The Pi Hut and FLIRC have just launched a new case for the Raspberry Pi Model B+. I was lucky enough to be given one to review, so here’s my take on this latest entry to the market.
The FLIRC case is primarily made of cast aluminium and, at £13 (inc VAT), it’s the cheapest metal case out there. The aluminium surrounds the Pi on five sides with only the bottom open. The plastic used on the bottom, and as a cap for the top, is of good quality and when fixed together with the enclosed screws, the whole thing feels very solid with no rattle. Inside the case, the aluminium has been extruded so that there is a block that descends to the CPU and, when you use the enclosed thermal pad it acts as a heat-sink.
All the ports are easily accessible, although the thickness of the case at the USB ports may make using some wider dongles difficult. This is a very minor thing, though, and the quality of the case more than makes up for this. The bottom of the case (the plastic part) has a slot for the micro SD card so you don’t need to disassemble the case to access it – it’s quite tricky to press the card and extract it though. This might be a good thing in most cases, though, as it means you won’t accidentally eject it. The bottom has slits cut into it for ventilation and rubber feet lift the whole case up slightly to allow air flow. There is also a slot in the bottom to allow a ribbon cable to come out. There is a slight issue here as a full 40-pin ribbon cable can’t be inserted as the pillars of the internal structure of the case get in the way.
As a case for developing with electronics, therefore, it’s probably not the first choice. However, as a stylish case to hold your Pi, for instance as a media centre or for programming without the GPIO, it’s hard to argue with the quality on offer. And that’s where this case really wins out – the quality of the aluminium and the smooth design aesthetics really hold it head-and-shoulders above other cases on the “coolness” scale.