Author: Zen Kuda Nixjoen
There is a plethora of Arduino boards that you can choose from nowadays. Some quite pricey and others not so much. In this review, we will be taking a close look at the cheapest Arduino board available, the ARDUINO NANO. This compact micro-controller is a versatile and capable little board and it is for most DIY electronics projects. The Arduino Nano is great to learn programming on and its tiny size makes it a great option when working on small projects.
SPECS AT A GLANCE
Flash Memory: 32 KB
SRAM: 2 KB
Clock Speed: 16 MHz
Power Consumption: 19 mA
PCB Size: 18 x 45 mm
Weight: 7 g
NANO vs UNO
Apart from size, the major difference between the Arduino Nano and the Arduino Uno is the USB port and price. With the Nano needing a micro-USB to connect to a computer. Although both devices are practically equaled when it comes to performance and have the same capabilities, the Arduino Nano is cheaper. It is affordable and frankly, worth the money.
|Great for beginners||Limited onboard memory|
|Fits on to a breadboard||Lack of onboard connectivity|
|Great for compact projects||Lack of power|
|Functionally similar to larger and pricier counterparts|
WHAT YOU WILL LOVE ABOUT THE ARDUINO NANO
ABILITY TO FIT ON THE BREADBOARD
Unlike larger Arduino boards, the Nano does not struggle to fit on a breadboard since it does not have the irregular pin spacing that is in the original Arduino design. It may seem like something small but it is quite a significant advantage, it allows efficient prototyping and evaluation of ideas without having to risk sticking to one design after soldering.
One of the best features of Arduino, especially for beginners, is the fact that the community is so proactive and welcoming. Hundreds of blogs and discussion forums cover just about every project you could carry out with your Arduino board. Help is always available in the forums, whether it is help with the electronics side of things that you desire or coding tips, the Arduino community is always ready to share knowledge. Another great feature is that the Arduino website has a beginners’ guide to the Arduino Nano available and additionally, you can use the Arduino Web Editor to program the board directly from your web browser.
WHAT YOU WILL NOT LOVE ABOUT THE ARDUINO NANO
Similar to a lot of Arduino boards, one of the downsides of the Arduino Nano is the lack of connectivity options. Unfortunately, the Nano does not have any onboard Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities. This is a potential blow because the Internet of Things (IoT) world is growing at an exponential blow and it is very popular in the DIY electronic and PC industry. The Nano is very capable when programmed to carry out functions that do not require external influence. Although it is possible to add a shield to the Nano to supplement the lack of connectivity, it is an otherwise unnecessary step and adds extra cost to projects requiring Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities.
The lack of onboard memory on the nano is another potential deal-breaker. Whilst the Nano is very capable of accommodating many lines of code, more complex projects with advanced user interfaces will be restricted by the 32k program memory limit.
The Nano is capable of a clock speed of only 16MHz and this along with the memory issue will significantly affect projects that require higher speeds.
At the end of the day, choosing a suitable micro-controller depends on several factors. Your budget, your requirements, and your level of knowledge/experience. It is always great to be aware of the capabilities and limitations of a board before you invest in it. That said, the Arduino nano is a great platform to begin your journey into the DIY world, coding, and electronics. I would recommend this product to a beginner with a tight budget.
You can buy the Arduino Nano here.
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