New Raspberry Pi model B+ doubles USB ports, adds microSD and more

A new model of the Raspberry Pi is out, but it's not Raspberry Pi 2

There's a new tasty treat in town for mini computer fans, and its name is the Raspberry Pi B+. Two years after the model B came out, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is back with a new revision that includes more GPIO pins, more USB ports, a microSD slot, improved audio, and lower power consumption.

The new board is priced the same as the model B at $35 and is available starting Monday from many resellers. You can also order the new board online via the Raspberry Pi Foundation's two primary manufacturing partners: Element 14 and RS Components.

The new Model B+ is not a Raspberry Pi v2, the Foundation said in a blog post on Monday. Instead, it's a final revision to the original Raspberry Pi board that includes the same 512MB of RAM and the same Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the B board.

For new stuff, the Model B+ now comes packed with 40 pins on the GPIO header keeping the same pinout mapping for the first 26 pins as the model B.

Anyone using the Raspberry Pi for a quick media center or playtime PC will welcome the two extra USB 2.0 ports on the B+ bringing the total to four. That's right: This revisions eliminates the need for a USB hub just to use a mouse, keyboard, Wi-Fi dongle, and USB thumb drive at the same time.

The B+ also takes microSD cards instead of standard SDs. The new slot also has a push-push feel to it meaning it should behave more like the SD and microSD slots on other devices. That's a welcome change from the tight-fitting standard SD slot on the model B, A which felt more like "jam in your card and hope for the best."

Beyond port changes, the Raspberry Pi Foundation was able to reduce power consumption on the B+, and the audio circuit now has its own "low-noise" power supply.A Finally, the model B+ has a new form factor and component layout that includes some fancy rounded corners.

To keep regular B board fans happy, the Raspberry Pi Foundation says Model B will stay in production as long as demand exists for the now older board. It's not clear if the model B will get a reduced price, but taking a quick scan of resellers online it doesn't look like it--at least not yet.

This story, "New Raspberry Pi model B+ doubles USB ports, adds microSD and more" was originally published by PCWorld.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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