I am constantly looking out for ‘unusual’ or ‘different’ design solutions for the RaspberryPI  some will work as intended – some will be no more than a cheap gimmick. Cases for the Pi come by the dozen and it can be difficult to judge quality unless you can get your hands on the product before you buy. I have always admired the PiBow cases  for the protection they offer compared to material and cost, I will be reviewing a PiBow shortly (hint). I stumbled across a detailed writeup of the Anidèes ‘Al Pi’ in Gadgetoids blog – this immediately got the hook in me. Br Sean from Anidèes very kindly offered to provide a sample and the lovely people from Overclockers promptly sent me a silver case (+ Haribos) for review – has Christmas has come early ?

First impressions

Enough chitchat lets unwrap this thing – well ‘unwrap’ is a slightly crude term for this one – it is more of a  ritual. Let me make on thing clear first – this is not a cheap case; at £34.95 you would clearly have to think carefully about what you are using the device for. Back to the unveiling, the packaging alone screams quality and all the components are carefully protected from scratches with liners and peel back layers. The key components are the Aluminium case w/screws, 5mm clear acrylic lid, USB/Micro power cord w/switch and 5mm acrylic VESA mounts.

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Anidèes case unwrapped , we are clearly looking at a high quality product.

 

As you might have guessed this is a hefty case – this is the Hummer of the Raspberry Pi’s  : I would happily throw this one in front of a bus – if I didn’t have to pay for the damage to the bus afterwards.

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Pre Assembly reveals the construction of the case 4mm case thickness short side, 6 mm long side.

 

Installation is very straightforward, allen key (hex key) is provided – undo 4 corner screws pop Raspberry Pi in (exact fit) fasten Pi with 2 provided screws and fix lid with 4 screws again. As mentioned the build quality here is exceptional ; I have it as a guess the case is cast aluminium with all ports and recesses beautifully CNC milled – surface finish is a matte-ish, pearl coating (possibly anodised). The RaspberryPi looks very much at home in the case with what looks like a hefty piece of hardened glass bolted to the case. This is not just about protection but a proud display of engineering and design elevating the Pi to its rightful place of excellence.

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Installation is very straightforward with a very exact fit, minimal but precise clearance for all ports.

 

A lot of thought have gone in to the design of features that not just look good but also serve a function , vent holes, recesses, flush mounted screws etc. There is full access to ports with 99% of all cable heads – unless you’ve got a really cheap’n nasty cable knockoff ;  GPIO access is possible with a cobbler /ribbon.

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Please note recess forGPIO ribbon top right edge of case: this case has been designed for use.

 

The ‘Al PI’ case can be mounted on any flat surface if required, the kit also includes 2 additional pieces of 5mm acrylic drilled to VESA standard allowing mounting to a TV/monitor.

So who’s going to fork out £34.99 for a case for the RaspberyPi , I hear you ask ?

Well consider the fact that we can set the Pi up as a media server – I certainly would invest in this if I had this on display in a school or institution. You’re going to have to work very hard to damage the case itself –  and with being able to mount the case securely to a surface or a table we are talking a very robust and secure setup for about £60 including a Pi.

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‘Raspberry’ vent-holes, silicon bumper feet and CNC Milled ‘Key Hole’ mounts.

 There is no hiding the price tag but the engineering behind this case is very impressive, but I would like to see a feature added in future developments. This is a case for indoor use only as it is not water/weather proof. For the price, and with some minor engineering I think the case could easily be made at least weatherproof. I could see a solution of slightly more over sized ports in combination with rubber / silicon grommets, after all the Aluminium would dissipate heat  quite efficiently without the use of vent holes.

Stay tuned for Part II : Road Test with GPIO and breakout boards !!

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About jarjartee

Teacher, Geek and Code Evangelist. Spreading the joy of programming, robotics and hacking. STEM ambassador. RaspberryPi Instructor.

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