It is a fully working 32-bit computer with a 1 GHz ARMv6 single core microprocessor (ARM1176), a VideoCore 4 GPU, and 512 MB of memory. The GPU is capable of driving a full HD display at 60 fps. You also get access to the 40 General Purpose Input and Output (GPIO) ports, however the header is unpopulated, meaning there are no pins.
The Zero W is meant to be bare bones, cheap, and versatile, so hobbyists and professionals alike can make anything they’d like. Like the original Pi Zero, the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is near the middle of the board, while the various ports are found towards the bottom. There is a mini-HDMI port for the display as well as two micro-USB ports – one for power and the other for data. To use the micro-USB port to connect peripherals like a keyboard or mouse you will need a micro-USB B male to USB A female adapter.
The operating system of choice for all Raspberry Pi boards is Linux, specifically the Debian based Raspbian. Installing Raspbian is a breeze. You need to download the New Out Of the Box Software (NOOBS) zip archive and extract it onto a blank microSD card. Boot the Pi Zero W from the card and follow the on screen instructions. Once complete the Zero will reboot into the Raspbian desktop environment.
When the desktop appears you will probably want to configure the networking. Click on the network icon (near the clock at the top-right of the screen) and you will see a list of all available wireless networks. Select the one you want and enter the password. If you right-click the network icon and choose the Wireless & Wired Network Settings option from the pop-up menu, you can manually enter a static IP address.
While you are in Raspberry Pi Configuration, you can also set the hostname of your Pi Zero W and also configure the auto login options. Under the Interfaces tab you should also enable SSH login which will allow you to connect to your Pi Zero W over SSH.
With the Wi-Fi network configured and SSH enabled, you are now ready to disconnect the keyboard, mouse and monitor, and reboot to access your Zero W remotely.