A simple one really:

  • What is the most important thing you look for when choosing an Arduino-compatible development board?

Do you even look for anything specific, or do you just automatically plump for the "default"? Is there any specific feature set you need? Is size important? Price? Processing power? Memory? IO pin count?

  • Your question is not quite clear to me Arduino-compatible development board means can be programmed via ArduinoIDE / is a clone of the official Arduino boards/designs or it can be used with the Arduino C++ flavour to be programmed with. So is an ESP32cam an Arduino compatible board Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 9:27
  • Yes, anything that can be programmed through the Arduino IDE and bought off the shelf. So sure ESP32 cam is included.
    – Majenko
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 9:38
  • 1
    I guess I'd say "it depends on what's needed for the project", but that's not really an answer. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 2:12

4 Answers 4


I look for documentation, such as on-line specifications, including a datasheet with detailed specifications, pinouts, and sample circuits/implementations.


I search for maximum features I need for the project and minimum features I don't need.

  • 3
    Great answer. +1. Personally, I only build things that are "smart enough" to do the job that they were designed to do. For example, why pay for WiFi if you don't need it. No one can "hack" the WiFi on a Pro Mini because it doesn't have it "built in".
    – VE7JRO
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 0:56

If it is an Uno or Mega, then I try to ensure (by checking with the vendor first) that it doesn't use a CH340.

Many vendors show an image of a standard Uno/Mega with a 16U2 but when it arrives it's got a CH340(G)... which are a right pain when working from a Mac (even though I do have PCs as well).


I personally go for hassle free boards for the end user:

  • USB plug with a standard chip/driver for Win/MacOS/Linux
  • Silk screen with pin# and clear print for "dangerous" pins like VCC.
  • As minimum
    • WiFi support/
    • 2MB Flash min or SD card slot to enable storing of html/data
  • Possibility for battery power (lion plug/loader included) with energy saving features supported by the design
  • A CPU strong enough for the usage scenario (trade off power vs energy consumption is hard to achieve)
  • AND a good end user documentation (pictures / easy to read text) at least in english :-)

Depending on the usage (ranked by experiance):

  • Max I/Os (multi purpose digital/analoge)
  • flexible pin assignment HW-Serial(s)/SPI/I2C
  • additional hardware plugs for e.g. camera, sensors, etc
  • BLE / NFC and other features onboard

and a feature which helps in dev

  • a system base for motors/servos with H-bridges and external power plug
  • at least a breakout base with enough pins/plugs to attach sensor modules to

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