When I started out with Mindstorms EV3 robots, it was with a set purchased in a normal online shop.
The software was available through LEGO's website, and the focus was clearly on the cool robots. EDU version was still unknown to me.
Now I had both hands, and therefore I would like to compare them. For there is a difference.

If we start with, what sets offer, we find many differences.

Basic model 31313 EDU Core set 45544
Price Such As. 2999 kr. Such As. 4625 kr. including. EDU software license
Software Free and unrestricted Such As. 1000 kr. for single user license
Number of items 601 541
Sensors infraredpressuresensorInTheBox_45506_Colour_Sensor_Square pressuresensorpressuresensor InTheBox_45506_Colour_Sensor_Square
1 x infrarødsensor
1 x tryksensor
1 x farvesensor
1 x ultrasonisk sensor
1 x gyroscope sensor
2 x tryksensor
1 x farvesensor
Wheel 2 tracks 2 x wheel + a ball bearing
Match Equipment Well No
Stickers Well No
Battery No Well – rechargeable, value ca. 900 kr.
Charger No No
Track Accessories Well – fold the box out and space on the insideBorrowed from Que Publishing

Borrowed from Que Publishing

Rumde to No Well – and convenient crate m. low20140627-181348-65628923

So EDU kit offers several sensors, a battery and a convenient crate, while the standard set offers riot equipment, free software and a web.

It is obvious, that there are two different object of the boxes, and price / content reflects functionalities.

Immediately the only two necessary additions to the packages, My optics, one Ultrasonic sensor to the plain. basic package and an infrared sensor for EDU basic package. And the rechargeable battery and charger would be a lovely addition, but it can be dispensed with.
In the long term the average user probably get more out of buying standard rechargeable AA batteries, and a charger.
Then there is also the remote o.a.

My recommendation

Are you robot enthusiast I would recommend EDU package, or at least that you buy EDU software.
Otherwise grasp the basic package, and have fun! It is expensive toys, but the possibilities are almost endless.

And do you miss a particular piece or part of the second package, there is advice.
The ingeniousness of the sets is, that you can add what you feel is lacking.
Each part has namely a special design number, and if you really want a part, it's just that go on google, contact LEGO yourself or take a trip to their stores.

Note that not all blocks are easy to find, but it is not the same as impossible 😉

Start på LEGOs webshop sektion ‘Pick-a-brick'.