Officially launched today, the Raspberry Pi Pico W is the successor to the Raspberry Pi Pico, Raspberry Pi's first microcontroller board. Long time Raspberry Pi fans will know that a W at the end of of product name means Wi-Fi and the Pico W comes with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi all for just $6.
In our review of the Raspberry Pi Pico W we praised how easy it was to get online. Taking a mere five lines of MicroPython to connect our project to the world. The Pico W retains GPIO compatibility with the older Pico, but at this time third-party addons are rushing to patch their software libraries to work with the Pico W.
In a release blog post, written by Raspberry Pi LTD CEO Eben Upton, we learn that there will be two MicroPython firmwares for both models of Pico.
"This UF2 firmware we’re making available for Pico W is a separate build to the existing MicroPython firmware for our original Pico board. We’ll be upstreaming the changes to the main MicroPython repository soon after launch, but as MicroPython has separate binaries on a per-board rather than per-architecture basis there will always be two distinct UF2 firmware releases going forward. One for Pico, the other for Pico W." Eben Upton Raspberry Pi LTD CEO.
This means that addon board manufacturers will need to provide two firmware options for any addon products they release.
Raspberry Pi Pico W Resellers
Right now the Raspberry Pi Pico W is available via official resellers, and some are enforcing a one board per customer approach to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of picking up a Raspberry Pi Pico W.
Right now UK based reseller Pimoroni have a one board per customer system in place. The unsoldered Pico W is £6 ($6) at the time of writing, but there is also a Pico WH with soldered header pins for £7.20 ($7), which is currently out of stock.
Pimoroni are also offering a range of "Pico Aboard" projects which see the Pico W surface mount soldered to its projects. From Inky Frame ePaper displays, Inventor 2040 W boards, all the way up to a massive Galactic Unicorn RGB LED matrix. All of these products feature the Raspberry Pi Pico W at its core.
The Pi Hut
At the time of writing, UK reseller The Pi Hut also operate a one board per customer approach. The Pi Hut have the Raspberry Pi Pico W in stock for £5.90 (approximately $6) and also have a placeholder for the WH variant with pre-soldered headers for £6.90 ($6.70). At this time there are no other Pico W products listed.
US based reseller Adafruit are an approved reseller of Raspberry Pi products and right now its site has no entries for Raspberry Pi Pico W. This is all set to change in the next few hours so expect to see an update shortly.
Based in the US, CanaKit are currently taking pre-orders for the Raspberry Pi Pico W with a shipping date of July 5.
The bare Raspberry Pi Pico W board is set at $6, but CanaKit are offering two additional Pico W kits.
The first kit is the $20 Basic Kit which features an 830 hole breadboard, along with header pins and USB cable. The $30 Starter kit has the same basic components as the $20 kit, but also provides a range of components such as resistors, RGB LED, LEDs, buttons and jumper wires.
For the original Raspberry Pi Pico, Malaysia based Cytron released a bunch of great RP2040 boards. For the Raspberry Pi Pico W we can see that Cytron will be stocking the Raspberry Pi Pico W for $7.50.
In a recent YouTube stream, Cytron also announced the Maker Pi Pico Mini, a smaller version of it Maker Pi Pico (a board that we gave a rare five star rating to). The Maker Pi Pico Mini comes with a choice of pre-soldered Pico or Pico W and provides three "Maker Ports" (Stemma QT / Qwiic / QWST connectors), a mandatory WS2812B "NeoPixel" and an onboard LiPo charging circuit. Prices range from $8.90 for a bare board, up to $14.40 for a board and Raspberry Pi Pico W.
There are also two kits on offer, a $20 Basic Starter Kit which provides all the header pins, USB cable, battery pack and a carry case. For $30 we get a Starter Kit with a full size breadboard, jumper wires and battery pack. Again this comes with a carry case.
One more thing
In the official Raspberry Pi Pico W announcement blog post we also see that Upton has announced an official pre-soldered Raspberry Pi Pico. Sadly this isn't the new Pico W, rather the $5 Raspberry Pi Pico H. The Pico H provides the aforementioned soldered headers, and also a three pin debug connector for the SWD pins. We have yet to spot one of these on sale.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".