When you're new to learning about Raspberry Pi, check out this guide of starter kits with pros and cons!

When you are a beginner, you might not know where to start or what things you need to buy to get up and running. It might be a good idea to look at a few starter kits that come with everything you need. Just like with the Arduino bundle comparison, I’ll look at a few popular options and pick one product per category.

In this article, I’ll discuss a few Raspberry Pi 4 starter kit options. Remember that it’s important to do some research on your own to find the solution that suits your needs and wants the best.

A Raspberry Pi Kit With the Essentials

Unlike other platforms, like Arduino, the single-board computer itself is not the only thing you’ll need to get started. For the most recent Raspberry Pi, you’ll need a USB-C cable, a microSD card, and most likely something that’ll help to keep your new SBC cool. I’d also recommend getting a case for the Raspberry Pi when you are not sure how to properly handle it without one.

With these requirements in mind, many beginners opt for a bundle like the one below.

Raspberry_Pi_Kits_DH_MP_image1.jpg

These kits are a convenient way to get started because they supply everything you need. Most of them also come with a preconfigured SD card so that you can use the Raspberry Pi right out of the box.

If you aren’t a complete beginner, you shouldn’t buy one of these kits because they are usually much more expensive than the individual components. The package I chose costs around $120 USD. Comparable individual components would only cost you around $90USD. However, cheaper kits are available.

Pros

  • Convenient
  • Ready out of the box
  • Perfect for absolute newcomers

Cons

  • Usually quite expensive

Starter Kits for Electronic Experiments

These kits are very similar to the Arduino starter kits, discussed in another article. They contain a Raspberry Pi as well as a variety of discrete electronic parts, including LEDs, matching resistors, and transistors. A few sensors and other components, like a small motor, are also included.

Raspberry_Pi_Kits_DH_MP_image3.jpg

These bundles are usually not as overpriced as the basic starter packs. However, you should carefully read the product description because some of them don’t include the Raspberry Pi itself or they include an older version (like in this case, the Raspberry Pi 3).

Pros

  • Good starting point for beginners
  • Can be used for many experiments

Cons

  • Experience with electronics recommended
  • Some kits don’t include the Raspberry Pi
  • Can be a bit overpriced

Starter Kits for Gaming

Many people only get a Raspberry Pi to use it as a retro gaming console to be able to play older games on a budget. Naturally, many starter kits that supply everything you need to get started are available.

Raspberry_Pi_Kits_DH_MP_image2.jpg

The bundle I chose includes a nice looking case, controllers, HDMI and power cables, and everything else you need to get started. However, I haven’t found a kit that comes with the newest Raspberry Pi 4. Instead, most of them include an older version. However, that should still be fast enough for emulating old consoles. Such kits usually cost between $70USD and $90USD, which I think is reasonable.

Pros

  • Usually all the software, you need, is pre-loaded (no games)
  • Can be used out of the box
  • Appearance
  • Fair price

Cons

  • Currently only available with the older Raspberry Pi

Summary

These kits are great for beginners or as a gift. However, you can save some money when you buy all the components separately. With starter kits, you usually pay for the design and convenience. Some bundles come with an older Raspberry Pi or without one at all. You should, therefore, always carefully read the product description.

Daniel Hertz
Hi! I am a software engineer and owner of nerdhut.de who loves to experiment with electronics, gadgets and tech in general.