The Edison is not a Raspberry Pi

The above dimensions and prices reflect the Edison with the mini breakout board.

I’ve been watching lots of comment channels regarding the Edison, and I see a lot of people slamming the Edison as compared to the Raspberry Pi over a few of the lines above:
The Edison is not a Raspberry Pi

  • lack of USB (“Where am I going to plug in my keyboard and mouse?”)
  • lack of video
  • processor speed
  • cost
  • the I/O connector is impossible to use without an extra board

All five of those points would be valid criticisms if the Edison were a single board computer like the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is, and always has been, aimed at providing a low-cost computing terminal that can be deployed to as a teaching tool. Any hardware hackability on the platform has been purely incidental, a bonus feature.

The Edison, on the other hand, is meant to be a deeply embedded IoT computing module. There’s no video because your Wi-Fi enabled robot doesn’t need video. There’s only one USB port because wearables don’t need a keyboard and mouse. The processor speed is lower because for portable applications power consumption is important (and you can see above just how much better the Edison is than the Raspberry Pi on that front).

As for cost, yes, the Edison loses big time, until you add the cost of an SD card, a Wi-Fi dongle, and a Bluetooth dongle. That brings the prices much closer to parity, although still definitely not equal.


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