This is a Raspberry Pi Zero Review, with specs and RPi capabilities.  Raspberry Pi zero is a $5 computer that runs Kodi emulators and even full Linux operating system. Sporting of 1 gigahertz processor and a half a gig of RAM, the Raspberry Pi zero plays mediate extremely well.

You can also use it for a limitless variety of applications, such as Network penetration testing, Arduino development, attach one to a drone, or even make a jukebox out of a Raspberry Pi zero.

Raspberry Pi Zero Review

Overall, I was very pleased about the performance of the unit in this Raspberry Pi Zero review.  The Raspberry Pi Zero exceeds my expectations significantly.  This is true for the speed at which the Raspberry Pi Zero operates (which seems fast) and everything else about this $5 SBC (in US Dollars).

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I’m particularly glad that I encoutered no trouble in attaching the WiFi dongle, the USB hub, or my “nano”-sized Logitecth (Unifying) Universal Receiver.  I had no trouble with any add-on devices, for that matter.  The operating system (Raspbian) had the drivers pre-installed for the WiFi adapter and the Logitecth Unifying Receiver.

Raspberry Pi Zero Review YouTube VIDEO

Raspberry Pi Zero Review and Top 5 Uses

To install a new operating system, you can either..

A)  Get a 2nd Micro SD card and keep your first Micro SD card in-tact.

B)  Or you can just erase your 1st Micro SD card.

I will choose to keep each of my Raspberry Pi operating systems in-tact; I will simply use a new Micro SD card for each new (good) operating system I try out.

For this Raspberry Pi Zero review, I will keep it short and just install Raspbian onto a single Micro SD card.  Raspbian is downloadable for free from the official RPi download page here.

At this time, I plan to have at least four Micro SD cards so I can switch-out the operating system easily (“on-the-fly”) on my Raspberry Pi Zero.  This is done by simply powering off the unit, then swapping out the memory card and power it on again.

The four (or more) Micro SD cards I plan to have are:

  • One Micro SD card will run Kodi for RPi
  • Another MicroSD card will be my “workstation” operating system, also known as Raspbian Jessie or Raspbian Wheezy.  These are like the Linux-version names like “Windows 7” or Windows 10.
  • One more Micro SD card will run my Super Nintendo Emulator (SNES) and store all of my ROMs and other classic emuilators
  • My fourth memory card will contain Kali Linux for Raspberry Pi, which I will use for hacking demonstration videos and security tutorials.

Raspberry Pi zero specs

  • The Raspberry Pi Zero has a 1 gigahertz CPU processor speed
  • Raspberry Pi zero has 512MB RAM (half a gig)
  • This little single-board computer has 2 USB ports: 1 Micro USB port for attaching a USB device, and another Micro USB port for providing power to the Raspberry Pi zero.
  • There’s also a mini HDMI port on the Raspberry Pi zero, which allows you to hook up a mini HDMI cable, or use a mini HDMI adapter so you can simply just plug a regular size HDMI cable into the Raspberry Pi. This allows you to attach the Raspberry Pi to any HDMI TV or monitor.
  • The Raspberry Pi zero also has a MicroSD card slot, which is the way that the unit reads and writes data. this is how the operating system is installed onto the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Zero Uses

The Raspberry Pi Zero has thousands of uses.  Here are the Top 5 Raspberry Pi uses we came up with:

1.  Raspberry Pi Zero Kodi Media Center

Use the Raspberry Pi as a Kodi media center by installing Kodi directly onto the Raspberry Pi zero new line

2.  Raspberry Pi Emulator for Playing Classic Games

Definitely try to use Raspberry Pi zero as an SNES emulator, by easily installing an operating system called retropie. this way you can play Super Nintendo games on your Raspberry Pi, and even attach a Xbox 360 controller to play the game.  Super Nintendo games are a blast on the Raspberry Pi Zero!

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It’s easier and cheaper to setup emulators on Raspberry Pi Zero than it is to set up emulators on Fire Stick.  Why?  It’s cheaper because the Raspberry Pi Zero has a USB port built right into it, so you can use any retro USB gamepad to play retro console games on your RPi.  This is in contrast to the FireStick, which has no USB ports.  THerefore, you must use only Bluetooth gamepads with the FireStick, which cost around $35 each (at least).

3.  Raspberry Pi Zero Workstation

You can also use the Raspberry Pi zero as a mobile Workstation. The default operating system for Raspberry Pi is called raspbian, which is a spin-off of the Linux operating system deviant. This is a super reliable operating system that has office applications installed, as well as an internet browser and anything else you need period this is basically a full PC workstation in your pocket.

If you give presentations at school / college, this would useful for classrooms with projectors!

4.  Hacking with Raspberry Pi Zero

The Raspberry Pi zero can be used for just about anything, so we can also even use it for hacking! We like to refer to this as Network penetration testing, but the word hacking is pretty much the same thing.  Since the Raspberry Pi zero is essentially a small Linux computer, it is perfect to use as a network testing console.

Although we’d like to do an in-depth hacking tutorial in this Raspberry Pi Zero review, we will cover that in another lesson.

5.  Raspberry Pi Zero MusicBox / Jukebox

There’s even an operating system for Raspberry Pi called MusicBox.  It’s just that: a way for you to play all your favorite music tracks using the tiny $5 computer.  The MusicBox OS supports Spotify and several other online services.

This jukebox-Raspberry Pi is perfect for plugging into any USB-audio enabled devices.  But keep in mind the Raspberry Pi doesn’t have an on-board audio output port.  So you’ll need to either get a USB-to-analog-audio adapter, or plug the RPi into a USB-audio player.

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Raspberry Pi Zero Setup

Setting up the Raspberry Pi zeros pretty easy. All you do is attach an HDMI cable, a power source, and your USB devices. Then you use a PC or Mac to download and right the operating system to a MicroSD card. Then you stick the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi, and Boot It up.

After that you simply follow the onscreen prompts to complete the operating system install process. this process is generally the same for pretty much any operating system you want to install and Raspberry Pi zero.

Note:  The “version” of Raspberry Pi 0 I used in this tutorial was v1.3.

Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless Edition

The Raspberry Pi Zero now has a Wireless version of the RPi Zero!  Released around March 1st of 2017, Raspberry Pi Zero W has onboard WiFi and Bluetooth.

This pretty much eliminates the need to have a USB hub connected to your Raspberry Pi Zero.  So enjoy the added flexibility and clutter reduction you get from the new Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless (“W”) edition.  It costs only $5 more than the non-Wireless Raspberry Pi Zero, bringing it to a whopping $10 USD.  Then add $9.95 for shipping to the U.S.

This makes a Raspberry Pi emulation station much easier, since now we can get WiFi connected without needing an external adapter!  Use this to download your emulators and games.  Also forfeit the need to have wired controllers, because now you can go wireless with Bluetooth controllers!  So eliminate the wires and clutter – spend $5 more and get the Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless edition.  You won’t regret the WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities!

Also use Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to control the Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless.  Do this instead of needing to connect a wired or wireless dongle to use keyboard and mouse on your RPi.

Wrap Up

This Raspberry Pi Zero review hopes to answer your basic questions about this awesome $5 SBC.

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