Argon ONE case for the Raspberry Pi 4 – a quick review

Hi everybody. I bought this case the other day for my media centre Raspberry Pi running downstairs in the lounge. The previous case (one of those all-metal all-heatsink jobbies) looked a bit out-of-place, so I decided to go for the Argon ONE as I’d heard a lot about it. TL;DR – just buy it if you want a brilliant case for your Pi.

At £25, this is one of the more expensive cases you can buy, but I was very impressed. It comes well-wrapped in a cardboard box and consists of:

  • The main body of the case (metal) including a fan
  • The bottom plate (plastic)
  • A daughter board PCB
  • Heat transferrance pads
  • Screws to hole it together

All of the parts are very well-made/moulded – you can see and feel the reason why it is more expensive than other cases.

Assembly is simple. You plug the daughter board into the Pi’s HDMI and audio ports – this brings all the ports you associate with the Pi round to one side of the case. You apply the heat transferrance pads to the Raspberry Pi (thus allowing the whole of the top of the case, which is metal, to act as a heatsink).

The assembly (Pi plus board) then plugs into a GPIO header inside the main body of the case. You use the included screws to make sure it is firmly held in place (although, frankly, the Pi is tight enough that you don’t need to bother!) and then the bottom plate is screwed on using a different set of screws.

Once assembled, you can immediately see the special features of the case. All the ports are on the ‘back side’ as well as a power button. This button can be programmed to do different functions and you can download a script from the Argon site that will program it to safely shutdown the Pi.

Another feature that I haven’t mentioned in full is that there is a small 5V fan inside the case which will cool the Pi 4 down. There are plenty of vent holes in the case, so overheating should not be a problem. A script, which is downloadable, controls the fan speed depending on CPU temperature.

The final special feature is quite brilliant. You might think from the first picture that this is a ‘sealed unit’ useful only for media centres. You would be wrong. Full access to the GPIO pins is available by lifting off a metal plate which is magnetically held in place:

The ports are all labelled and, to add to the joy, the exposed GPIO pins are colour-coded to aid in pin-navigation! It really is a lovely feature which means that you can use it as a hacking platform as well as a “nice box to hold your media center Pi in”.

Conclusion

I thoroughly recommend this case if you can afford it. It is solid, well-made and has a host of features that are difficult to beat.

You can buy the case from The Pi Hut for £25 plus postage. (As of 23/4, it is sold out, but Jamie at the Hut says that they are getting hundreds in very soon!)

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