Which Arduino to Buy?

Newbie here. No Arduino experience. I have a project in mind and would like to use an Arduino board to facilitate the project. The actual project is a pretty simple utilizing three analog inputs and one digital output.

Can’t quite figure out which board to buy. What I think I need to do is use one Arduino board to facilitate development and then transfer that development to a second Arduino board that only does what it needs to do for the project. I presume that the coding would be “burned” into this second board.

Anyway, without a bit more experience, that’s all I can tell you. I appreciate your suggestions. I am also open to being referred to information regarding the process of moving from development to product utilizing Arduino.

Without any more information what you are doing, buy an UNO.
And several:
Atmega328P-PU for the standalone controller chip (with bootloader if you don't want to blow it yourself).

.

I agree with Larry, without knowing more I'd also recommend the Uno for rapid prototyping.

For real Projects, I prefer a "bare bone" and usually build them myself but am becoming extremely fond of the Adafruit Pro Mini because it has a solder Bridge that can be removed to make it extremely energy efficient and you simply can't build one easier.

Generally speaking, the board you choose for a Project is usually a consideration of space, cost, and Hardware requirements. For example, the Mega has more Memory, etc.

If you are going to use shields, buy an Uno. If you are going to build a circuit on a breadboard, buy a Nano. You can't plug an Uno into a breadboard.

The Uno is fine for most projects where size doesn't matter. You don't need to develop on one board, and run on a second board though. The development board is also the target. When you move from prototype to final device, just solder your circuitry together, and use the same Arduino.

If you use a 328p chip for the final, be sure you have run it from a socket prior to soldering the chip. Desoldering a 28 pin dip chip is not a fun or even doable thing.

What are the ranges of voltages of the three inputs? How fast do you need to sense them and how accurate do you need? Then also what are the output's characteristics? What are the logic HIGH and LOW levels? Is it meant to drive some device with some current source/sink capabilities? You don't need arduino knowledge to answer any of these important questions.

PaulRB:
If you are going to use shields, buy an Uno. If you are going to build a circuit on a breadboard, buy a Nano. You can't plug an Uno into a breadboard.

I agree, the ratnest level going from Uno headers over to a breadboard is avoided.

But for shields (generally not my bag) and Compatibility! the Uno is it, a DIP 328P Uno lets you replace the chip (needs to be bootloaded which you can do with a working Arduino and cheap gear) when you've burned a pin (it can happen) or want to make end-products and not lose your development board.

If you buy a knockoff then at least donate extra when you get the Arduino software.

Thanks for your guidance and suggestions. The more I read about the Arduino system, the more I realize my quest has just started. I've purchased a starter system and will get to experimenting as soon as it arrives. I realize the cost of the parts is so reasonable that its difficult to make any "real" mistakes. Thank goodness for all the Arduino forums and videos and tutorials available online.