Curious to see what’s in the box? Sit back and watch as I unbox the new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 home edition. I’ll show you the EV3 packaging with the 5 hero models, the multi functional sleeve around the box, as well as what you’ll find inside. The set starts shipping from September 1. I’ll update the article when it’s possible to pre-order, so stay tuned!

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50 Responses
  1. bert

    Thank you, Laurens.
    Temperature is not really at LEGO level ๐Ÿ™‚ but curious I am…
    Still thinking about the difficult choice EV3 EDU-Box or retail-box.

      1. bert

        Money *is* limited, here.
        IF the price were devided by (say) two ๐Ÿ™‚

        Not counting the availability NOW, the edu software is not in the box, but edu *has* the reloadable battery. Umong other differences you already showed.

        1. Yeah, I’m just kidding ๐Ÿ™‚

          But the EV3 home edition software will be a free download, even for Education set owners I believe — As long as you use it home. For educational/academic use, there’s a license involved.

          1. John

            Seems that using retail software with education version might not work well.

            “2.4 Can I program Retail MINDSTORMS hardware with my LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Software and vice versa?
            Yes,in theory it is possible. However in reality it will difficult since the two products differs significantly.
            The Retail Software Version does not include all programming blocks needed for the education hardware, and it does not included Data Logging or teacher version of Conten Editor. Also it is not possible to utilize the Robot Educator Learning Tool together with the Retail Set as it is not possible to build the Robot Educator model.”

          2. John,

            The products do not differ much.

            The difference between the versions is the amount of educational content that comes with the software, such as software training guides. Also, interactive data logging (live plots of sensor data) is unique to the Educational software.

            It is true that for the moment, the Retail software does not have a block for the Ultrasonic Sensor and the Gyro Sensor, but I understood that LEGO will release a patch for these sensors, since retail set owners can buy these sensors separately.


          3. benkrid

            great stuff in the site by the way.
            it seams that the free software of the ev3 don’t offer support for other sensors like “GYRO” and the “ENERGY DISPLAY”. i see on youtube that the payed version have it,
            it shows in the “WAIT” block

  2. Enrique

    I did not see a CD in the unboxing, is the software not yet available as a download? Is the home software going to be free? Thank You

    1. Sandro

      Thanks all. I would like a print solution too, but I have a seruois page count problem. I think I would be over 2000 pages with all these projects and photos. Maybe some day I will figure out some kind of a la carte on-demand thing. Or maybe I just wait until everyone owns a color Kindle ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Max

    Awsome website Laurens!
    I saw that the retail box said that the software would be a free download.
    Do you think that this free download will require that we buy the retail box for registration purposes or something along those lines?
    I am asking because I really like the education version but that one does not come with the software.
    Thank You

  4. Olfan

    Hi Laurens!

    I’m eagerly awaiting the retail box. Is there anywhere a comprehensive part list of the retail version? I’ve found one for the educational version, but not for the retail one.

  5. John

    Thanks for the info Laurens. Aside from the missing blocks you mention will I be able to get the instructions and programs for the education models without buying the education software? I’m really interested in building Gyro Boy and the stair climber, and the elephant so have gone ahead and ordered the education core + expansion, but know software as yet. Do you think this the right way to go, or should I buy retail + gyro sensor, and try to source any missing pieces? (I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering this ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. This article was about the difference between NXT and EV3. I still mean to write the article about the difference between EV3 Home edition and Education edition :), hopefully answering many such questions.

      If you’ve already purchased the Education set, I don’t think you’ll need another (retail) set any time soon, but otherwise retail + gyro is an interesting package.

      I do not know if the instructions for Gyro boy and the other models will be free downloads. It may not be the case, since this is basically the stuff that you pay for in the Education software, but who knows.

  6. Peter Harris

    I’d like to download the software now so I can get a bit of a head start working with it before my daughter gets the 31313 kit when released. Where/when can I get it?

      1. Peter Harris

        Oh, and I read the software won’t be availbe for tablets, is this correct? My other daughter goes to a school next year that only uses tablets. Will this be released in a mobile platform soon?

