Espruino - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Espruino

Author: refaqtor

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Tessel (with embedded javascript)

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

Getting started with this Espruino has been the most enjoyable of all the many (many, many) project boards I've encountered.  So much so, that I'm likely to purchase a second one so that each of my children can build a robot.  Now I don't mean to say that this board isn't a capable board, but rather that it is so easy to get going, particularly with the graphical script builder.

 

Documentation on the main site ( Espruino - EspruinoBoard) was fine to begin with, but continues to get better (more thorough, easier to understand).

The step by step  getting started procedure was painless, and within 5 minutes of connecting, I had the board firmware updated and was modifying the blinky demo script with satisfying results using the graphical script builder. 

 

The IDE is a chrome plugin that installed quick and easy.

 

Now, here is the IDE. pretty standard.  The serial port scanning worked pretty well, which made selection easy.

 

Here is a look at the toolbox of hardware specific pieces of the graphical IDE.  My background is C/C++, and generally not interested in "all them trendy new fangled languages."  So, I actually reaaaally appreciated the ease of  building up my logical constructs graphically, then toggling over to the text editing mode to see what it produced.  The javascript proper stuff I could find on the web easily enough, but it was mighty convenient to have the hardware specific bits generated for me instantly - saving me from having to go to the reference (or internet) before I could get this going.

 

 

Aside from the easy to get started IDE, I feel that the board has just the right amount, and type, of proto area.  Generally, my projects on these boards have little more than, say a L293D motor controller or U2003 Darlington array, which the Espruino designers left just enough room for.  I suppose they could have cut the board in half, but for the thoughtful inclusion of the smt pads on front, and more on the back - specifically for a bluetooth module.  Very insightful. 

 

I really enjoy this little board, and I'm likely to buy ones for my children to experiment with.  I would not generally consider a $40 board for any other purpose, but what it does, it does very well with a tremendously intuitive IDE - and that is worth it.

Anonymous