry Pi starter kit, letting you create a full-fledged tablet computer setup. Along with the breadboard, the NeeGo starter kit comes with a Raspberry Pi housing attached to a vibrant 7-inch multitouch display. You also get everything else you need to get started right out of the box, including a 16GB SD card loaded with NOOBS. You can pick up the Neego Raspberry Pi 3 ultimate starter kit for just $149 on Amazon.
The Kano kit gives you pretty much everything you need to build a computer — minus a display, of course — but if you want an all-in-one Raspberry Pi computer bundle that’s so simple a kid can build it, then the Piper complete computer kit is what you need.
The Piper kit comes with a Raspberry Pi 3, a wooden computer case, USB mouse, an HD LCD display, and other accessories needed to complete the build (including a fold-out laminated blueprint to help you along). It also comes with a copy of Minecraft: Raspberry Pi Edition, ensuring that the Piper computer will be a hit with all the young techies. At $210 from Amazon, the complete Piper Raspberry Pi kit is relatively affordable for a no-frills computer setup, making it the perfect Christmas gift for aspiring programmers.
This kit from Vilros doesn’t actually use the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, but instead features the new Raspberry Pi Zero W computer. The Raspberry Pi Zero W features a smaller board with built-in wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. The bundle includes heatsinks, power supply, 16GB card with NOOBS and RetroPie software pre-installed, HDMI and USB cables, and a black case built specifically for the Raspberry Pi Zero W.
The case also comes with interchangeable lids depending on what you need to use it for — for instance, one has a peephole for turning your Pi W into a wireless IP camera. This kit comes in at just $35 from Amazon.