        1. Hi Peter,

          The software will be available when the product launches on September 1.

          The software won’t run on Tablets – only tablets that feature the full Windows 8 (not the tablet RT version).


  7. Dave Blankenship

    I recently received 2 EV3 education kits. Software installed great and integrates easily with new brick. That part was flawless. However, the programming of the sensors is harder and more convoluted than with the NXT. How soon can you write a new book? Your NXT ones were invaluable. Thanks

  8. R.U.R. team

    On the brick EV3 we dislike a bad readability of the display. NXT display is easier to read. What do you mean about it?

    1. Paul

      I doubt a translated text will be done, but I will say that the mtajrioy of the book’s designs are easy to follow and duplicate. Screenshots of the programs are easy to re-create, especially since the NXT blocks have small icons on the actual colored block icon (to indicate things like rotation versus degrees in a MOVE block, for example).Jim

  9. Ian

    Looks like the Gyro, Ultrasonic and several other blocks can be downloaded from the LEGO site.

    HiTech Sensors has also just released several block updates for ev3.

    I think the ball will start moving very quickly with apps etc.

    Just tried out the home edition of ev3 on the NXT, so far very smooth, one interesting thing unlike NXT is when you download a new program while running a program it auto stops the program and updates the program unlike NXT 2.0 where you get an error message.

    Moving on with more tests over the week with the software using the NXT brick, just don’t have the heart to dump all my NXT bricks for my classes and move right over to the new brick at this time.

  10. Thomas

    I’ve bought the education version of EV3 Mindstorms and also wanted to give the kids the fun of the retail version. So I’ve ordered the parts that are missing in the eductaion version.

    These are the parts you need to add to your Lego Mindstorms EV3 education version in order to get to the retail version of it. Overall there are 336 parts you need to get, but now you can mix fun and advanced education. Here is the list:

    The price tag for this difference in Germany is around โ‚ฌ 168.15, but now you can enjoy best of both worlds. Order parts at

    Only the V-BELT ร˜ 24, RED (4544143) was out of stock. The rest I was able to order.

    1. Bert

      Hi Thomas, do you know of a difference-list the other way around? So parts needed to upgrade the 31313 home EV3 set to 45544 Edu set? #daretoask ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. John

      Nice one for putting this together Thomas. Did you consider getting the Education Expansion set as I think that gets you a lot closer to having the components of a retail set, if you’re not fussy about the colours of some parts. It also has the 4544143 you mentioned.

  11. Roboy

    Some question about the software and license.

    1. If the software is free why should schools pay money for it? There are youtube videos that shows how you move one string of text to enable all programming blocks in the software. It is just the datalogging you donยจt get.

    2. Can schools choose to use the home edition software if they want? Do schools need to buy the site license if they use the home edition software or is the license just for the education version? (in the NXT home edition the software and license was included in the box so if a school bought 5 boxes they could install it on 5 computers).

    3. What kind of “playground” license is it when schools need to pay a lot of money for just a paper. There are no serial key, registration or names on the license, just a bit of paper for a lot of money and the software works fine without that and schools are allowed to buy the education software without earning an license.

    4. In the EULA you can read that schools are allowed to install the software on more than one computer but they can only use one at a time if they dont have the license. There are no technical limitation for that so who guard the schools so they will follow this?

    Just trying to understand the License because I think it is strange that the software is free to download but they still want schools to pay a lot of money for it.

    1. Hi Roboy,

      Those are good questions, but I’m afraid I can’t answer legal questions about licenses. Please contact LEGO education to see if they can help.

      Please let us know what they have to say!


  12. Lama-mantis

    Is there another way for a flat testpad? When i have a set, maybe i cut it wrong……..and that isnt good! If i cut it wrong, is it possible to buy the testpad without the box?

  13. Warren

    Thank you, I almost cut away the mission pad if it was not you. I did not know that the box sleeve was a mission pad. I am going to have the set #31313 later… and I did not knew that much about it.

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