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There are minor hardware differences between Model A (as released 2012) and Model A+ (as released 2014).

What are they and what things can be done with an A+ the cannot be done with the A? Does peripheral changes prevent the use of certain expansion boards? Are there advantages to use the older model A over the new A+ (Bonus: is the model A still available)?

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The original model A isn't being made anymore, but the original model B is. You would still be able to get the model a from a third-party distributor who has stock, but it would probably be more expensive than buying a new model A+. – angussidney Jan 30 at 11:06
    
@angussidney my experiance is that the model A is practically unobtainable nowadays. The last person I talked to who found a reseller claiming to have stock ended up with an old 256MB model B. – Peter Green Jan 30 at 15:27
up vote 14 down vote accepted

There are several notable differences between the RPi A, and A+. According to the official release, the differences are as follows:

  1. An expanded GPIO header. The A+ has 40 pins which considerably larger than the original 26. Additionally, the new form factor and I2C compatibility allow standard Raspberry Pi hats to be used with the A+ model.

  2. MicroSD. The A+ switched from a standard SD card to a MicroSD card as its primary storage medium.

  3. Less Power. The A+ has significantly lower power consumption due to more efficient circuitry.

  4. Better Audio. The new circuit has a dedicated low-power supply

  5. Smaller, and neater form factor. The A+ board is about 2cm shorter than the A, and has had the composite video moved to a 3.5mm four pin jack.

If you're aiming for a low powered device that needs to fit in a smaller space, or you need a hat (because who doesn't love hats?), the A+ is probably the better bet.

Model A: enter image description here

Model A+: enter image description here

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Also note that it has mounting holes which allow it to be used with standard HAT boards – angussidney Jan 29 at 22:38
    
@angussidney: that is a great point. I have edited mention of the hats with a link to the RPi foundation's page :) – Jacobm001 Jan 29 at 22:40
    
It would seem that HATs are not only mechanically supported but that the A+ also features the I2C identification scheme for the HAT's EEPROM. – Ghanima Jan 29 at 22:48
    
@Ghanima: also addressed. – Jacobm001 Jan 29 at 22:51

The raspberry pi A+ is smaller, so you can fit it in smaller spaces. It depends on what I was doing, but I would probably choose the A+, given it has more GPIO pins.

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Hello and welcome! I've taken the liberty to edit your answer a little. – Ghanima Jan 29 at 21:25

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