It’s March 14th (3/14) and Pi day is upon us (the numerical value of π is 3.14159…) so the Raspberry Pi foundation has a new release for us. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is an upgrade to their now two year old classic board. While the Pi 3 B+ will likely become the new de facto standard for Raspberry Pi projects, most users will probably not be rushing out to replace their current Pi 3 boards. The form factor, pins, and ports have all stayed the same from the previous Pi 3, the changes are all just bumps in specs. The Pi 3 B+ upgrades the main processor from 1.2GHz to 1.4GHz and includes better cooling to help with those slightly higher speeds. The onboard Wi-Fi is now dual band 2.4ghz and 5ghz. Bluetooth is also upgraded to the 4.2 standard and still includes classic and BLE capabilities. Finally, the onboard Ethernet has been sped up also.
We got a hold of a Pi 3 Model B+ a week before the announcement and got to spend some time with it to review it. If you have ever used a Pi before, you know what to expect here. Setup is done first on another computer to prepare the SD card followed by using the built in raspi-config. Using a project like PiBakery can make it easy to get your initial configuration setup including putting your new Pi on your network. After it’s up and running, this is the same machine we have all grown to know and love.
While the Pi 3 was a big deal by including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board for the first time (on top of a processor upgrade from the 2), the changes on the B+ feel only slightly incremental. Of course they did just call it the B+, not the 4. With boards form Asus, Nvidia, Onion, and Next Thing Co. biting on their heals, can Raspberry Pi stay at the head of the pack with just small changes like these?