If you’ve been around electronics for a while you’ll have noticed the trend of single board microcomputers targeted at hobbyists through to industrial projects, the most popular platform being the Raspberry Pi. Now the Raspberry Pi is awesome, it’s a fantastic bit of gear designed to run Linux on ARM architecture, for more info on the Raspberry Pi check out our Raspberry Pi tutorials. However, the Raspberry Pi has its limitations, namely that due to the ARM architecture, it isn’t able to run Windows (sure it has the Windows IoT Core, but that serves a different purpose to the regular Windows). So what have the crew behind LattePanda gone and done? They’ve created a microcomputer board which is capable of running Windows 10 AND a separate Atmega32u4 chip on the same board which runs Arduino! Using one board, you can browse the web, watch movies, do everything you’d do with a regular desktop, and code the embedded Arduino all in one! For more info on using the on-board Atmega32u4 with the Arduino IDE, check out our Using Arduino with LattePanda tutorial.
Now, why is this cool? Well apart from the fact that for less than $280 AUD you can get their top of the line 4GB RAM, 64GB flash storage model which comes with a 1.8Ghz quad-core processor, you can carry around this pocket-sized board with plenty of peripherals and hardware for a typical Arduino project, and not require any extra hardware or cables to hook it up! Simply plug it into a monitor using the HDMI port, give it 5V of regulated power via a high output supply like the Raspberry Pi Official 5V supply and you’re away. It’s got a 2x12 female 0.1” header along with 6 3-pin sensor ports for connecting up external hardware such as the DFRobot Gravity Sensor Pack.
Something that’s very cool is there are two different models to choose from depending on how much RAM and built in storage you want, but it comes featured with 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3.0 port, so you can easily add external storage. Something to bear in mind is that whilst during their promotional period they offered boards that came with a product key as part of the cost, they now only offer the 2G/32G and 4G/64G boards, which do come with Windows 10 preinstalled as an unactivated version, however to get the full features of Windows 10 you'll need to purchase a license key from Microsoft.
LattePanda state on their website that it’s perfect for projects ranging from quad-copters to media centers, to prototyping studios, and everything in between. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the LattePanda and see what amazing projects the community is cooking up with these amazing devices, so comment below and let us know your thoughts, and for more info and project ideas, check out the rest of our LattePanda tutorials.