Hey! Recently I got the LattePanda development board from DFRobot. I found it to be a perfect addition to my makeshift lab. Not only can it work as a stand alone computer but the on board arduino which makes the LattePanda a necessity for any electronics hobbyist.
With the on board WiFi and Bluetooth it is super easy to work on this mini computer. Some of the specs are listed below-
Processor: Intel® Cherry Trail Z8350Quad Core
Base Frequency: 1.44GHz
Burst Frequency: 1.92GHz
Operation System: Windows 10
Ram: (DFR0418, DFR0444 2GB DDR3L), (DFR0419 4GB DDR3L)
Storage Capability: (DFR0418, DFR0444 32GB), (DFR0419 64GB)
GPU: Intel HD Graphics, 12 EUs @200-500Mhz, single-channel memory
USB3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports
4.0Built-in Arduino Co-processor: ATmega32u4
Video output: HDMI and MIPI-DSI
Onboard touch panel overlay connector
Supports 100Mbps Ethernet
Step 1: Getting Started
The basic requirement of course is a display which can either be an HDMI display, like a TV or an old monitor, or an LCD using the on board connector.
Talking a little more about the LCD connector, LattePanda provides a 7 inch LCD with a digitizer overlay, which has a separate port for on the board,can be used and be possibly made into a full fledged windows 10 tablet.
By just plugging in the micro USB to a source with sufficient current output(2A) you will see a blue light fading on the front and a red light for a few seconds on the back.
With the micro USB port to the bottom left you can see two small buttons, press the left button to boot up the system.
Step 2: Other Peripherals
With two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port just about everything can be connected. But one thing to note is that using power hungry USB devices will not work because the power to the CPU will be compromised.
Just like a computer anything from a mouse to a flash drive and possibly even a hard disk,if it is powered externally, can be interfaced with this tiny board.
Further is a display port for the 7'' LattePanda LCD(WHICH I WISH I HAD) and even a touch overlay can be connected.
Other ports include an ethernet port, HDMI port, SD card slot and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The possibilities for uses are unlimited and I would discuss some in the further steps.
Step 3: HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
This is probably the easiest and most desired thing one may want. This was what I even did when I first got the lattepanda. Hooking it up with and HDMI cable you can already use it as a computer. Further investing in a good quality wireless keyboard and mouse, which probably everyone should be having, completes the whole experience.
I was able to use the board without any stutters and lag. Watching couple of hours of netflix and youtube doesnt heat up the board a lot.
Step 4: TABLET
The LattePanda LCD and the touch overlay complete the total package. Just a matter of connecting the LCD to the port and the touch overlay the whole system comes to life. Operating only on 5v it can even be powered from an external power bank.
Check out this video for an idea.
Step 5: PORTABLE PROGRAMMING COMPUTER
With the on board arduino and the versitility of windows this is probably what i will use the Lattepanda in the future.
Maybe as a lab computer or even as a portable programming tablet LattePanda is perfect .
Step 6: CONS
Probably the only biggest con that i found was the overheating problem. Though it is managed really well so that the board shuts itself down the moment it crosses a certain temperature(I think 70C) using it for more than 12 hours of casual usage or 6 hours of intense programming or instantly if in case you try playing games on this puppy, will cause a shutdown. Also if too many peripherals are connected without adiquate power it will cause a shutdown.
other than this it works perfectly fine.