Arduino Launches the Portenta H7 Lite Connected as a Midpoint Between the Lite and Full Boards

At just $5 less than the full Portenta H7, though, it's not clear how tempting the Portenta H7 Lite Connected will be.

Arduino's new Portenta H7 Lite, designed as a cost-reduced alternative to the Portenta H7, has a new sibling — and the Portenta H7 Lite Connected sits somewhere between the two.

Arduino launched the Portenta H7 Lite last month, promising the Arduino Pro range a new lower-cost entry point. Based on the Portenta H7 design, the Lite variant featured the same STMicroelectronics STM32H747XI processor but switched to a single secure element, dropped the Murata 1DX radio module, and removed support for DisplayPort and MIPI DSI displays.

The Arduino Pro Portenta H7 Lite Connected aims at the midpoint between the H7 and H7 Lite - but is it priced too high? (📹: Arduino)

For those who needed an offline microcontroller, the Portenta H7 Lite was promising — but for connected projects, the lack of radio proved a problem — only partially fixed by the presence of Ethernet connectivity on the board's expansion port.

The Arduino team appears to have heard the complaints, and has come up with a compromise in the form of the Portenta H7 Lite Connected — adding the missing radio back in.

"The Portenta H7 Lite Connected is powerful, with integrated wireless connectivity, yet remains cost-optimized," the Arduino team claims of the new model. "You could think of it as the H7 with only one secure element and no high-resolution video interface. Or if you prefer, the H7 Lite with the ability to connect."

Naturally, there's a cost impact: The Portenta H7 Lite launched at $72, a major discount on the $103.40 of the full-fat Portenta H7, while the Portenta H7 Lite Connected launches at $98.40 — just five dollars less than the Portenta H7. Whether that's a big enough discount to be worth the loss of video support and the second secure element remains to be seen.

The Portenta H7 Lite is now available on the Arduino Store, with links to schematics and a datasheet.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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