If you are in the market for a microcontroller STEM kit for beginners, you should compare Arduino vs. Elegoo to determine the best one.
Arduino opened up an entire microcontroller board industry and community by making their products open source, and one company that arose from this availability of board designs is Elegoo.
The two companies have some product similarities but differ when considering the electronic components in their product kits.
Let’s compare the two to see which one gives a better deal.
Table of Contents
- What Is Arduino?
- What Is Elegoo?
- Arduino vs. Elegoo: Boards
- Arduino vs. Elegoo: Kit Components
- Arduino vs. Elegoo: Community
- Arduino vs. Elegoo: Programming
- Arduino vs. Elegoo: Cost
- Arduino Strengths and Weaknesses
- Elegoo Strengths and Weaknesses
- Wrap Up
What Is Arduino?
Arduino is an open-source hardware and software company that builds microcontroller boards for prototyping and developing digital devices.
The most popular microcontroller board in the company’s lineup is the Arduino UNO, which is ideal for learners and beginners, but they also make more sophisticated boards for complex projects.
An Arduino UNO board (non-genuine because it is not in a teal color)
What Is Elegoo?
Arduino is an open-source platform, which means the board CAD/design files are available to everyone for free to modify or replicate.
Elegoo takes advantage of this free availability of Arduino board design files to manufacture near-identical microcontroller clone boards at lower prices.
The company also builds 3D printers and the materials (resins & filaments) used for 3D printing.
Arduino vs. Elegoo: Boards
Since Arduino is the original microcontroller manufacturer, it builds several official boards, which include the following.
(1) Arduino UNO
(2) Arduino Mega
(3) Arduino Leonardo
(4) Arduino Pro Micro
(5) Arduino Pro
(6) Arduino Nano
(7) Arduino Ethernet
(8) Arduino Esplora
(9) Arduino Due
On the other hand, Elegoo only provides project starter kits around two boards: the Elegoo UNO R3 and Elegoo Mega R3.
So Arduino has more board options.
Arduino UNO R3 vs. Elegoo UNO R3
The first noticeable difference between the two is the color. Arduino UNO R3 is teal, while Elegoo UNO R3 is black.
But both have almost the same internal features, which include the following.
- ATmega328P microcontroller
- 14 digital input/output pins (six PWM outputs)
- 16MHz clock speed
- 32KB flash memory
- 7-12V input voltage
However, the Elegoo UNO has eight analog inputs, while the Arduino UNO has six. But the former is RoHS-compliant and fully compatible with the Arduino IDE.
Additionally, the Elegoo UNO is compatible with all existing Arduino UNO shields and can adapt to new ones using its two new pins positioned next to the reset pin.
Arduino UNO R3 costs $27.60, and you have the option of adding a USB cable ($7.60), a Tinkerkit Braccio robot ($274.70), and a 27-piece sensor set ($82).
Also, you can choose variations like the Arduino Uno Rev3 SMD and Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2, depending on your project.
A UNO board
On the other hand, the Elegoo UNO R3 costs only $12.98 and includes a USB cable. But you don’t get any variations to work on other sophisticated projects, like IoT.
Arduino Mega R3 vs. Elegoo Mega R3
Like with the UNO, the Mega comes in different colors from the two companies.
The Arduino Mega is teal, but the Elegoo Mega comes in either blue or black colors. But the internal features are more or less the same.
For instance, you get a 16MHz clock speed on both options, 54 digital I/O pins (15 give PWM output), 13 built-in LEDs, 256KB flash memory, and 16 analog input pins.
However, the Arduino board is costlier by over $20. Its current price is $48.40, while Elegoo Mega only costs $20.99 and includes a USB cable.
For the Arduino Mega, the USB cable costs $7.60, while the proto shield, 9-axis motion shield, and 27-piece sensor set cost $6, $33, and $82, respectively.
A vector image of an Arduino Mega
Arduino vs. Elegoo: Kit Components
Although Arduino built a platform and foundation for creating affordable prototyping and development kits for electronics projects, the company does not provide enough accessories to help students get acquainted with microcontrollers.
Chris Hong founded Elegoo to solve this problem because he noted that STEM education was not universally available.
Most manufacturers focus on creating and enhancing their open-source hardware, forgetting the tools required to develop a complete project.
A complete Arduino kit
So Elegoo provides robot cars and complete starter kits for beginners for the UNO and the Mega2560 controller board that contain the following.
- Tilt switch
- Active & passive buzzers
- RGB LEDs
- DHT11 humidity and temperature sensor
- 4-digit 7-segment display
- 1-digit 7-segment display
- Servo motor
- Stepper motor
- Motion sensor
- Ultrasonic sensor
- 10pcs resistor
- And more
So you’ll get more kit components with fewer board options with Elegoo. The opposite is true for Arduino.
An electric board with a servo motor
Arduino vs. Elegoo: Community
As the pioneer manufacturer of open-source microcontroller boards, Arduino has and continues to build a massive community of electronic enthusiasts, hobbyists, and companies.
These entities share tutorials, ideas, and projects, which makes it easier to troubleshoot errors or find assistance when you get stuck.
A young STEM student coding a robot car
Elegoo is a relatively new company because it came into existence in 2015. So it has a smaller user community, meaning you might get stuck and find little or no assistance.
To counter this drawback, Elegoo includes decent step-by-step tutorials in beginner kits and provides exceptional technical support via email.
Arduino vs. Elegoo: Programming
Since the boards from both manufacturers are practically the same, the platforms are compatible with the Arduino IDE for coding using C/C++ programming languages.
However, you can use your preferred programming languages, such as python or block-based programming (mBlock & ArduBlockly).
You only have to flash a project file (custom sketch) to the board.
A microcontroller board connected to a computer via USB for programming
But we don’t recommend doing this procedure because the microcontroller boards (especially UNO) have a limited flash memory capacity.
Arduino vs. Elegoo: Cost
Elegoo boards and kits are available at more budget-friendly prices than their Arduino counterparts.
This affordable price raises the quality issue, but Elegoo builds products that almost match Arduino quality-wise.
The same case applies to the quality of the modules and extra sensors. Arduino products are costlier but have zero quality issues.
On the other hand, Elegoo sources these electronic components from different manufacturers but ensures the quality almost matches what Arduino offers.
Arduino Strengths and Weaknesses
- High-quality boards and accessories
- Larger, easier-to-read silk-screen printing
- Huge online community
- Pioneer microcontroller board manufacturer with tons of experience, expertise, and board variety
- Expensive boards and accessories
Elegoo Strengths and Weaknesses
- Boards and accessories are available at budget-friendly prices
- Includes decent tutorials and customer technical support
- Arduino-compatible products (including Arduino IDE)
- Offer a wide variety of components in the Mega and UNO R3 starter kits
A robotic project for STEM education
- Small online community
- Few reported quality and reliability issues
The final takeaway is that Arduino boards and kits are ideal for beginners who want to develop relatively small projects because there is a massive community to offer online support.
But Elegoo boards and kits are suitable for advanced users and hobbyists who want to develop larger projects because the kits come at an affordable price.
You’ll save money when including more hardware components to expand your idea.
That’s it for this article. Thanks for your time.