- incredible viewing angles on the LCD screen both vertically and horizontally (definitely IPS)
- Crisp, clean, bright display
- hardware push-switch for display brightness and on/off
- Can easily set the assembled case on its side, to use like a little monitor with a keyboard and mouse
- Clear directions for assembly
- Extensive instruction for installing the Smraza Raspbian OS build
- Peeling layers off of the acrylic layers was far easier this time around
- even without installing the included low-profile heat sinks, the fan keeps the system cool
- You have to run a custom build of Raspbian / Kali OS
- Had to remove heatsinks that I’d already had installed from my Smraza Fan Case (Smraza uses good adhesive; it took a bit of work to get them off without damaging the Raspberry Pi)
- No included push-button power supply like with their fan cases
I love the Smraza acrylic layer cases and was very excited to try out their 4” touchscreen. The assembly of the case was a bit more than I’d anticipated, but Smraza includes URLs of YouTube videos demonstrating the assembly process if the printed picture instructions aren’t enough (they are). While the included screwdriver was nice, once I had my Raspberry Pi booted up with the touch screen, I would’ve preferred that Smraza had included a stylus instead of the screwdriver.
Edit: The advertised stylus was included, but I failed to see it my first time going through the packaging. It's a white stylus snugly packed in white foam.
This being my fourth Smraza product, I’m not sure if I’m getting really good at peeling the protective layers off of their acrylic materials, or if Smraza is making it easier to do. But this was the easiest time I’ve had peeling off the protective layers.
My most significant concern for this touchscreen is the fact that I had to install a new OS. I planned on putting this on a Raspberry Pi 4 that was already in use for my home automation services. It would’ve been neat to have a touch screen directly on the device that I could use instead of having to use my smartphone all the time. That being said, I was a bit nervous that the link for the Raspbian build is not hosted by the Raspberry Pi organization. In this day of data privacy and cyber security concerns elevating continuously, it’s genuinely frightening to install an OS downloaded from a Mega URL. However, as a core engineer at a cyber security startup, I can also sympathize with the need for a quick turn around, and waiting for necessary modifications to be included in the mainline Raspbian (now called Raspberry Pi OS) distribution can be devastating, if not impossible.
After having installed the (huge; 7.7GB) Raspbian image, my Raspberry Pi booted up with absolutely no issue. There was no additional setup to do. Whatever software drivers or configuration settings that need to be in place for this touchscreen are all in place and running at first boot. Even with their protective film over the screen (I forgot to peel it off), the vertical and horizontal viewing angles were phenomenal (definitely an IPS panel) and everything was crystal clear. The touch screen does seem to require a little bit more pressure to register touches than I am used to, but once you realize you need to be slightly firm with your presses, it’s fine. I highly recommend using the included stylus at it is such a tiny screen, but your finger tips will also work if the user interface is designed for it (i.e., it has big buttons).
I was concerned the sandwiched fan would have difficulty keeping the Raspberry Pi cool, but at idle, it’s stable at 45ºC. Under heavy load (apt-get upgrade) it got up to 50ºC one time, otherwise it stayed below that. I was able to get the temperature up to 56ºC with glxgears, but Raspberry Pi SoCs are rated for up to 85ºC, so this is well under that maximum. And all of this was without the included low-profile heat sinks installed, I can only assume that the cooling would improve with the heatsinks installed.
Update: My initial review was under the assumption that I had not received a stylus however, upon a second inspection of the packaging, I did find the white stylus snugly packed in the white packing foam, so if you order this and believe you did not receive one, double check the packaging!