If you have ever talked to a tech nerd, you must have heard the term Raspberry Pi or Arduino. Some people often confuse the Raspberry Pi with an Arduino. Although they are quite different things!
What is a Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer that has a full-fledged microprocessor inside it and it can work as a normal computer. That means you can use a Raspberry Pi like a normal computer and do your daily works all you have to do is to hook it up to a keyboard, mouse and monitor and it will work like a charm. Now to clarify, although the Raspberry Pi is a computer you cannot use it for works like editing 4k videos and stuff. The Raspberry Pi is generally used for IoT based projects and other fields such as robotics and building a mini-cluster computing server. The Raspberry Pi is basically a pocket-sized computer.
Also, it's extremely low pricepoint (starting from only $5 and can go up to $75) makes it especially popular among tech enthusiasts and people who like to build mini-projects.
What is an Arduino?
An Arduino is a microcontroller, that means you can code the Arduino to do a specific task and that task only at a time, it's not like the Raspberry Pi. It doesn't have a Display port or anything, instead, you can plug it to your computer and upload code onto it and use it for controlling electronic devices or other circuits. In fact, you can code an Arduino using a Raspberry Pi.
The Arduino has been a popular choice for making small projects even as controllers for servos and motors used in Robots.
Also, the Arduino is way cheaper than a Raspberry Pi. You can get the Arduino NANO for as low as $2 and if you go for a generic board it might be cheaper depending on the country.
Which is better? and what is the difference?
Well asking this question is like asking which is better a mango or a potato.
Not because the question is dumb, it's that both the things are quite different. The Raspberry Pi is an actual computer, although it can do all the things that an Arduino can do, apart from that, it can do a lot more. It's a pocket-size computer.
On the other hand, Arduino is only programmed to do a specific task at a time. For example if you want to periodically turn on and off an LED you can use both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, but the Arduino can only focus on turning the LED on and off whereas the Raspberry Pi can actually do a lot of other stuff in the background. For an instance, you can have your Raspberry Pi connected to the internet pinging some website for no reason and also program the Pi's GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins to control an IR LED to turn the TV off.
So choosing the best device for your project will totally depend on the results you are trying to achieve. There is no "BEST". If you just want to turn an LED on you won't spend $35 to buy a Raspberry Pi for reason.
Simply put you don't buy stadium lights for your bathroom!!!