There are a number of different types of Arduinos to choose from. This is a brief overview of some of the more common types of Arduino boards you may encounter. For a full listing of currently support Arduino boards, check out the Arduino hardware page
The most common version of Arduino is the Arduino Uno. This board is what most people are talking about when they refer to an Arduino. In the next step, there is a more complete rundown of its features.
Arduino NG, Diecimila, and the Duemilanove (Legacy Versions)
Legacy versions of the Arduino Uno product line consist of the NG, Diecimila, and the Duemilanove. The important thing to note about legacy boards is that they lack particular feature of the Arduino Uno. Some key differences:
Arduino Mega 2560
The Diecimila and NG use an ATMEGA168 chips (as opposed to the more powerful ATMEGA328),
Both the Diecimila and NG have a jumper next to the USB port and require manual selection of either USB or battery power.
The Arduino NG requires that you hold the rest button on the board for a few seconds prior to uploading a program.
The Mega is the second most commonly encountered version of the Arduino family. The Arduino Mega is like the Arduino Uno's beefier older brother. It boasts 256 KB of memory (8 times more than the Uno). It also had 54 input and output pins, 16 of which are analog pins, and 14 of which can do PWM. However, all of the added functionality comes at the cost of a slightly larger circuit board. It may make your project more powerful, but it will also make your project larger. Check out the official Arduino Mega 2560 page
for more details.
Arduino Mega ADK
This specialized version of the Arduino is basically an Arduino Mega that has been specifically designed for interfacing with Android smartphones.
The LilyPad was designed for wearable and e-textile applications. It is intended to be sewn to fabric and connected to other sewable components using conductive thread. This board requires the use of a special FTDI-USB TTL serial programming cable
. For more information, the Arduino LilyPad page
is a decent starting point.