When the first Raspberry Pi arrived in the SpazzTech Tool Shed we found ourselves ordering a lot of extra stuff after it arrive just to turn it on for the first time. So we decided to buy a whole kit the next time around. The CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit includes most of the basics you will need to get started with the Raspberry Pi B+ including the Raspberry B+ itself. This SpazzOut is based on a single kit that we purchased outright for our own purposes. So while this is our unbiased review of this product, your results may vary. Check with the supplier before you buy.
Over-all this kit is a winner, and SpazzTech will be a repeat customer. Here are some of the things we especially liked:
When we first opened the box for the kit everything seems very neatly packed and labeled.
If you are already into electronics, you may already have all of the basic electronics components around, but who has a USB WiFi dongle anymore? You can also never have too many HDMI cables. The power supply is a good thing to have. Most cell phone power cords now are 0.7A at least and we used a 1.0 A cell phone supply for our firt Pi. The 2.5A supply included in this kit provides some good overhead.
The only things we used to get started that were not included in the kit was a USB keyboard, USB mouse, and a monitor. Almost any HDMI display will work.
Its possible to create your own NOOBS image if you have an extra MicroSD, but why bother? Well, there is one drawback to having NOOBS already loaded on the MicroSD which we will get into later.
There are some other reviews out there complaining out the Pi not fitting into the case. No issue here. However, it fits so perfectly, its easy to imagine how a little bit of heat from the box sitting in the sun could cause it to NOT fit. That or possibly there are some tolerance issues and some of them really don't fit. Ours fit perfectly.
With the Pi in the case included in this kit, we could still plug everything in including the GPIO exansion cable and the MicroSD card.
Its nice to have small guides like these laying around so that we don't have to go looking for some pdf on our hard drive or find the bookmark to a tutorial on some website.
We didn't really find any show stoppers in this kit, but there are maybe a few areas that might bother some people.
This really isn't an issue unless it gets caught under the foot of your office chair or it gets picked up in a vacuum cleaner. In most cases it should be just fine. The chord is just not as stout as your average phone charger for example.
Since the kit comes with the GPIO breakout kits, this isn't a big deal. You just will not be able to connect to the GPIO without using the GPIO breakout kit. We have a stock of female to male jumpers that we used before this kit arrived. Now that we have it, the male to male jumper wires will work just fine connecting to other prototype boards.
The breakout kit makes connecting the RPi to a prototype circuit as simple as... well, pie. The prototype board that comes with the kit, though, only has 30 rows and the breakout kit takes up 20 of them. The markings for the pins on the breakout board are not very clear either. It would be better to just number the pins; especially with the quick reference card included in the kit. With the included jumper wires, its a simple thing to connect to other prototype boards. You can get more prototype boards like these HERE.
There are some reviews out there saying the RPi doesn't fit well in the case in this kit. Perhaps some of those complaints are because there were no instructions in the kit itself. I suppose there probably are some on-line, but we didn't need them. There are, however, a couple tricks for putting the case together. See below from some SpazzTech Tips on putting this case together.
Having NOOBS pre-installed on a MicroSD card is a doubled edged swords.... That's too dramatic. Its more like a doubled edged butter knife. Having a pre-loaded image on a card allows us to get the Pi up and running fast. However, the image is going to be dates a little bit. Once you get the Pi connected to the Internet, however, you can bring your packages up to date with just a couple of commands. I ate dinner why my package updates downloaded and installed.