Last year saw the release of a $4 version of Pico, based on Raspberry Pi’s own-made RP2040 chip. And now, a successor to the same piece of hardware is being revealed, which is essentially the same hardware but with a little extra built into it—the Pico W.
The Pico W’s most notable difference is the added 802.11n Wi-Fi radio that finally gives it a rather essential wireless internet capability at the expense of just an increase of $2 to the previous model’s price—or $6.
Per Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton, via The Verge’s Nilay Patel, the price disparity is justified as based on the cost it takes into incorporating radios into their product, citing it as expensive.
While an improved version of 2021’s Pico might seem likely to replace the older model, it won’t be the case. For users who would still prefer to forego the incorporated Wi-Fi capability, the $4 Pico would still make a lot of sense as a go-to device.
Interestingly, the very same chip responsible for Pico W’s Wi-Fi capability—the Infineon CYW43439 chip—is also revealed to be capable of Bluetooth. However, the company claims that the latter functionality is disabled by default. Although, the possibility of it becoming enabled is not a stray from reality in the future.