Update: Yes these also work with the Raspberry Pi Zero.
The Raspberry Pi credit card-sized single-board computer was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries. But it has blow up in popularity and applications way beyond that. In fact, over 7 millions Raspberry Pi boards have been sold since it’s first launch. Recently there’s been over 200,000 Raspberry Pi boards sold monthly and growing!
The Raspberry Pi however, isn’t a standalone product that can be purchased and used right out the box. Its only the computer board and as such consumers have to put thought into powering the device, interfacing with it, protecting the board, wireless network connectivity, microSD storage, etc. Over the past 2 years I’ve been playing with various Raspberry Pi models and like most, I’m really impressed which how much faster and still stable the Raspberry Pi 2 is. That said the Raspberry Pi remains vulnerable to poor customer satisfaction if paired with cheap or not fully compatible accessories. You can spend hours trying to solve freezing, resets, data corruption and other issues which at some point you’ll find rarely have anything to do with the actual RPI 2 board.
As with any consumer device that’s become popular, there’s been a flood of options to choose from! Today we focus on the three most important addons: power adapter, MicroSD storage and WiFi connectivity. This post aims at guiding readers to the best options available which I’ve tested and personally use without issue. Getting these options right, can save you time, money and much headache. So without any further delay, here are my recommended accessories for the ultimate Raspberry Pi 2 starter kit!
Power Supply: CanaKit 5V 2.5A for Raspberry Pi 2 Adapter
The CanaKit 2.5A Raspberry Pi 2 power supply/adapter has been specially designed and tested for the new Raspberry Pi 2. With this power supply, you can power the Raspberry Pi 2 at full loads. It’s also great for over-clocking the Raspberry Pi which lower powered/quality adapters usually causes freezes or resets. This power supply differs from typical 5V USB power supplies because it can deliver a full 2.5A and still output a voltage well within the minimum voltage specifications for the Raspberry Pi board. Many of the 5V USB power supplies in the market suffer voltage drops when pushed which may cause the Raspberry Pi to reboot or freeze unexpectedly.
MicroSD Card: Transcend 16GB MicroSDHC Class10 UHS-1 with SD Adapter 45MB/s
Transcend’s microSDHC/SDXC Class 10 UHS-I 300X memory cards can realize blazing-fast read/write transfer rates of up to 300x (45MB/s). Built-in Error Correcting Code (ECC) to detect and correct transfer errors. Supports Ultra High Speed Class 1 specification (U1). Fully compliant with the SD 3.01 standard. Available in 16GB (TS16GUSDU1), 32GB (TS32GUSDU1) and 64GB (TS64GUSDU1) capacities. Highly recommended option stability, value and speed!
Also check out the x2 faster Transcend MicroSDHC Class 10 UHS-I Memory cards with Adapter 90 Mb/s. Available in 16GB (TS16GUSDHC10U1) and 32GB (TS32GUSDHC10U1). Highly recommended for read/write intensive uses such as Kodi (OpenElec, OSMC, etc.) These are fast, yet stable at a slightly higher cost.
WiFi: Panda 300Mbps Wireless 802.11n USB Adapter with high gain antenna
The Panda 300Mbps Wireless 802.11n USB Adapter with high gain antenna (PAU06) with low power consumption. OS support includes: 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 8.1/10/2008r2/2012r2, Mint 14/15/16/17/17.1, Ubuntu 12.10/13.04/13.10/14.04/14.10, Fedora 18/19/20/21, CentOS 6.4/6.5/7.
Looking for basic connectivity and not worried about range and speed? Then check out the TP-LINK TL-WN725N Wireless N Nano USB Adapter 150Mbps. Also, look at the size of this thing! Don’t lose it.
Other Raspberry Pi starter recommendations:
- Raspberry Pi protective case. Official Raspberry Pi Foundation Pi 2 Case. (Does not fit the Pi Zero)
- Mini Wireless Keyboard/Touchpad: Rii Mini 2.4G Wireless Backlight Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad Laser Pointer.
- The HDMI cables I currently use: Zakix® 6 FT, Premium High-Speed & Certified HDMI 2.0 Cable – 6 Feet.
Also read: Raspberry Pi 2 Overclock