A brief look back into my history will show that I have a strong interest in single board computing and was immediately wowed by the original Latte Panda. It (The original) featured a cherry trail atom chipset and runs Windows 10 on par with any mid-range laptop or tablet. This served two purposes which were immediately evident:
- It allowed developers to work with the x86_64 platforms in production environments, on a fast and portable device that could plug in to an existing infrastructure with ease.
- It allows design that incorporates Windows programming environments and accesses Arduino* or similar pin access environments for projects like robotics.
The first version of the Latte Panda was available in 32 or 64 bit configurations and was an impressive little machine. I used it in lieu of a standard PC for over a year with no complaints. It worked like a charm under sophisticated workloads and required only the most minor considerations for cooling. ($.50 fans and heat sinks)
So lets compare systems for a moment… The original was on par, or better than, (depending on your use case) tablets like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, and a variety of other Cherry Trail devices. This newest device uses an intel m3 7y30 which incidentally powers something in the Apple lineup… something very expensive.
The original Latte Panda had 2 vs 4 Gb Ram variants, and a 64 Gb hard drive this one has 8 Gb Ram and also a 64 Gb hard drive, so rather than comparing apples to oranges, we’re comparing Apple to Alpha.
And I prefer the Alpha
To be clear, I currently use a fully featured workstation computer for my work, not some low class consumer grade PC. My tower would destroy pretty much anything in best buy with perhaps one or two exceptions (that I may not be aware of,) but if that workstation caught fire today, I’d immediately fall back on this single board computer. I’ve done it before, and to be clear I had no complaints. This one also uses Linux which of course makes it far more attractive to the typical single board user, due to the prevalence of arm Linux SBC’s on the current market. Many of these I use and own. I’m not suggesting those aren’t wonderful devices, but for the x86_64 SBC market this is absolutely the best thing I can imagine. I’ve played with it now for less than 24 hours and am mesmerized by it’s potential.
I will do follow up reviews and highlight the specs like the incorporated Arduino co processor soon. For a day one review I’ll say 4K video and fast enough to do most of your tasks out of the box. I’m putting Linux Mint on mine for a fair review of it’s performance vs Windows 10. So far both have been exceptional so I’ll just say wow.
I’m so proud of the developers… This is just amazingly good.