When I first started with Arduino, I used an Uno board and I had no idea about the other types. When I came to know about the other types, I was doubtful about which one to choose for my project. So I researched in deep and started using them one by one for different projects. And here I’m going to share the knowledge, I gain through that research and experience.
9 Types of Arduino and their prices (Approximately)
Note: This prices can be vary according to your country.
In this article, I’m going to go in-depth about each type of Arduino board and I will include a summary at the end, So you can get a clear idea about what board suits you out of these 9 types.
So let’s get stated.
This is the most popular type of Arduino board and the most user friendly board for beginners due to following reasons.
- User friendly because it has a regular USB port and DC barrel connector.
- As it has female headers for I/O pins it can be easily connected with modules using jumper wires.
- And also female headers reduces the chances of short circuiting as the conducting part is not exposed.
- And if you accidently burn the processor by a wrong wire connection, you can replace only the processor without replacing the whole board. (Note: There is also a SMD version, in which we can’t replace the processor.)
- And almost all Arduino shields are compatible with Uno due to its 5V operating voltage.
MKR is commonly used in IoT projects due to its built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity feature. (MKR zero is a cheaper version of MKR which does not provide built in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.)
MKR boards are very useful in data collection projects where you have to collect data from a network of sensors and upload to a cloud storage.
One of the disadvantages of this board is its operating voltage of 3.3V. As many shields are designed to be operated at 5V, we have to be careful when selecting shields for MKR.
Mega board is something much similar to Uno while having more I/O pins and slightly more memory than Uno.
Mega is also compatible with almost every shield like Uno.
Mega is mostly suitable for projects like robotics and motor controlling which needs more I/O pins and more complex programs which need more flash memory, SRAM and EEPROM.
Nano is one of the most affordable boards among these9 types. Due to its smaller size it comes in handy when you want your project to be small in size. (eg: smart wearable devices.)
Nano board comes in 3.3V and 5V operating voltages. Because of that, you have to be careful when selecting shields.
Due includes a 32 bit microcontroller with serial, SPI, JTAG and USB interfaces.
Arduino Due is specially suitable for:
- Graphics and sound processing.
- Efficient processing.
- Relatively low power use to accomplish the above.
Due operates at 3.3V, So you have to be careful when selecting the shields.
A unique feature of Leonardo is its USB interface. Boards like Uno have a separate USB controller, but Leonardo has one microcontroller for running sketches and communicating over USB.
Because of this integrated USB connectivity feature, Leonardo is much suitable for USB communication with computer such as a USB peripheral. (eg: Keyboard, Mouse)
Leonardo is a good alternative to Uno because of its 5V operating voltage.
Micro can be called the smaller version of Leonardo because it also has integrated USB connectivity.
Micro can be used when you need integrated USB connectivity as well as your project should be smaller in size.
It also operates at 5V.
Arduino Yun includes a Linux targeted processor built in. In addition it can be used as an embedded processor for Wi-Fi and internet communications.
SD cards can be used as a memory for the Yun.
Due to its operating system and processor, it can be used for
- running as a server.
- executing python scripts
Arduino Yun can be considered slightly as a cheaper alternative to Raspberry Pi.
Portenta is the most expensive version of Arduino boards.
main features of Portenta are:
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Graphics processor which allows it to connect to an external monitor.
- Dual processor allowing independent code (and languages) to execute on each core, while communicating between cores.
Size of the Portenta is same as MKR boards.
Most suitable projects for Arduino Portenta are:
- Industrial interface and control projects.
- Computer vision
- Advanced Robotics
In conclusion, I can roughly recommend these 9 boards for the following purposes.
- Uno and MKR are the most suitable boards for beginners.
- Mega is best suited for motor controlling projects such as robotics, CNC and 3D printers.
- Nano is friendly for the project that needs Uno and MKR’s performance and is smaller in size.
- Due is good for graphics and sound processing.
- Leonardo and Micro suitable for projects which needs integrated USB connectivity.
- Yun is good for building embedded Linux systems.
- Portenta is good for industrial applications which need high performance.