SmartiPi Touch Pro

By PJ Evans. Posted

We’re big fans of the SmartiCase range here at The MagPi magazine. The SmartiPi Touch 2 was a big hit in 2020, with a solid 8/10 awarded. Now it’s back with a third iteration, the SmartiPi Touch Pro (£30 / $35).

All models mount the official 7-inch Raspberry Pi touchscreen and a Raspberry Pi of your choice into a single case running from one power supply. The result is a small, freestanding unit, perfect for kiosk-style applications. Add a keyboard and monitor for a small but perfectly formed workstation.

The Touch Pro is a solid refinement of its predecessor. Although similar in appearance, the optional camera mount has been moved to the base of the screen, which gives it a slimmer profile. The internals have been redesigned to create more space: in fact, you can fit two HAT form-factor devices side-by-side. Cooling has been improved with a small optional fan mounted on rubber pillars to reduce vibration.

This smart case makes a perfect control deck or mini workstation

Construction was simple and completed in about 20 minutes thanks to a well-written online guide. It’s even easier than the previous models. Everything you need is included along with options for fan covers, a range of port blockers for both Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 configurations, ribbon cables for the display and camera, and – very neatly – a Y-adapter for both USB micro and USB C that now mounts inside the case to give a smart single connector to run both the device and screen. We also received the metal base accessory (sold separately) which gives the assembly a solid footing; your cat would struggle to topple this.

Room for everything

Multiple mounting options make this case suitable for both home and business applications

Space is a common frustration in Raspberry Pi cases, and it is addressed head-on with the SmartiPi Touch Pro. There is a choice of two rear covers, one with 25mm clearance above the Raspberry Pi and a larger version with a whopping 45mm to play with. Even with the standard header, you can get a low-profile HAT mounted. If you can use jumper cables, you can even mount another HAT alongside. With the larger enclosure, even the larger HATs on the market won’t be constricted.

Industrial applications have also been considered. A ‘stealth’ mode allows Raspberry Pi to be mounted fully inside, giving no easy access to the ports. And if wall or arm mounting would make for a cool touchscreen controller, the rear of the case features VESA mounting and eyelets for hanging from screws. If you want a custom base, additional hinges are provided that can be screwed on to your mount of choice.

Smart design means lots of space for HATs and more

We were impressed by the build quality, especially at the very reasonable price point. This SmartiPi Touch Pro has been carefully thought through and customer feedback considered. It’s a solid injection-moulded construction riddled with cut-outs so you can customise to your heart’s content. Access to the microSD card slot would be nice, but it’s blocked by the display ribbon cable. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a kiosk or control-centre project, or even a highly portable computer (as we featured in The MagPi issue #98), the SmartiPi Touch Pro is a great bit of kit.

From The MagPi store