Some time back I discussed the options for building cases for single board computers. This of course remains a point for consideration depending upon the environmental conditions you’ll be exposing your SBC to. I recently acquired a silicone case via DFRobot, for their LattePanda 64, and I’m going to give it a proper review as a product. The factors we’ll be considering will be form factor, inclusion of space for components, style, and ruggedness. While I won’t be dropping my SBC I can approximate via material thickness the impact resistance to expect from the product due to similarity with mobile phone cases.
Balancing heat dissipation with protection seems to be well within the products grasp. My temperatures didn’t raise provided I elevated the case slightly from the fan, which I did using my original craft stick case’s base – which provides a bit of extra sound buffering as well. Remember I have the fan pointed at the SOC from underneath, so for me airflow was a definite consideration. Without these considerations, the heat under load didn’t seem to increase but further testing might reveal a degree or two difference at best. Slim fitting and snug the power buttons and gpio pins are all labeled and visible, and the silicone case even diagrams the underlying components, as well as the sockets. I’m giving it a 5 for form factor.
Inclusion Of Space For Components
Much better than an acrylic case in this regard, I have literally the whole underside of the device free for heat sinks and fan. Nothing above the case is blocked for wiring purposes. I left the topside heat shields on, as well as the ones underneath, and this is honestly better than trying to craft one from silicone. Good tough molded fitting, this is an easy 5.
Possibly the real selling feature for enthusiasts will be the uniquely brilliant #LattaPanda logo impressed into the top beside the HDMI port. It is definitely a stylish case. I can see the maker community appreciating the ease of cleanup on this surface as well. 5 but that’s a subjective 5.
An instrumental challenge to test the ruggedness of a silicone case, because their durability requires a bit of caution by the user to avoid drying agents or harsh chemicals. Crush resistance vs the SBC on a desk is improved by the legs of the case which give about an inch of good clearance. This is also good in case of spills, or for downward facing fan installation. I’ll say 4.5 due to material thickness and for clearance.
This grants the case an overall score of 3.9 out a possible 4
*Our tips for best use, elect to install the fan in the position that gets the best temperatures and if that means mounted on the underside, so be it. Otherwise take some precautions in placing the fan so it is protected from spills, and try a few different placements for optimal sound buffering.
I have developed a deep appreciation for the LattePanda 64. I am thrilled to say their accompanying products and accessories live up to my “high” expectations, which is to say they’ve exceeded them all. Many of my readers know it was very unlikely that a small credit card sized Windows 10 based platform could ever garner so much of my approval, as I’m very much a Linux Enthusiast. The team responsible for LattePanda and my subsequent amazement will be featured here for a Q&A soon, and we’re delighted to say we have grown quite fond of them throughout this review process. You couldn’t ask for a nicer group of developers, or a more talented team of designers.
We’re proud to consider them friends.