Imagine being able to use Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer (SBC) right out of the box – that’s LattePanda. Makers at Latte, a Shanghai-based startup, were frustrated at the lack of tools available to makers looking to create Windows-based projects. That, despite what you are thinking, does have some relevance. Windows being the most popular consumer OS on the planet, has a vast catalog and a huge support community. In response, the team created LattePanda, a palm-sized, quad-core (Intel Cherry Trail 1.8GHz) full Windows 10 computer.
LattePanda is all about connectivity. The 1.8GHz quad-core computer features up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard flash storage. With this, each computer features onboard WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 interfaces, and HDMI ports,all the usual suspects.
The LattePanda computer also runs the full version of Windows 10, and it really does work just like a desktop out of the box. You can run Microsoft Office, play 1080p high-definition PC games (well, Intel integrated graphics… so, simpler games), and surf the web from a computer that is 40 percent smaller than the standard iPhone.
LattePanda can be powered by a 5V micro-USB adapter, which is standard these days. But, it has an onboard Atmega32u4 co-processor with a Arduino port packing 20 GPIO. Alongside that post is one for the onboard Intel processor with 2 GPIO. The built in LCD connector and touchscreen support really adds to the versatility. In fact, a IPS LCD is sold as a standard accessory. If you look at their successful Kickstarter campaign, you can see the applications are the typical Maker/DIY projects – robotics, IoT, etc.
The Latte team has demonstrated functional use of LattePanda in a number of projects, including a machine-learning color recognition configuration, 3D printing projects, a DIY smart car hookup, Microsoft Kinect projects (time to dust that off), and real-time 3D modeling for drones. Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi built in. The amount of possibility shown off in their introduction video, it makes it seem like a good buy.
The LattePanda computer is revolutionary for being the only single-board computer for the Windows platform (at the moment). If you’re used to working on Windows, you can save time by continuing to rely on the Windows 10 OS, Visual Studio, and C#, everything designed to run on a PC could potentially run on the LattePanda.
LattePanda comes in two version: the basic with 2G of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the upgraded, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Pricing starts at $80 – reasonable in my opinion. Latte also sells a number of accessories to accompany the computer, sensor set, touch panel, case, and wireless keyboard w/touchpad (that also works with a Raspberry Pi).
I immediately compare this to a Windows 10 device I bought recently called the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Computer, which around the same price. My main issue with the Kangaroo is the lack of accessible interfaces for development (mainly serial). With a system that runs Windows and possibly x86 support, I would like a little accessibility. The LattePanda might be the perfect alternative, especially if you are not adverse to a little developing yourself. Check it out on their website after this link.